New Zealand and UNDP Strengthen Partnership in support of Pacific Parliaments
Suva, Fiji – Vanuatu has become the fifth country in the Pacific to receive support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through a three-year Parliament strengthening project with funding from the New Zealand Government’s Aid Programme.
The UNDP Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) was initially a NZ$3m funded project providing support to the Parliaments of Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tonga.
An additional NZ$900,000 has been injected into the overall project budget by the New Zealand Government to allow the project to work with the Vanuatu Parliament and to implement additional activities in the other four Parliaments.
The project maintains the overall goal of the project to help support Parliaments in the Pacific to undertake their legislative, oversight and representation role.
“The Vanuatu Parliament will benefit greatly from this support,” said the Acting Clerk for the Parliament of Vanuatu, Leon Teter.
Teter added, “the project will allow our Parliament to develop and strengthen as well as offer an enriching learning experience for the Parliament of Vanuatu through comparing our work with the four other Parliaments under the PPEI project.”
“We’re very grateful to the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and the New Zealand Government for this partnership.”
UNDP is the largest implementer of parliamentary development projects in the Pacific and globally.
The PPEI project follows on from the New Zealand Government’s ongoing support to the UNDP Fiji Parliament Support Project.
“The implementation of UNDP’s parliamentary work in the Pacific has been remarkable with over 30 capacity building activities organized by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji with partner Parliaments in 2017 alone,” said Country Director, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji and Head of Pacific Regional Programme Policy, Bakhodir Burkhanov.
“UNDP recognizes the importance of strong and effective governance systems as an enabler for development across the board.”
He added, “within governance systems, Parliaments have a key role to play, especially in terms of effective oversight of Government policies and national budgets, and in terms of ensuring that there is an effective legislative framework to provide for development.”
“The UNDP PPEI project has been actively working with four Pacific Parliaments on their legislative, oversight and representation duties and we are now delighted that we have received additional funding for this project that will allow for deepening of ongoing work as well as extension for the project to work with the Parliament of Vanuatu”, said Burkhanov.
“The UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is grateful for the additional project funding and the confidence that the New Zealand Government has shown in UNDP’s with Pacific Parliaments.”
The PPEI project focuses on training for Parliament Secretariats and Members, support for Parliament Committees and technical assistance to improve the budgeting and financial oversight work of the Parliaments.