Suva, Fiji - Parliaments and Parliamentarians will be key players in ensuring that Pacific countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This was the message by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Osnat Lubrani when signing the Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPIE), with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) in Suva, Fiji today.
The PPEI is a three-year NZ$3m regional programme funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme and implemented by UNDP to support the Parliaments of Tonga, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
The programme will focus on training for Parliament Secretariats, support for Parliament Committees and technical assistance to improve the budgeting and financial oversight work of the Parliaments. The agreement will also focus on women’s political participation through working with political parties and conducting practice parliaments for women.
UNDP is the largest implementer of parliamentary development projects in the Pacific and globally.
In her statement, Osnat Lubrani said “I am delighted to be signing this agreement with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade today. We are grateful to New Zealand for their ongoing support to the Effective Governance work of UNDP in the Pacific. Parliaments are central to ensuring development and achieving the SDGs in the Pacific. It is Parliaments that will be responsible for scrutinizing and approving legislative changes that are needed to promote development and approving the national budgets to achieve development targets.”
“Parliaments are also the national bodies that should be reviewing progress made by countries in achieving the Sustainable Development goals that all Pacific countries have signed up to,” Ms. Lubrani added.
Jonathan Rowe, Development Counsellor to Fiji, and Anna Pasikale, Deputy Director, Human Development Programme represented the New Zealand Aid programme at the signing.
The PPEI is in alignment with the New Zealand Aid Programme’s focus on strengthening democratic and national integrity systems in the Pacific. The initiative follows on from New Zealand support to the UNDP Fiji Parliament Support Project and will help to extend parliamentary strengthening to the four target countries.
Emily Moli, UNDP Knowledge Communications Analyst, tel: (679) 3227 504; mob: (679) 719 1112 email: firstname.lastname@example.org