House Democracy Partnership Virtual Congressional Delegation with the Camara de Representantes, Congreso de la Republica de Colombia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 11, 2020) – Today the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), a bipartisan commission of the United States House of Representatives, conducted a first-of-its-kind, virtual Congressional Delegation (CODEL), with members from the Camara de Representantes, Congreso de la Republica de Colombia. The virtual CODEL was led by longtime HDP member, Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV). Originally scheduled as an in-person visit of HDP members to Bogota in April, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis postponed the trip. During the COVID-19 pandemic, HDP has been piloting innovative ways for continued collaboration with partner legislatures around the globe, including this virtual engagement. The International Republican Institute (IRI) assisted with the logistics of this virtual CODEL.
The conversation between the two Congresses focused on legislatures’ responses to COVID-19 and the need for strong, independent, and responsive institutions during the pandemic. The Members also discussed future collaboration between the U.S. Congress and the Congreso de la Republica de Colombia. Bilateral engagement and collaboration are particularly critical in the time of COVID-19.
During the meeting, Congresswoman Titus said, “One of the important challenges in effective governance during the pandemic is understanding what different services the federal, state, and local levels are providing to constituents. Learning about effective processes in other countries allows us to get one step closer to ensuring our constituents are getting what they need as soon as possible.”
Hon. María José Pizarro, Second Vice President of the Camara de Representantes, had the following reflection on the meeting, “In Colombia, we remain committed to the bilateral relationship with the United States and the House Democracy Partnership. Today allowed our respective legislatures the opportunity to collaborate on responding to the global pandemic as well as the opportunity to discuss future areas of cooperation between the U.S. House of Representatives and the Congreso de la Republica de Colombia.”
HDP brings together the U.S. House of Representatives with parliaments in emerging and developing democracies to help strengthen legislative institutions using a peer-to-peer model. Established in 2005, the partnership is a bipartisan, twenty-member commission of the U.S. House of Representatives, working directly with 20 partner countries around the world to support the development of effective, independent, and responsive legislative institutions. HDP collaborates with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the International Republican Institute (IRI) to implement programs around the world.