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TUESDAY 14TH JUNE 2016

Participants_during_a_group_activity.JPG
Participants during a group activity

Members of the Young Women Parliamentary Group (YWPG) are hoping to make an impact in their various work places and communities after a three days Transformational Leadership (TL) Seminar in Honiara from the 1st to the 3rd of June 2016.

The TL Seminar is organized by the National Parliament Civic Education Department Gender Component, facilitated and funded by UN Women.
Interestingly, this seminar involved six participating Forms 5 and Forms 7 female students from King George Sixth School and St. Nicholas College.

In a statement to open the seminar, Clerk to National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Clezy Rore thanked UN Women for the technical and financial support towards gender and women related issues in the country

He said he is confident this will not be the last support given by UN Women to YWPG, instead, their assistance towards this three days training is a symbol of long term commitment of UN Women to maintain a cordial relationship with Solomon Islands Government, Provincial Government and the National Parliament of Solomon Islands.
“With the theme Transformational Leadership, you will all agree with me that at the end of this seminar you will learn new scope of leadership strategies that aspiring women leaders need to be aware of,”Mr Clezy said.

“Gender Equality does not demand that men and women are equal but it is about fairness in access to opportunities by all men and women, boys and girls,” said Audrey Manu, National Programme Coordinator of UN Women's Advancing Gender Justice Programme.

Audrey is one of the main facilitators of the seminar.
She emphasized to the young women that, “gender equality is not about a woman or a man trying to over ride the other but it is about fair treatment and equal access to opportunities.”

Thus, the aim of the seminar which is to ensure these young women learn and understand transformational leadership, nurture and strengthen young women’s skills as transformational leaders to enhance gender equality and to inspire and motivate young women to participate on leadership roles.

Gender equality refers to the goal of achieving equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and boys and girls.

The young women were introduced to a lot of new knowledge and have made comments on how this seminar has opened their minds to realize that Transformational Leadership starts with the individual by, knowing oneself before reaching out to others in discharging responsibilities in a gender balance manner.

Topics covered in the seminar include: Gender which branch out to Gender Equality, Discrimination, Gender Relations, Gender Order, Gender Inequalities, Substantive Equality, the definition of transformational Leadership, and activities of self assessments to find out what kind of leaders they are, which really humble the young women.

The seminar went as far as presenting topics on Gender Responsive Governance. This included Governance and Good Governance where transparency and accountability were discussed, and the Universal conventions on human rights where women’s rights were question and discussed.

It further covered topics on Gender Responsive Policy and Practice, Gender Responsive Budgeting whereby leaders recognize gender issues in policy making both in the private and public sector, and that budget allocations do not overlook gender issues.
One of the highlights during the seminar is a presentation by participating students who praised YWPG and UN Women for such a wonderful opportunity to recognize their participation.

They said, they now feel confident and empowered to ensure as student leaders that gender is addressed at all levels in their schools.

Today these young women will be fully engaged in topics covering: effective communication and networking as concluding topics of the seminar.

These young women aspiring leaders will then look for ways to ensure, Bills that come before Parliament are gender checked before they are brought to Parliament. This is to ensure that gender needs are recognize in budgets and legislature before they are passed and enforced.

The Young Women’s’ Parliamentary Group (YWPG) is a group established under the gender component of the Parliamentary Civic Education Department, of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

It is established under the mission to create space for young women to experience and participate in leadership to fulfill its vision to:
• Recognize, allow and build emerging young women leaders to reach their full potential to positively influence their communities
• Networking young women with current leaders to enhance and develop young women in leadership.

YWPG was formed in 2011 under the support of the National Parliament, SIG and UNDP Parliamentary Strengthening Project and had organized successful seminars, workshops and conferences focused on women and politics in Solomon Islands.

ENDS///
By Joy Angi
Parliament Media Unit

THURSDAY 9TH JUNE 2016

The 4th meeting of the 10th Parliament ended successfully with a motion of Sine Die on Friday the 27th of May 2016.

At this meeting, Parliament passed six Bills. They are:
1. The ‘Land and Titles ( Amendment ) Bill 2016’
2. The ‘Valuers ( Amendment) Bill 2016’
3. The ‘Police and Transport Legislation (Amendment) (Alcohol Testing) Bill 2016’
4. The ‘Penal Code (Amendment) (Sexual Offences) Bill 2016’
5. The ‘2015 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2016’ and
6. The ‘2016 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2016’
A total of 8 Bills were brought to Parliament. Only six were passed, the other two are delayed and are expected to come for debate when Parliament next sits.
They are: The ‘Anti-Corruption Bill 2016’ and, The ‘Whistleblowers Protection Bill 2016’.

A number of motions and questions were also moved and asked in Parliament.
Motions that were moved during this sitting were the:

1. Motion No. 17 – Congratulatory Motion. The Prime Minister moved: “That the National Parliament on behalf of the people of Solomon Islands congratulates Her Excellency Dr Ing-Wen TSAI and His Excellency Dr Chien-jen Chen, on their election victories and their subsequent inaugurations as President and Vice President respectively of the Republic of China and that this Resolution be conveyed to their Excellences’ by the Speaker of the National Parliament through the Embassy of Republic of China in Honiara.”
The Prime Minister delivered his opening speech on this motion, debate commenced and the motion do passed.

2. Motion No. 16 – Consider White Paper on Election System. Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister moved: “That Parliament resolves itself into a Committee of the Whole House to consider National Parliament Paper No.15 of 2016, White Paper on Election System Which Could be Adopted in Solomon Islands.”
The Prime Minister delivered his opening remarks, debate commenced and the motion passed.

3. Motion No.15 – Motion of Appreciation
Hon. Derick Rawcliff Manu’ari, Chairman of the Parliamentary House Committee moved:
That the National Parliament of Solomon Islands acknowledges with appreciation the achievement of the Solomon Islands Government, through the admirable effort of the Honourable Prime Minister and his team, to secure the bid to host the 2023 Pacific Games.
The motion was debated and passed.

4. The other motions are motions of Special Adjournments
A total of 17 questions were being asked and answered.
Parliament adjourned Sine Die on Friday the 27th of May 2016.

THURSDAY 9TH JUNE 2016

The Bill is an Act to appropriate an additional One Hundred and Fifty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Two Thousand, and Fourteen Dollars, to the service of the year ending 31st December 2016.

This supplementary appropriation is to supplement additional expenditure and expenditure already authorized by the Minister for Finance and Treasury under provisions in the 2016 Appropriation Act 2015 through contingencies warrants and advance warrants.

Advance warrants which includes estimates of the amount further required to 31 December 2016, totals to: $18,324,733
1. Ministry of Finance and Treasury: $4,665,473
2. Office of the Prime Minister: $2,976,038
3. Ministry of Police National Security and Correctional Services: $10,683,222
Supplementary Estimates
1. Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development: $104,221,808
2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade: $1,501,458
3. Office of the Prime Minister: $1,330,050
4. Ministry of Culture and Tourism: $5,000,000
5. Ministry of Public Service: $5,268,600
6. Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs: $1,732,320
7. Ministry of Home Affairs: $2,500,000
8. Ministry of Health and Medical Services: $9,300,000

So the 2016 Supplementary Appropriation 2016 is: $156,902,014 for the service of the year ending 31st December 2016.

TUESDAY 24TH MAY 2016

Parliament has passed the 2015 Appropriation Bill 2016 on Monday the 23rd of May 2016.

The Bill is an Act to appropriate an additional Twenty Six Million, Four Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand and Fifteen Dollar, to the service of the year ending 31st December 2015.

It is to supplement expenditure incurred by the issue of contingencies warrants and advance warrants in 2015 to the following Government ministries.

Contingency warrants which totals to: $8,355,629

  1. Ministry of Agriculture and Lives Stock development - $2,243,484
  2. Ministry of Health and Medical Services - $4,900,000
  3. Ministry of Communication and Aviation - $ 212,145
  4. Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology - $1,000,000

Advance warrants which totals to: $18,107,386

  1. Ministry of Forestry and Research - $8,374,842
  2. Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - $9,353,314
  3. Ministry of Finance and Treasury - $379,230

So the 2015 Supplementary Appropriation 2016 is: $26,463,015 for the year ending 31st December 2015.

The 2016 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2016 is next to be debated.

TUESDAY 17TH MAY 2016

West Kwara'ae MP Hon Sam Iduri checking his blood pressure. steve.JPG

The team visited the school of technology and maritime studies at SINU, Kukum Campus. Vice Chancellor, Dr. Glynn Galo far left and chairman of EHRTC centre left.
Dr. Luke Mani, Supervising Acting Director ( left) inside the laboratory at USP Honiara campus.

The Parliamentary Education and Human Resources Training Committee (EHRTC) Chairman made a courtesy call on two tertiary institutions in Honiara on Wednesday the 11th of May 2016.

The two institutions are the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and the University of the South Pacific (USP), Honiara Campus.

Vice Chancellor of SINU, Dr. Glynn Galo welcomed the Parliamentary team, especially the Chairman of the EHRTC, Hon. Nestor Giro.

In his briefing, Hon, Giro conveyed to both tertiary institutions that purpose of the visit is to see what supporting these institutions are getting to provide educational here in the country.

The Committee Chairman also noted the challenges these institutions are facing. As part of the Committees mandate to make observations and investigation on matters of national education endeavor; this visit is part of the EHRTC Committees annual work plan and intention to produce a report to relevant stakeholders on these observations.

The Chairman highlighted that the Committee wishes to make tangible recommendations to the legislature on measures that can enhance their operations.

The Chairman acknowledged to both tertiary institutions that their issues are prevalent and is caused by many other factors besides socio-economical backgrounds of most of our students.

It was noted that providing local scholarships to students attending to both Institutions alone is not sufficient to substantiate their operations given the enrollment density each year.

Both Institution are enrolling 4000 plus student for this year alone and are expecting the numbers to increase in the years to come.

As such it is vital to the Committee to constructing such cordial relationship with our educational service providers can ensure that accountability and representation of the legislature is prudent.

At USP, Dr. Luke Mani; Supervising Acting Director of USP’s Honiara Campus welcomed the team and were showed around the campus.

The team accompanying the Chairman were; Marson Lilopeza (Director Committee Secretariat); Jasmine Waleafea (Committee Secretary – Secretary to EHRTC) and Joy Angi (Director Parliament Media).

WEDNESDAY 4 MAY 2016

Parliament is specially adjourned on Tuesday the 3rd of May 2016 to Tuesday the 17th of May 2016.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare moved a motion of special adjournment for the following reasons:

  1. All of next week the Prime Minister and Delegation will leave for Vanuatu to present the country’s bid for the 2023 South Pacific Games and
  2. In the remaining days to next week, Government would like to make clarifications on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Parliament to look at when Parliament resumes.

So far Parliament has passed 3 Bills. The Land Titles ( Amendment) Bill 2016, The Valuers ( Amendment ) Bill 2016, the Police and Transport Legislation ( Amendment )(Alcohol Testing) Bill 2016 and the Penal Code( Amendment)( Sexual Offences) Bill 2016.

The only two Bills remaining to deal with are the Anti Corruption Bill 2016 and the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill 2016.

These two Bills are delayed in Parliament due to pressure mounted on Government from members of Parliament not to support the Bills.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in a statement to clarify Government’s position on the two Bills said:

“Pressure is been mounted on our members of this side of the house – for us not to support these two Bills. Not only that, it gets more serious when there is intention to actually pull the government down because of these 2 Bills.”

However, he assured that Government is still committed to this policy eventually.

“But we feel that more work needs to be done, not necessarily on the content of the Bill, but, it’s on the understanding of this Bill and what it intends to do not only by Members of Parliament but also by Members of the public,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the Bills will be delayed and will remain in Parliament because it is already been submitted to Parliament.

WEDNESDAY 4TH MAY 2016

Parliament has passed the Penal Code (Amendment) (Sexual Offences) Bill 2016 on Tuesday the 3rd of may 2016.

The Bill amended the Penal Code in relation to Sexual Offences to provide greater protection against sexual violence and exploitation.
It updated the current offences in the penal Code by providing clear definitions and capturing a greater range of criminal acts of a sexual nature.
It also increased the penalties for serious offences, particularly those involving young children.
The provisions are gender neutral and apply equally to acts committed by men and women.
The updated offences are:

  • Rape
  • Attempted Rape
  • Incest
  • Indecent assault
  • Indecent Act
  • Sexual intercourse with a child
  • Procuration

The Bill also introduced the following new offences:

  • Sexual intercourse with a person with disability
  • Sexual intercourse by a person in a position of trust
  • Commercial child sexual exploitation
  • Child exploitation material and
  • Internal people trafficking

The Bill is passed with no amendments.

TUESDAY 3RD MAY 2016

Parliament has passed the ‘Police and Transport Legislation (Amendment) (Alcohol Testing) Bill 2016’, on Monday the 2nd of May 2016.

The Bill was an Act to amend the Police Act 2013, the Civil Aviation Act 2008, the Road Transport Act (CAP.131) and the Shipping Act 1998 to provide for testing for blood alcohol content and related offences.

The Act allows police officers to stop drivers and require them to undergo a breath test using a prescribed device.

It creates offences for persons who drive or operate vehicles, vessels and aircraft with blood alcohol level of 50 milligrams or more per 100 millilitres of blood.

The Act amend section 179 of the Police Act 2013 by increasing the penalty for failing to provide a forensic sample from 5000 penalty points to 10,000 penalty points.

Section 179 of the Police Act 2013 is: Any person who -

a)Refuses to undergo a forensic procedure when lawfully obliged to do so under the provisions of this Act;

b)Knowingly provides a false sample, a contaminated sample or a sample obtained from another person or thing;

or

c)Obstructs, resists, hinders, use violence against, threatens or intimidates a person in connection with the carrying out of forensic procedures,

Commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a penalty of 5000 penalty units or six months imprisonment or both.

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