Suva, Fiji – Members of the Parliament of Fiji will today continue their induction programme with a focus on the role of MPs in buildings consensus and the outreach and representation role of Parliament and Members of Parliament.
The induction programme is being delivered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Since January 2014, UNDP has been working to provide support to the Parliament of Fiji through a project funded by the European Union and the Governments of New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Acting Australian High Commissioner Glenn Miles stated “MPs have a crucial role in providing a bridge between Parliament and the people. The induction programme today will look at how MPs can ensure that citizens are aware of the role MPs play and how Parliament, as an institution, can reach out to the people. This is particularly important in an electoral system with a single national constituency, as is the case with Fiji.”
“I am delighted that two Members of Parliament from Victoria, Hon. Andrew McIntosh and Hon. John Pandazopoulos, are able to join this induction programme to share first hand their experiences as MPs and the way in which they undertake their outreach and representation duties,” said Mr Miles.
Kinzo Nakagun, Japanese Embassy Chargé d’affaires a.i., said “The Government of Japan recognises that Fiji’s newly restored Parliament will play a very important role in upholding democracy in the country, which includes building national consensus and ensuring that the legislature is the forum for national dialogue.”
“We are delighted to be able to support the important work of Parliament through the UNDP project. The Induction Programme will assist MPs in their important responsibilities as public leaders and as representatives of the people of Fiji. It will also facilitate capacity building and skills transfer, enabling greater engagement of MPs in Parliamentary procedure and public policy discussions.”
The Induction Programme for Members of Parliament is part of a wider UNDP-led project to provide support to Parliament in a number of areas including: undertaking an assessment of the needs of the new Parliament building and outlining the steps that need to be taken to make the building ready for the first sitting of Parliament, provision of ICT and technical equipment to the new Parliament, the provision of technical assistance for the development of revised Parliament Standing Orders and laws relevant to the functioning of Parliament; and the development of a training programme and provision of training for Parliament secretariat staff.
UNDP: Sheryl Ho, tel: +679 9239-215, 3227-504; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian DFAT: Marcus Khan, tel: +679 3388 210; email: Marcus.Khan@dfat.gov.au
Japanese Embassy: Kazuo Tsukada, tel: + 679-3304633 ; email@example.com