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Japan, UNDP seal deal

Vishaal Kumar
Thursday, March 08, 2018

PARLIAMENTS in six Pacific Island countries received a major boost after the Japanese Government signed a $US5.2 million ($F10.6m) agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that will allow its current parliamentary development work to be scaled up and replicated in the region.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni was excited about the prospects this would have for the Fijian Parliament as well as its secretariat staff.

"We are very grateful to the Government of Japan for this support. Our members and our Parliament staff have benefited greatly from previous and existing partnerships with UNDP and the governments of Australia, New Zealand and again, Japan," Dr Luveni said.

"This has allowed our members to build their capacity in examining, dissecting and appropriately addressing national development issues from the broad regional and global context, facilitated through south-south exchanges and technical expertise."

The focus of the program would include capacity building for legislators and parliament staff, support to build the capacity and effectiveness of parliament committees and activities to mainstream the sustainable development goals (SDG) in the work of the parliaments.

Embassy of Japan charge d' affaires ad interim Tsuguyoshi Hada said the Japanese Government provided funding to UNDP to support the Fijian Parliament in 2014-2017, and they were now able to announce they would not only provide funding to UNDP's project of support to the Fiji Parliament, but also assistance to five other Pacific parliaments.

He added Japan recognised the important role that parliaments placed in the Pacific through being enablers for development.

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