NEWS

MPs Back In Class Learning Parliament Way

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) current induction programme for the new Fijian parliamentarians is probably the most comprehensive since Independence. Most of the new MPs have a steep learning
09 Oct 2014 01:08
MPs Back In Class Learning Parliament Way
Bimla Wati in front of her home at Rara Housing in Lajonia, Labasa on January 19, 2021. Photo: Shratika Naidu

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) current induction programme for the new Fijian parliamentarians is probably the most comprehensive since Independence.

Most of the new MPs have a steep learning curve, focused on the new technology (iPads, electronic voting) and also procedural requirements under the parliamentary standing orders.

The UNDP will ensure it covers as much ground as possible this week as they provide orientation to the parliamentarians from both sides of the House.  In a statement, the UNDP stated that MPs needed to make best use of the mechanisms in Parliament, particularly holding Government to account.

The UNDP’s work is funded by the European Union and the Governments of New Zealand, Australia and Japan.   Ambassador Andrew Jacobs, Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, was optimistic about the way forward for Fiji.

“The European Union is delighted to support this important initiative, which comes at an exciting and critical time for the country. Following the successful democratic elections and with re-establishment of Parliament, Fiji will have a new, open and transparent process for proposing, debating and approving legislation.”

“This induction programme for MPs will focus on how the law-making process can work most effectively, on the roles of Members of Parliament and Parliamentary Committees during the process, and on opportunities for citizens to provide direct input to the process. Effective and consultative law-making is a fundamental characteristic of a functioning, democratic parliament,” said Mr Jacobs.

The UNDP project is also being supported with US$1.2 million funding from the New Zealand Government. Mark Ramsden, Acting Head of Mission, New Zealand High Commission, said “The New Zealand Government is strongly supportive of the project to assist the Parliament of Fiji. Building the capacity of Fiji’s new Members of Parliament is clearly a critical step moving forward and so we are delighted to see the induction programme taking place this week.”

The training programmes encompasses the whole of the parliamentary secretariat and includes:

n 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

–  the development of a training programme and provision of training for Parliament secretariat staff.

Feedback:  litia.cava@fijisun.com.fj

 


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