Tarawa, Kiribati - On Wednesday 28 November 2007, the Vice President of the Republic of Kiribati, Honourable Teima Onorio officially opened a three-day (28 – 30 December) Parliamentary Induction Workshop for Members of Kiribati Parliament. This initiative was jointly developed by the Clerk and Speaker of Kiribati Parliament with technical and financial support from the Government of Kiribati and UNDP Fiji Multi Country Office.

In her opening address to the MPS, members of the donor community and distinguished guests, Madam Vice President noted that Members of Parliament come from different working backgrounds and possessed different expertise, very different from the one you are in now and moreover the constitutional functions of Parliament is not what you expect to learn in classrooms or in place of work you came from.

The aim of the workshop is to increase MPs understanding of their very important representative, legislative and oversight roles. The 3-day long workshop covered services that Parliament Secretariat offered to MPs, their constituents and the nation as well as the rules that govern the conduct of parliamentary proceedings, and parliamentary oversight committees.  Notably following the general elections in August, 18 out of the 46 MPs are elected to Parliament for the first time.  It is envisaged that having an increased understanding of the rules that governs parliamentary proceeding and the services that are available to support their roles, MPs can be able to advocate and legislate strategically in accordance with the constitution to advance issues of concern to their constituents and the nation as a whole.

The Induction Workshop was attended by the Speaker of Kiribati Parliament, Honourable Taomati Iuta, more than 30 MPs, including Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament.  Distinguished guests at the opening ceremony were the New Zealand High Commissioner to Kiribati His Excellency Mr Craig Rickit, Representative from the Australian High Commission, Alison Ebye, Cuban Representative, and the Taiwanese Ambassador.

Presenters included long service Members of Parliament and former President Honourable Teburor Tito, Speaker of Parliament Honourable Taomati Iuta, Clerk Mr Timeon Iotaake and Deputy Clerk to Parliament Mr Eni Tekanene. The workshop is one of the three key outputs of UNDP's support to the Maneaba ni Maungatabu (Parliament) project.

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