Funafuti, Tuvalu - Newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) are currently undergoing a week-long Induction Seminar in the country’s capital, Funafuti. The induction seminar is aimed at enabling MPs to better understand and more effectively perform their roles as MPs.
MPs will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences from the Australian and New Zealand Parliaments. Sessions will also include the United Nations conventions that Tuvalu has ratified like the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), UN Convention against Corruption and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The week-long Induction Seminar is being delivered as part of UNDP’s support to the Parliament of Tuvalu and is a result of a partnership with the Victoria Legislative Assembly; New Zealand Parliament; the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC)-Regional Rights Resources (RRRT); UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (a collaboration between the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)); and UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
Honourable Otinielu T. Tausi, the Speaker of the National Parliament of Tuvalu said “The Induction Seminar has exhibited solid discussions, presentations and feedback from all sides and basically created a strong atmosphere where everyone was able to speak freely and express their views.”
Visiting Parliamentarians from Victoria Legislative Assembly and Parliament of New Zealand also shared their experiences.
“A great week of sharing and networking with my fellow Parliamentarians from our Parliament, New Zealand and Australian Parliaments. As a newly elected MP and only female MP in the country, this is an enriching, enhancing and encouraging opportunity, and I hope that in the future, we will have more sharing from female MPs, to enable more balanced and better crafted deliberation,” said Honourable Puakena Boreham.
“It has been a privilege to be invited to share experiences and procedures from the New Zealand Parliament with Tuvaluan MPs,” said Honourable Tracey Martin, a NZ First Party MP and a resource person for the Induction. “It has also been a wonderful opportunity for myself to create inter-parliamentary relationships that will be used to enhance the great friendship between Tuvalu and New Zealand Parliament’s and people.”
“I have appreciated the opportunity of meeting and working with the Tuvalu people and Parliamentarians sharing experiences and learning from each other. It is important for the Victorian Parliament to support the Tuvalu Parliament in meeting the challenges the nation faces,” said Honourable Donato Nardella, Member of Legislative Assembly and Deputy Speaker of Victoria Parliament.
The Induction also facilitated updates for the MP's on Tuvalu's current achievement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and also created awareness on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in light of the upcoming UN General Assembly in September in New York.
UNDP has been supporting strengthening the role and functions of the Tuvalu Parliament Secretariat through ICT investment and staff trainings, including support to legislative and oversight functions through technical drafting support of the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act.
“The Induction Seminar was well received by all MPs in Tuvalu, including both seasoned politicians as well as new MPs. It showcased and delivered interactive discussions, presentations and raising of clarifications of MPs to enable them become more effective in their roles as representatives of their people and more significantly as legislators,” said Mohammed Mozeem, UNDP Governance Analyst.
This Induction Seminar is an activity of the UNDP Tuvalu Parliament Support Upscaling Project. The Project is part of UNDP’s ongoing efforts to establish cost-effective and sustainable approached to develop the capacities of parliaments in the Pacific.