SUBAI was officially launched on March 15 2017 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The high-profile event was hosted by the Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, H.E. Jean-François Cautain, at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS).
A number of high-level Government and EU officials attended the event.
The guest list comprised of all the Honourable Speakers of the Provincial Assemblies of Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as the Speakers of the Legislative Assemblies of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Senior Pakistani officials, Members of the Senate and the National Assembly, Ambassadors of the EU Member States, EU delegates, Senior Assembly and Senate Secretariat Officials and senior representatives from the donor community and civil society, also attended the event.
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb was the Guest of Honor at the event. Ms. Aurangzeb lauded the objective of SUBAI and emphasized the importance of creating strong Provincial Assemblies for democracy to be.
Keynote speakers at the event highlighted SUBAI’s – commitment to providing wide-ranging support services to the Provincial and Legislative Assemblies. They noted that these efforts will serve to strengthen parliamentary institutions, provide support for elected representatives, selected committees, and secretariats, as well as help improve the transparency and accessibility of the Provincial Assemblies.
The EU Ambassador, the Speakers of the Provincial and Legislative Assemblies, the Minister for State for Information, Broadcasting and Heritage, and PIPS all signed a pledge to mark their commitment to working together towards a shared vision.
This pledge symbolizes the excellent relationship and shared values between the EU and Pakistan.
Speaking at the Project launch event H.E. Jean-François Cautain noted that both the EU and Pakistan were committed to consolidating the democratization process that started in Pakistan following the elections of May 2013 and that“the EU and Pakistan have a shared understanding and commitment to strengthening the institutional and organizational capacities of Pakistan’s Parliament to improve performance in law making, oversight and representation”.
Throughout the session, all voiced their appreciation of the EU’s support to democratic governance in Pakistan, and particularly its support to the Provincial Assemblies following the devolution of powers to the Assemblies as a result of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
Ms. Donna Bugby-Smith, Team Leader of the SUBAI underscored the approach that the Project would pursue which would be to work in close collaboration with the Assemblies and the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) to ensure that relevant, timely and high-quality support is delivered. The event was covered by journalists from several media outlets.