ISLAMABAD - Newly inducted Young Parliamentary Associates (YPAs) were congratulated at the completion of their training at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in a ceremony held at a local hotel.

They were presented with certificates by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Mr Pierre Mayaudon, Chargé d’affaires of European Union Delegation to Pakistan.

YPAs will serve the national assembly, senate and PIPS for a period of one year by providing research and operational support. Their presence will increase the parliamentary committees‘ ability to research issues for legislation and provide them input for better decisions.

The programme will also help in creating a pool of young people who will be intimately connected to the political system of the country as they move on to other avenues of policy, research and professional work.

The YPAs programme is a flagship initiative of EU-funded Improving Parliamentary Performance (IP3) project. The YPAs were selected after an exhaustive and highly competitive national recruitment exercise following which they went through rigorous three-week training on parliamentary procedures and processes. They bring with them excellent academic records and potential to help the leadership in policy formulation.

Speaking at the occasion, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said, “YPAs are important, and the quality of their services and commitment to the parliament will impact the quality of democracy in Pakistan. The YPA programme is a fine example of donor support for Pakistan’s democratic institutions. The initiative is also a reflection of our joint belief, purpose and commitment to strengthening parliamentary democracy.”–pr

EU delegation head, Mr Pierre Mayaudon thanked the speaker for his support to the IP3 Programme and conveyed that, “More democracy, not less democracy, was the proper response given by the current leadership to the multiple challenges the country is facing. In a modest but still highly symbolic manner, the YPAs will contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions.”

IP3 Team Leader Anitra Jankevica shared the selection process and told how the YPAs will be supporting the committee system in the parliament. She said, “The current batch of YPAs are among the most qualified human resource that Pakistan has to offer, they bring with them drive, a keen intellect and a passion for all things Pakistan. To have young people such as the YPA helping the supreme bodies of policy formulation in the country will not only be an invaluable learning experience for the YPAs, but will help in law making, oversight and representative function of parliament.” –pr