Opening of the 2nd Regional Fellowship Programme on Parliamentary Diplomacy

The Foundation with the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia and partners hold an online meeting to initiate training programme

The 2nd Regional Fellowship Programme on Parliamentary Diplomacy (RFPPD) commenced with an opening session online on 20 March 2020. The programme is coordinated by the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia and aims to strengthen the capacity of parliamentary staff in their work relating to parliamentary diplomacy. There are 19 Fellows from the Parliaments of Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines.

The opening session began with welcoming remarks from the Executive Director of the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia, Mr Dararith Kim-Yeat. This was followed by an introduction of the goals, objectives, training methodology, activities and expectations of the programme, presented by Professor Michel Foucher, Director of the RFPPD. Additional remarks were given by the Honourable Mr P Dewono, the Deputy Secretary-General of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

The programme’s learning objectives are to enable participants to support their respective Parliament in addressing regional and global challenges. The expected outcomes are to ensure that parliamentary staff have a good understanding of traditional and parliamentary diplomacy; and procedures of parliamentary and inter-parliamentary organisations. It will ensure that Fellows are familiar with international law, international relations, geopolitics and major trans-national matters; and are equipped to develop and implement strategies and necessary negotiations to support their parliaments contribute toward regional and international solutions.

The Foundation’s Country Manager introduced the session on International Law within the programme. Addressing three topics, namely (i) Political Principles and the State, (ii) International Law and (iii) International Environmental Law. The modules introduced Fellows to underlying principles from an international law perspective, as well as how international law is relevant and useful in diplomatic work and lastly how the Fellows can contribute to the evolution of international law.

The 2020 RFPPD programme is the second intake of Fellows from across Southeast Asia facilitated by the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia and its partners, including the Foundation. The programme is divided into three stages, including online and face-to-face blended learning and a simulation exercise. In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the alternatives to make the entire course online has been adapted.