Political stability and economic development for Melanesia

Jun 27, 2016

UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Haoliang Xu speaking at the conference in Nadi (Photo: UNDP/Emily Moli)

Nadi, Fiji: In a two-day conference, representatives from governments, parliaments and civil society from Melanesia discussed how to best promote strong, inclusive and peaceful institutions for sustainable economic growth and development.

The discussions during the conference highlighted the importance of political stability for economic reforms, growth and sustainability. During discussions, participants noted the importance that political reform and socio-economic development are inclusive and take place in consultation with the public to ensure their support and “ownership”.

“Strong, inclusive and peaceful institutions are not only important for good governance, but also for inclusive and equitable economic growth and development”, outlined the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Mr. Haoliang Xu.

“Countries need to have clear long term vision. Political institutions should be working effectively to facilitate achievement of this vision regardless of who is in power. It is through good and effective governance that citizens feel that national institutions are working for them and for the country at large and that progress is made in achieving a nation’s vision for their country.”

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were signed in September last year by 193 countries, with country leaders giving their commitment to a vision of the world to be achieved by 2030.

The SDGs are more wide-ranging than the preceding Millennium Development Goals. They aim at achieving inclusive growth that “leaves no one behind” and address the root causes of poverty.

The conference explores the link between development and political stability, as well as factors impacting on stability including constitutions, electoral systems, political and cultural dynamics, development and parliamentary rules.

“Implementing SDG 16 to achieve strong, inclusive and peaceful institutions requires national ownership and strong political will from leaders and decisions makers. The conference allowed for important and challenging discussions to be held”, said the UNDP Pacific Office Resident Representative, Ms. Osnat Lubrani.

“We heard interesting and thought-provoking contributions with lively participation from participants on how to foster political stability and inclusive institutions for development in each country. One of the key issues is how we can take advantage of the best elements in the region, of both the traditional governance and parliament systems to facilitate effective development. There is no one answer to these issues but the conference has allowed for each country to share information and learn from others in the region on developments.”

The Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji, Hon. Jiko Luveni, who formally welcomed participants to Fiji when she opened the conference, expressed her gratitude for having such numerous delegations from all Melanesian countries and for the opportunity to discuss these issues at a regional level.

More than 90 representatives from Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu attended the conference.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Republic of Fiji, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, will formally close the conference on Tuesday afternoon.

The conference was organized and implemented through the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and funded through the support of the European Union and the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

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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