ABG MPs visit Fiji parliament

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

MEMBERS of the Bougainville House of Representatives recently returned from a five-day training in Fiji organised by the United Nations Development Programme on Parliament and Peacebuilding.
Among the team was Bougainville Regional MP and Minister for Bougainville Affairs Joe Lera and the Clerk of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Robert Tapi.
The training was held from June 20-24.
Training focused on the role of parliament in the process of national peace building.
It covered a range of issues such as the oversight functions of the parliament, social accountability and inclusion of civil society, and citizens as tools for effective peace building approaches to gender mainstreaming.
During their stay, the parliamentary team paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Fijian Parliament Dr Jiko Fatafehi Luveni, and also met with parliamentary committees including the law, justice, and human rights and natural resources committees.
ABG Member for Tinputz David Braun hailed the training programme as a major success.
Besides the training on peace, stability and mediation, the team was able to witness the differences in structure of the Fijian parliament and that of the Bougainville House of Representatives.
This included transparency of the law-making process in the Fijian parliament, the linkage between the customary and formal government, the effective management of land tenure systems, the growth and development of the tourism sector as a major revenue earner and many other innovative parliamentary insights.
“The training was a major success and an eye-opener for members of the Bougainville House of Representatives,” Braun said.
“Most of us in Bougainville are not aware of the high level of perception that the international community, especially in UN circles, have of the Bougainville peace process.
“It was a major learning experience about how successful our peace process on Bougainville has been despite some setbacks.”
UNDP supported participation of the parliamentarians as part of its wider efforts on peace building in Bougainville.