Honiara, Solomon Islands – Newly elected Members of the 11th National Parliament of Solomon Islands have just completed a three-day induction programme focusing on their professional development.
The programme covered elements that would strengthen the role of Members of Parliament (MP) in the oversight and scrutiny of Government.
In delivering his opening address, the Speaker for the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Honourable Patterson John Oti, highlighted how the induction would help new MPs to follow and participate fully in debates.
“This induction program will assist the new Members of Parliament to follow and participate in debates at the earliest possible time. Without this information, Members would have to rely solely on reading the Standing Orders or observing the returning Members of Parliament, a situation that inevitably puts them at a distinct advantage for some time and often leaves them open to incorrect advice,” said Hon. Oti.
“You all have important responsibilities in your role as a member of parliament and your constituents have elected you to act with commitment and integrity in fulfilling these responsibilities. I hope that following the program you have an increased understanding of the system of Parliamentary democracy in Solomon Islands and of what you can do to ensure that Parliament operates effectively, in the interests of our communities and our country as a whole.”
He added, “This event is an initiative of the Clerk to Parliament, Parliamentary Secretariat, and Support Staff. I sincerely thank these institutions, especially the National Parliament Office and the United Nations Development Programme – Effective Governance Unit and other supporting institutions and stakeholders who have so generously supported this induction program. As a Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, I wish to commend you for partnering with the National Parliament.”
The National General Elections was held in April this year and was the first election since the withdrawal of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) which was created in 2003 and officially ended on 30 June 2017.
Of the 50 seat in Parliament, 13 were new MPs while 37 MPs retained their seats, the two women MPs Hon. Lanelle Tangada and Hon. Freda Soriacomua were among the MPs that retained their seats.
Promoting South-South learning, Hon. Viliame Gavoka from the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji and Papua New Guinea academic, Joseph Foukona (PhD) attended the induction programme as resource persons sharing their expertise and experiences.
The Country Manager for the UNDP presence in Solomon Islands, Anna Chernyshova, highlighted the important role of parliaments and its Members in accelerating change.
“As elected parliamentarians, you are at the forefront of driving development efforts in the Solomon Islands that advance human development and ultimately accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Chernyshova.
“Globally, parliamentarians like yourselves have a critical role to play in driving forward people-centered development that is reflective of and responsive to the needs of their constituents.”
She added, “I also extend my special congratulations to the two courageous women who have been re-elected to the Solomon Islands Parliament.”
The Induction was made possible through the partnership of the National Parliament of the Solomon Islands and the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji through two of its parliamentary strengthening programmes namely, the Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) funded by the Government of New Zealand and the Strengthening Legislatures in Pacific Island Countries Project (SLIP) funded by the Government of Japan.
For more information:
Duane Baiabe, Media Officer, National Parliament of Solomon Islands. E: email@example.com, P: (677) 7236870
Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, Effective Governance – Communications Associate, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. E: firstname.lastname@example.org, P: 3227 552