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Syrian MP to ST: Arab Region Is in Need of Strong Democratic Parliaments

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Syrian Member of Parliament, Dr. Ahmad Kuzbari, has argued that Arab region is in urgent need of strong democratic parliaments to defuse conflicts before they spiral out of control.

He believes that Arab parliaments must play a pivotal role in restoring peace and promoting reconciliation through dialogue based on understanding, openness, and a culture of moderation and equity, along with highlighting the importance of political pluralism.

The parliamentarian’s remarks came during his interview with the Syria Times e-newspaper over Arab Parliaments’ role in the light of recent developments in the region.

“Arab parliaments in our region continue to play a very shy role, particularly in the light of the current events in the region, and especially with issues concerning terrorism and the prevention of external interference in internal affairs of sovereign states, which is one of the basic principles of the United Nations but is often interpreted in ways that are not credible,” Dr. Kuzbari stated.

He added that the principles of the United Nations have evolved to include the concept of humanitarian intervention and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’. 

“Arab Parliaments should benefit from parliamentary diplomacy at the national or regional level by exchanging views and experiences, discussing intra-country and inter-country conflicts, and helping defuse tensions and resolve conflicts before they get out of control,” said Dr. Kuzbari, who chairs the Constitutional and Legislative Committee in the Syrian People’s Assembly [Parliament].

The MP underlined that parliaments must work to prevent extremism, violence, and terrorism by transferring international commitments to national laws and supervising their implementation as well as working towards raising awareness of the dangers of terrorism, that is often fueled by hatred, intolerance, and discrimination.

 The fulfilment of these duties requires strong democratic Arab parliaments whose main purpose is to serve its people in order to ensure peace and gender equality, to pave the way for youth empowerment and sustainable development through political dialogue, cooperation, and parliamentary actions,” according to the parliamentarian, who affirms that ensuring compliance on all levels is one of any parliament’s priorities which is critical to the proper functioning of any democratic system. 

“Parliaments play an essential role in the promotion of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, as they are competent bodies that enact legislations, monitor the actions of the executive branch, and represent the people that have elected them,” Dr. Kuzbari clarified.

He pointed out that most Arab parliaments still do not fully exercise their role as one of the states’ vital authorities, but as a small government institution that is indirectly subordinate to the executive.

Therefore, he believes that this mentality and culture must be altered within institutions and among society to portray the importance of equal participation of men and women in public affairs and the decision-making process, in which gender equality is the most crucial condition for development.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

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