The Speaker of Parliament, MP Esmon Saimon, Parliament Clerk, Raymond Manuake and Assistant Clerk of the Parliament, Ephraim Songi returned from their 4-day meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, yesterday.
Daily Post understands that during the trip they also attended a Pacific Parliamentary Workshop organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
According to a statement, the workshop is to follow up on a 3-year project entitled “Strengthening Legislatures Capacity in the Pacific Island Countries” (SLIP), implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in 2018 and funded by the Japan Government.
It seeks to support selected Pacific parliaments to become more effective and efficient through strengthening the work of their committees related to legislation and oversight, especially with regards to key development issues, building the capacities of legislators and professionalism of staff, and improving the budget process and financial oversight capacity of the legislatures.
The project is implemented in the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The purpose of the meeting is to review results in 2018 and to discuss priorities for 2019.
According to the UNDP statement, the gathering of Pacific parliamentarians in Honolulu was also the occasion to organize a workshop on parliamentary practices and benchmarking in the Pacific, as well as a day of exchange of practice with the State senate of Hawaii.
The 4-day meeting organized a bilateral and country specific meetings between each beneficiary parliament and UNDP, convene a general round table between UNDP and all SLIP participating parliaments to report on 2018 and to agree on future priorities, discussions between UNDP, SLIP participating parliaments and parliaments of Kiribati, Nauru and Palau on the benchmarking initiative on parliamentary performance in the Pacific and also held an exchange of practice session with the Hawaii Senate State.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, MP Toara Daniel assumed the Speaker’s role and was also the Acting Head of State until yesterday when both the President and Speaker returned from their official trip yesterday.