Newly elected and returning members of the Chuuk Legislature undergo in-depth orientation

Mar 29, 2017

Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Innocente Oneisum speaking at the Seminar Opening (Photo: UNDP/Isikeli Valemei)

Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia - A three-day orientation seminar for the newly elected and returning members of the Chuuk State Legislature is currently underway following the State Elections earlier this month. Newly elected members include Chuuk’s first female Senator, Honourable Senator-elect Gardenia Aisek, who is among two new senators and nine representatives that make up the 39 elected members of the Chuuk State Legislature.

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, the Chuuk State Legislature is holding its first in-depth briefings for members of the legislature and aims to provide an overview of the role of the Legislature as mandated under the State Constitution, including its powers and the rules that govern its work in relation to law-making, oversight of the government, and as a representative voice of the people of Chuuk.   

“In pursuit of the Legislature’s goal to leave no one behind from the furthest islands, the Legislature would like to work with development partners like the United Nations, UNDP and donors to support Chuuk in strengthening its sustainable development and human rights nexus, and improving its data based decision making processes and mechanisms, ensuring access to and utilization of high quality, timely and reliable disaggregated data in its policy and law-making processes,” said Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Innocente Oneisom.

As part of the orientation seminar for the elected Members of the Legislature, three visiting Senators – Honorable Senator Jamie Kalani English from Hawaii State Legislature, Senator Jerrlyn Uduch Senior from the Palau National Congress, and Senator Daisy Alik-Momotaro from the Republic of the Marshall Islands Nitijela (Legislature) – have been invited as international resource persons from the region.

The visiting Senators are providing peer-to-peer learning, sharing their experiences of their work as elected members of their National and State Legislatures and providing comparative examples of how other Legislature undertake their roles. 

“I acknowledge the work of UNDP in supporting induction programmes for national Legislatures, and promoting gender equality in decision making processes,” said Senator Jerrlyn Uduch Senior from the Palau National Congress. 

“Similar programmes implemented in Palau by UNDP and UN Women in 2013 really helped me to better understand procedures and processes of the Congress and the need to have women effectively represented in the highest decision making body of Congress. I know the elected Members of the Senate and House of Representatives will similarly benefit a great deal from the three-day induction programme,” she added.

UNDP has a global programme on strengthening the role and work of Legislatures through technical advisory support provided to the secretariat staff as well as to the elected members of the Legislature. 

 “We are delighted to be able to implement this important induction seminar with the Chuuk State Legislature. Legislatures play a central role in ensuring transparent and accountable governance and are key institutions in facilitating development and the measures needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Country Director and Head of Regional Policy and Programme, Bakhodir Burkhanov.

The seminar in Chuuk is part of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji regional Parliamentary strengthening programme funded by the Government of Australia that works with the Parliaments in 15 Pacific Island Countries.

The three-day Chuuk Legislature Orientation Seminar concludes Thursday 30th March 2017.

Contact information

Emily Moli, Knowledge and Communications Analyst, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, email: emily.moli@undp.org or tel: +679 3227504

Eliesa Tuiloma, Legislative Counsel for the Chuuk Legislature, email: ebstuiloma@hotmail.com or tel: +691 9309705