Interview with an MP

The Parliamentary Network Secretariat had a chance to sit down with Senator from Belgium, Honourable Alain Destexhe. He is the former Chair of the PN, and has seen much in terms of the global development debate in his time as a legislator and practitioner. We were able to have a candid moment with him, asking questions about what he sees for the Network in the future, as well as understanding Hon. Destexhe at a more personal level.
Q: How the is Parliamentary Network relevant and important to you and your colleagues internationally?  
A: It is very important because it is the only access we have to the World Bank and the IMF which have been traditionally “hermetic” international organizations.
Q: In what ways can the Parliamentary Network positively impact the development debate in the coming 2 years?
A: Personally, I would like the PN to bring the issue of demographic growth in the public debate. This topic is not enough taken into account by World Bank policies.
Q: When did you begin to engage with the Parliamentary Network andwhat were the reasons to become a Member of the Board at the Network?  
A: I’m involved for more than ten years and I was the President of the network for three years. I tried to ensure some kind of continuity.
Q: Do you have any thematic interests that you would like to concentrate on as a Board Member? How would you like to see your interests addressed within the Parliamentary Network? 
A: Again, I would like to bring to the attention the demographic growth of Africa and some countries in Asia. If the population of a country grows too fast, it could really hinder development efforts even with the best practices and policies. 
Q: Do your constituents see the effects of international development cooperation? If yes, how? 
A: Only a small portion of my constituents are interested by this topic but those ones are very interested and committed.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time? 
A: Traveling and reading.

Founded in 2000, the Parliamentary Network is an independent, non-governmental organization that provides a platform for Parliamentarians from over 140 countries to advocate for increased accountability and transparency in development cooperation. The Rt Hon. Liam Byrne is the current Chair of the Parliamentary Network.


The Network – via its international secretariat, regional chapters and country chapters – reaches over 1000 Parliamentarians in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. It strives to increase transparency and accountability in the development cooperation process by fostering the oversight role of parliaments and civil society. The Network has a specific focus on multilateral aid and a sub-focus on the work and modus operandi of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world’s largest multilateral funders.


It provides a platform for MPs and civil society to hold to account their own governments, as well as International Financial Institutions (IFIs), for development outcomes.

Membership is free of charge and open to elected parliamentarians who currently hold a mandate. As a member, you will receive The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s policy materials, including the quarterly Network Review publication and the Parliamentarians and Development series.

You will also be eligible to attend the Annual Conference and participate in discussions with senior World Bank and IMF leadership. You can also be invited to take part in the Parliamentarians in the Field country visit programme.
In addition, the The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund often invites partner organizations to join its activities.