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National Parliament of Solomon Islands

Parliamentary Strengthening Project

 

The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group’s ‘Say It Out Loud’ Film Festival fair and screening of films based on women’s empowerment and ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is on again.

Place your support to end GBV.Place your support to end GBV.

The event will be opened today, Tuesday 5th December at the National Museum auditorium and will end on Thursday 7th December 2017.

Despite much awareness on ending domestic and gender-based violence, statistics show 40-65% of women and girls face violence in their homes and from close relations. People that could help have differing views on this, thus we can say that ignorance and silence has developed a culture of letting acts of violence go unnoticed.

Thus the birth of this Film Festival in December 2016.

The audience at the National Auditorium during the 2016 film festiivalThe audience at the National Auditorium during the 2016 film festiival.

This is the first of its kind for Solomon Islands, and is now an annual event.

Since 2014, YWPG has been actively supporting EVAWG (Ending Domestic Violence against Women and Girls). All along, it took part in the ‘16 Days of Activism’ and similar initiatives to support the cause.

But in November 2015, YWPG took another step to support EVAWG and partnered with Melbourne University, Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) and others, to co-host the “Girls In Front” film festival.

During this time Melbourne University professors /film experts, Jeanette Hoorn, Barbara Creed, and Helen Simondson of ACMI discussed with YWPG Executive to collaborate and introduce filmmaking to young women in Solomon Islands using the YWPG membership and network.

The idea is to encourage young women to lead in the media/filmmaking industry and effectively advocate relevant messages using film as a platform. Thus “Say It Out Loud” was developed from then on.

Young women especially will tell their story through film and thus responsibly use media to positively advocate for the issue and empower young men to see domestic and gender-based violence as everyone’s concern.

Activities for the three days will include:

  1. Filmmaking competition (3 months prior to 16 Days of Activism)
    • Filmmakers produced their films, competing in 3-5 mins Short narrative film; and/or 10-15mins Doco films on the theme “Break the Silence”. Films submitted to “Say It Out Loud” film festival organizing committee will be given to a team of judges. The films will be judged a week prior to the festival in late November. Winners will be awarded during an Awards event. The mode of filmmaking is flexible – filmmakers can produce from professional filming equipment to even smartphones with recommended video editing apps.
  2. Screening (Day 1 to 3 evenings)
    • Screening of films in a public arena to get “People’s Vote” on films produced. This is an opportunity for filmmakers to have their films exhibited.
  3. Film Fest Fair (Day 1 to 3 daytime);
    • A public fair for local filmmakers to showcase their other productions, as well as talks on filmmaking and advocating on ending domestic and gender-based violence. Filmmakers are permitted to film the event on their own and post it online, as a way of promoting the festival.
  4. Awards (Day 4 Evening event)
    • A formal occasion to award winners of this film festival. It is planned for December 10th 2017. Tickets will be sold for the event and 70% of proceeds will go towards the Christian Care Center.

Opening of the 16 Days activism against domestic violence has already been done on 25th November 2017, therefore, organizers of this festival will go straight into activities for the 3 days. This year’s program is supported by the Australian Government and Side by Side Campaign, Oxfam.

Awards for the best films will come in cash and trophies. As tribute to former YWPG Chairlady Ms. Kyera Varnel who passed away early this year the overall award is named after her. Under her leadership Ms. Varnel initiated the Film Festival concept back in 2015. Her family Mr and Mrs Kwalea are the proud sponsors of the Kyera Varnel Award.

Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu will be will closing the festival event at the Awards Night on Sunday 10th Dec 2017, at the Mendana Hotel.

FRIDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 2017

Fataleka Leaders together with the Bible Translation and Literacy Partnership, Solomon Islands (BTLP, SI have placed the Fataleka New Testament at Parliament on Thursday 23rd November 2017.

The Fataleka New Testament was then placed in the National Bible Display at the National Parliament House. The display holds full Bibles and New Testaments which have been published since National Independence in 1978.

Hon. Sam Iduri places the Fataleka New Testament in the National Display at Parliament House.Hon - Sam Iduri places the Fataleka New Testament in the National Display at Parliament House.

Fataleka Translator, Jeffery Iro who is now the Project Officer for the West Kwara’ae Constituency, told leaders that the work the translators has done was challenging but fulfilling. He said, similar to the stories of other languages, the Fataleka people too, wanted to have the Bible in their own language.

“This has been the prayer of our old people who already passed that one day Fataleka must have the New Testament Bible in their own language,” he said.

He then quoted a statement from Dr. Alpheaus Zobule who facilitated Bible translation courses to translators before they began the work, “It is a disgrace and a shameful thing for a preacher to preach to his own people in a foreign language.”

Hon. Steve Abana, Member of Parliament for Fataleka Ward read a text from the bible in Fataleka - Matthew chapter 28 verse 16-20.

Hon. Steve Abana, MP for Fataleka Constituency made his remarks.Hon. Steve Abana, MP for Fataleka Constituency made his remarks.

He thanked the translators and Seed Company for funding the work on the Fataleka New Testament Bible. https://theseedcompany.org/.

Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Hou gave assurance that his government will continue to support churches as part of their policy.

Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Hou made his remarks at the launching.Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Hou made his remarks at the launching.

He said Government and churches may have different agendas, policies, programmes and objectives, but these are geared towards meeting the needs, though sometimes different of the same people.

He added that it is the Ministry of Home Affairs that oversees churches and other religious organizations.

Work on the Fataleka New Testament version begin in 2011 and was completed in 2016 and dedicated in October this year.

The placement programme ended with the cutting of a Bible cake with the title of the Fataleka New Testament, “Farongoe Lea Ana Fataleka” (Good News in Fataleka)

Present at the Luanching was the Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Hou; Members of Parliament; Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. David Day Pacha; Clerk to National Parliament, Mr. Clezy Rore; Rev. Andrew Fanasia, Director of BTLP, SI (Bible Translation and Literacy Partnership; Directors of Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group (SITAG) and staff of the National Parliament Office.

Hon. Prime Minister Rick Hou, Members of Parliament, SITAG members and staff of the National Parliament witnessing the launch.Hon. Prime Minister Rick Hou, Members of Parliament, SITAG members and staff of the National Parliament witnessing the launch.

THURSDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2017

The Bills and Legislation Committee has concluded a one day inquiry into the Provincial Government (Amendment) Bill 2017 on Wednesday 22nd November 2017.

This Bill aims to change the time limit for differing elections of the Provincial Assembly from 60 days to 12 months. This is necessary for two reasons; first to allow voter registration to take place prior to the holding of Choiseul and Western Provincial elections this year, and secondly to work towards the alignment of provincial elections.

The objects and reasons of the Bill further stated; to depart from the default position where elections of a Provincial Assembly must be held on the fourth anniversary of the previous elections.

There are two requirements that the Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening must first meet. Firstly, the Minister must be satisfied that such action is necessary and in the public interest. Secondly, the Minister must have consulted the matter of deferment with the Premier of the relevant province. The Bill does not seek to change these requirements so as to ensure that this power is not abused.

It was stated that in the past, the Minister for Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening has either used section 47 of the Provincial Government Act 1997 incorrectly or introduced a new Bill to defer elections of a Provincial Assembly each time the need arose.

With this amendment of the Bill in extending the statutory limit to up to 12 months, it is predicted that there will no longer be a need to introduce a new Bill or seek clarification of section 47 of the Provincial Government Act 1997 each time a circumstances arises in the future whereby the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening are unable to conduct elections within the timeframe.

Provincial Premiers and MPA’s who have appeared before the Bills and Legislation Committee supported the amendment saying it was also one of their recommendations discussed in their annual Premiers conference.

The Provincial Government (Amendment) Bill 2017 is expected to be passed this Thursday 23rd November, before Parliament adjourns Sine Die on Friday 24th November 2017.

THURSDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2017

Solomon Islands new PM Hon. Hou.Solomon Islands new Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Hou.

Hon. Rick Houenipwela was elected on Wednesday the 15th of November 2017 as the new Prime Minister for Solomon Islands.

Hon. Rick Hou who is the Member for Small Malaita Constituency won by 33 votes while the other candidate, Hon. John Moffat Fugui, Member of the Central Honiara Constituency got 16 votes. One ballot is described as spoilt.

Hon. Rick Hou was first elected to the National Parliament of Solomon Islands for Small Malaita Constituency on 4 August 2010 and was re-elected to the same Constituency on 19th November 2014.

He is a Member of the Democratic Alliance Party and was Chairman of Public Accounts Committee from 23 December 2014 - to date.

The Prime Minister elect was Minister of Finance and Treasury from 21 November 2011 to 8th September 2014 and Minister of Public Service from 18 April 2011 to 10 November 2011.

Hon. Rick Hou holds a Bachelor of Accounting, Diploma of Commerce and Graduate Diploma Dev. Administration.

His occupation before entering Parliament was:

  • Senior Advisor, Executive Director, World Bank and
  • Governor to Central Bank of Solomon Islands

The 59 year old is from Riverside village of Small Malaita, Malaita Province.

Meanwhile the other candidate, Hon. John Moffat Fugui is of the United Democratic Party and was elected to the National Parliament of Solomon Islands for Central Honiara Constituency on 4 August 2010.

He was re-elected to the National Parliament of Solomon Islands for Central Honiara Constituency on 19 November 2014 and was elected as Deputy Speaker of Parliament on 17 December 2014 to 28th October 2015.

Hon. Fugui was Chairman- of Special Select Committee on the Short Bus Routes in Honiara -25th April to 8th August 2013.

He then held the following portfolios:

  • Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology from 27 August 2010 to 11 November 2011
  • Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology from 21 November 2011 to 18 October 2012
  • Minister for Education and Human Resources Development from 28th October 2015 to 4th August 2017 and was
  • Minister for Public Service from 4th August 2017 to 28th October 2017

Hon. Fugui holds the following qualifications:

  • Ph.D. (abd) Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
  • M.A. Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 1998.
  • M.A. Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 1994.
  • M.A. Department of Political Science, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1988.
  • B.A. Department of Political Science, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1986.
  • PhD Dissertation

    “Rethinking State, Development, and Democratization in Solomon Islands.”
    Chair: Professor Deane Neubauer

He holds the following occupation before entering Parliament:

  • Secretary to Government Caucus, Prime Minister’s Office,2008
  • Secretary to the Leader of Opposition, 2006 – 2007.
  • Political Advisor, Prime Minister’s Office, 2001 – 2006
  • Part-time Tutor, University of the South Pacific - Honiara Center, “Democracy and Democratization,” Summer 2001.
  • Member of the Hiring Committee and the Admission Committee in the Political Science Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1996-1997.
  • Teaching Assistant to Professor Geoffrey White and Tisha Hickson, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, summer, 1997.
  • Parliament Researcher. Carry out research and investigate the possibility of a Research Unit in the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Honiara, 1995.
  • History/Political Tutor at the University of the South Pacific Center, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 1995.
  • Part-time Tutor for the Sixth and Seventh Form students at the King George Sixth School, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 1995.
  • Senior Policy Analyst and Political and Constitutional Adviser in the Policy Evaluation Unit, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Responsible for drawing up of the Program of Action (POA) of the government and evaluation of the performance of the different Ministries per POA. Also responsible for political and constitutional issues; setting up of Parliamentary Standing Committees; review of Parliamentary Standing Orders; repatriation of the National Constitution; Ministry of Police and Justice; Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development; reviewing of the Provincial Government system; negotiating Aid Assistance from various aid donors including the IMF and the Work Bank, 1989 – early 1992.
  • Advisor and Consultant to the Alliance Party Think Tank for purposes of drawing up policies, campaign strategies, directions and reviewing of the Alliance Party Constitution, 1988-1990.
  • Bank Teller, Commonwealth Bank of Solomon Islands, 1979.

The 56 year old is of Fourau village, Malaita Province.

Meanwhile, Acting Governor General, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu who conducted the elections announced the results to the public at the Parliament Eastern Entrance straight after counting was done in the chamber.

The election is conducted in secret ballot by all 50 Members of Parliament and was presided over by the Acting Governor General, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu, who is also Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands assisted by Secretary to Governor General, Clerk and officers of National Parliament Office.

The Prime Minister elect was sworn in at the Government House at 2pm the same day, a couple of hours after the election at the National parliament chamber.

Parliament will resume tomorrow Thursday the 16th of November 2017 at 9:30am after the special adjournment Parliament had on Monday 6th November 2017.

However, it is highly likely Parliament will have another special to allow the new PM to sort his new Ministers.

TUESDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 2017

Hon. Dr Derek Sikua when moving the motion in Parliament. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Parliament replied to remarks made against him.
Hon. Dr Derek Sikua when moving the motion in Parliament. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Parliament replied to remarks made against him .

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was defeated in the motion of no confidence moved against him on Monday 6th November 2017.

Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu in his remarks before the motion was moved stated that the reason for the practice of a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister is twofold.

  1. A motion of no confidence in the prime Minister implies amongst other things that the government does not have the numerical strength to govern. This is a serious issue in which Parliament must deal with at the first available opportunity. If there is doubt as to the majority of support commanded by the Prime Minister in this House, it must be tested as soon as possible because to have a minority government administering the affairs of the country would run contrary to the established principle of ‘majority rule’ which is a rudimentary basis upon which our Constitution and parliamentary democracy is premised on. I do not think that this would be in the best interest of this nation.
  2. Secondly, if there is clearly a lack of support for the Prime Minister, this implies that the required numerical strength is not on the Government side but on the opposing side of the House. The situation where the opposing side commands the required majority could lead to deliberate hindrance of Government business here on the floor of Parliament and thereby stalling Parliamentary business. That would not be a good situation to be in because the Government must be able to continue to implement its policies and deliver services to the people of this country and Parliament must be able to continue its business.”

Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua, Leader of the Independent Group then moved:

“That the National Parliament of Solomon Islands resolves that it has no confidence in the Prime Minister.”

Voting was done through a division and the results were 27 for the motion and 23 against the motion.

It is a matter of parliamentary practice that a motion of no confidence takes precedence over other parliamentary business or items of business that can or ought to be set down on the Order Paper for that particular sitting.

This means that a motion of no confidence must be dealt with as soon as possible and it may be required to be debated on days allotted for government business and not necessarily on Fridays only which is private members’ day.

Although the motion is passed, the Honourable Prime Minister remains in office and performs his normal duties until he is officially removed by His Excellency, the Governor-General, in accordance with Section 34 (1) of the Constitution.

Section 34 (1) of the constitution states:

“If a resolution of no confidence in the Prime Minister is passed by Parliament by an absolute majority of the votes by members thereof the Governor General shall remove the Prime Minister from office, whereupon the members of Parliament shall meet as soon as possible during the same session of Parliament to elect a new Prime Minister in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 2 to this constitution.”

Parliament is adjourned until the day after a new Prime Minister has been elected.

FRIDAY 3RD NOVEMBER 2017

Her Excellency was sitted with the Speaker, Hon. Nasiu to make her address to the House.Her Excellency was sitted with the Speaker, Hon. Nasiu to make her address to the House.

Over the 34 years of friendship, Taiwan and Solomon Islands have shared cooperation in many issues such as sustainable development, agriculture technology, the medical environment as well as the shared Austronesian culture and the good will visits by the Taiwan’s Navy squadron to Solomon Islands, Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen said in her address to Solomon Islands Parliament on Thursday 2nd November 2017.

Among the many good stories she shared in her remarks to members of the House was her call for a closer cooperation to combat climate change.
“We are now faced with the challenge of Global climate change and both Taiwan and SI will be affected considerably. This calls for closer cooperation if we are to turn this challenge into an opportunity. We must do our utmost to raise equality of life for people in the region and work jointly to achieve the UN sustainable goals,” Her Excellency said.

A gift from SI to Her Excellency Dr. Tsai Ing-wen.A gift from SI to Her Excellency Dr. Tsai Ing-wen.

She said an example is the MOU on Meteorological Cooperation that our nations have just signed. It will boost our technical cooperation in this domain and help us monitor the trends of climate change.
Furthermore, it will perhaps enable us to identify the correlation between climates in dengue fever which will in turn advance our efforts in the prevention of this disease in SI.

She added that among many other things and for many years, Taiwan continue to offer Taiwan scholarship program to promote Tertiary education to Solomon Islanders.
Her Excellency announced that this scholarship support will continue and as of next year, the Taiwan government will increase 18 vacancies for their six pacific allies in this program.

All young people from Solomon Islands, whether they wish to study medicine or in other profession are all welcome to apply.

Apart from these scholarship, Taiwan also included the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) into their list of partners for another scholarship program they co- sponsor with the Pacific Islands Forum.

“This shows that Taiwan is extending its continued support for the young people of your nation and other pacific Island states and realizing their potential through higher education.

Her Excellency met members of Parliament on the floor of Parliament after her address.Her Excellency met members of Parliament on the floor of Parliament after her address.

“We look forward to the day when these aspirational young people contribute professional expertise to the region’s sustainable development,” Her Excellency said.
With this scholarship program for SINU, the Taiwanese government will install solar lighting facilities on the SINU campus which will serve as an example for Taiwan’s joint endeavors in the fight against climate change.

In addition to all these developments between Taiwan and Solomon Islands is the solidarity association of the Taiwan and Solomon Law makers. A latest development among these two countries to strengthen the friendship further.

In closing, Her Excellency expressed her people’s appreciation to Solomon Islands for its long term policy of speaking up for Taiwan in the international arena.
“The Taiwanese people are deeply grateful for the strong support you’ve all shown us.”
She extended her best wishes of good health and happiness to the Speaker, Hon. Nasiu and Prime Minister, Hon. Sogavare as well as the members of the Solomon Islands cabinet and parliament.

Speaker of Solomon Islands Parliament, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu when welcoming her Excellency said since the inception of bilateral relations three decades ago, the people of Solomon islands have enjoyed this mutual relation through the areas of education, health, rural development, law and order, agriculture, fisheries and renewable energy.

He said the people of Solomon Islands have maintained their commitment to induce the international community for ROC (Taiwan’s) participation in key international settings such as the United Nations, World Health Organization and other key international institutions.

He concluded that although history and origins of democracy of these two nations may not be similar, one thing is for sure; the people of Solomon Islands and the people of ROC (Taiwan) embrace shared values in protecting and promoting human rights and democracy.

“Being the institution that represents the will of our people, it is incumbent on our legislatures to continue to promote and protect human rights and democracy.”
So as the head of Parliament, Hon. Nasiu said he would like to also see cooperative spirit between the two countries more on the lawmaking and scrutiny functions of the legislatures.

“Such exchange of shared learning experiences between our MPs and fundamental support role from our staff and officials would certainly take this vibrant relationship to another level in endeavor to realize the will and aspirations of our people.”
Hon. Nasiu conveyed best wishes, sincere gratitude and prosperous future from the people of Solomon Islands to the government of Taiwan and the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Meanwhile, before her address in Parliament, Her Excellency made a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands where they expressed thoughts on the many good experiences both countries have experienced and exchange gifts as a token of appreciation for the good relations both countries have, so far.
Solomon Islands and Taiwan established ties since 1983.

FRIDAY 3RD NOVEMBER 2017

PAC Symposium Participants 2017.JPG.PAC Symposium Participants 2017.JPG.

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon Rick Nelson Houenipwela has recently participated in the 5th Annual Public Accounts Committee Symposium in London, UK.

The program which was facilitated by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies was held at the Stand Palace Hotel on the 16th to 17th October 2017.
It was well attended by 26 Public Accounts Committee Members, Committee clerks and Officers from Supreme Audit Officers from around the Asia, Europe, Middle East and the Pacific.

This year’s theme was, “Prudent Spending” of the public funds. Topics of discussions began with identifying and building an ideal PAC across all Commonwealth Parliaments.
The discussions also connotes and connects the operations and intersections of the two traditional forms of accountability exerted by both the public audits (Supreme Audit Institutions) and Parliament through the Committee system.

PAC Symposium Participants 2017.Hou dicussing with PAC colleagues from Saudi Arabia.

Participants also discuss and try to understand the common obstacles the executive faces when it comes to prudent spending. Discussions also established how crucial establishing relationship with stakeholders is, for the necessity of obtaining accurate data and information.

Whilst modern PAC Committees must prepare to work with other Actors in their given economic environment, farther efforts is must be articulated to tackle challenges and emerging issues including enforcing accountability on Public Private Partnership, which is a new venture for most governments.

It was also reiterated that the Chairman’s role in empowering the PAC, is vital; more so, the Committee clerk in managing the operations on Committee inquiries.
A further two days intensive training for a Professional Certificate in the Works of the Public Accounts Committees attended, was part a capacity building for the PAC. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee acknowledged the financial support of the Solomon Islands Government and the UNDP Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative.

ENDS///

TUESDAY 31ST OCTOBER 2017

Parliament is again specially adjourned to Thursday 2nd November 2017.

This is to give time for preparations for the visit of the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Her Excellency Dr. Tsai Ing-wen.

The President and her delegation will arrive in the country on Wednesday evening and Parliament has invited her to the dice of the Parliament chamber to deliver an address to Parliament.

Parliament invited Her Excellency, Dr. Tsai Ing-wen to the dice of this Chamber 11:15am on Thursday 2nd Nov 2017 in order that Her Excellency will deliver an address to parliament.

Also, in Parliament yesterday was the first reading of the, “The Anti- Corruption Bill 2017.”
Meanwhile, other Bills currently before the House now, are:

  1. The Whistleblowers Protection Bill 2017
  2. The Legal Profession Bill 2017
  3. The Prescription of Ministers (Amendment) Bill 2017.
  4. The Strata Titles Bill 2017
  5. The Citizenship Bill 2017
  6. The Constitution (Amendment) (Dual Citizenship) Bill 2017

Parliament Meeting will resume on 2nd November 2017.

It was proposed that Parliament will adjourned again after its resumption on Thursday 2nd and will resume again on Monday 6th November 2017.

TUESDAY 31ST OCTOBER 2017

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is facing another motion of no confidence in the next 7 days.

This was confirmed after the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu received the motion from the Leader of Independent Group, Hon. Dr Derek Sikua on Sunday the 29th of October 2017.

The motion which stands on Hon. Dr Derek Siku’as name was put on notice yesterday 29th October 2017.

However, as stated in Section 34(2) of the Constitution, “a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister shall not be passed in Parliament unless notice of the motion has been given to the Speaker at least 7 clear days before it is introduced.

So the motion can be moved on or after 6th November 2017.

It was obvious that majority of MPs from the government bench have physically move to the opposition and independent benches. A sign that those who physically moved themselves from the government bench have switch their allegiance to the opposition and independent groups.

Reason for the motion of no confidence is not yet revealed but it is believed the mover will state his reasons for not having confidence in the Prime Minister when he moved the motion.

Meanwhile, Parliament was adjourned after it’s resumption on Monday 30th October to Thursday 2nd November, adjourned again and resume on 6th November 2017.

It is likely, the motion will be moved on Monday 6th November 2017.

THURSDAY 30TH OCTOBER 2017

Delegates at  the CPA Australia and Pacific Conference 2017. Photo courtesy of NSW ParliamentDelegates at the CPA Australia and Pacific Conference 2017. Photo courtesy of NSW Parliament

Parliaments from Bougainville, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Samoa, Pakistan, Guernsey, Jersey, Australian state parliaments and the Solomon Islands attended the 2017 Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Australia and Pacific Regional Conference.

This year the New South Wales Parliament hosted the conference in Sydney from 23 – 26 October 2017. The theme of the conference was “Engagement”; delegates discussed and shared their experiences on parliamentary engagement including how to engage with constituents, with youth and engagement with remote communities. The conference program also included skills sessions that focused on the professional development needs of participants.

The conference concluded with a seminar on the topic: “Deliberating Climate Change - the role of Parliaments and Parliamentarians”. The Chair of the Environmental and Conservation Committee, Hon. Dr Culwick Togamana, was invited as a panellist for the seminar.

Chair of the Environmental & Conservation Committee - Hon Dr Culwick Togamana presenting during the hot top seminar.Chair of the Environmental & Conservation Committee - Hon Dr Culwick Togamana presenting during the hot top seminar.

Hon. Togamana presented on how parliamentary committees’ can engage in climate change issues by highlighting his Committee’s recent work, particularly the Committee visits to communities in Malaita and Temotu. He also spoke about the impact of climate change on the environment and the challenges the Solomon Islands face.

Also attending the conference were Member of Parliament for Temotu Nende - Hon. Commins Mewa and Deputy Clerk – Mr David Kusilifu. The National Parliament wishes to thank UNDP – Pacific, CPA – Australia and the Solomon Islands Government for enabling the National Parliament to attend.

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