Melanesian Leaders to discuss reforms for political stability

Jun 24, 2016

Nadi, Fiji: In a sign of strong commitment to effectively promote political and parliamentary stability, leaders from Melanesian countries will gather in Nadi next week to discuss critical issues on the link between political stability and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The two-day conference, will be attended by 100 participants, representing governments, parliaments, electoral management bodies and civil society organisations from Kiribati, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu who will share their experiences on reforms to promote stability in their respective countries.

Over the last decade, a number of Melanesian countries have experienced frequent changes of government and numerous motions of no confidence in their Parliaments. Although the removal of a Government through a vote of no confidence is an important tenet of the Westminster parliamentary system, which most Pacific states have adopted, the implications of political instability and frequent changes of Governments on long term development needs careful consideration. 

When legislatures are seen primarily as venues for taking power, Parliaments may not be able to effectively carry out their other functions including effectively providing oversight of Government policies and programmes, scrutinizing drafts laws, representing the views of citizens at a national level being a forum for national dialogue. 

Facilitated by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, the conference will explore the link between development and political stability, as well as factors impacting on stability including constitutions, electoral systems, political and cultural dynamics and parliamentary rules. The various sessions will explore ways of addressing the impact of political and parliamentary stability on economic growth and development in the Pacific. The conference will also discuss the drivers that impact on political and parliamentary stability in Melanesia and what steps Pacific Parliaments can take to ensure that oversight of the Executive is strengthened whilst also providing political and parliamentary stability. 

The conference, which is being hosted in Nadi, will be opened by UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Director Mr. Haoliang Xu. It will conclude on Tuesday 28 June.

Contact information

Emily Moli, UNDP Knowledge Communications Analyst, Tel: +679 3227 504; mob: +679 719 1112 email: emily.moli@undp.org

Nanise Saune-Qaloewai, UNDP Effective Governance Deputy Team Leader & Programme Manager (Parliamentary Development & Women in Politics), Tel: +679 330 0399 ext 206; mob: +679 8617236; email: nanise.saune@undp.org

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