Speaker Hon. Dr Jiko Luveni yesterday updated the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly during the session on ‘The Standing Committee on the United Nations Affairs’ on Parliament’s initiatives on progressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She highlighted the number of initiatives taken since 2016 to translate global and regional commitments of the SDGs into national commitments based on national priorities.
This included capacity building of Members of Parliament (MPs) to strengthen their role of oversight of the executive in the implementation of the SDGs and to redirect programmes to the SDGs, if needed.
Four Six Speaker’s Debate were conducted last year and two conducted in the first quarter of this year with the aim of generating public awareness and debate on SDGs.
Another initiative is the on-going awareness raising through the Parliament Diary which is dedicated to SDGs and a tool that is readily available to MPs on a daily basis.
Gender mainstreaming is part of the parliamentary scrutiny process where MPs and committees are mandated through the Standing Orders to ensure that work includes gender-based analysis. A gender toolkit titled Scrutinising Legislation from a Gender Perspective was launched in March to be used as a practical guide for MPs.
Women’s Parliament was also convened in August last year aimed at encouraging women’s participation in national politics and parliament. 50 women from various backgrounds across Fiji gathered to be part of Fiji’s first ever “Women’s Parliament Fiji”.
Parliament played a vital role in facilitating the necessary legislative process to support the initiatives in the National Budget for the 2016-2017 which provides special financial resources to vulnerable groups.
Parliament will continue with these initiatives in the years ahead to ensure that come 2030, significant progress would have been made in Fiji.
The Fiji Parliament Support Project (FPSP) funded by UNDP, Governments of Australia and New Zealand, Japan and the EU, has continuously assisted the Fijian Parliament with the funding of some of these projects.
Meanwhile, the delegation also met with the Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary-General Mr Martin Chunggong and also had a bilateral meeting with the Vietnamese delegation.
The Fiji delegation is headed by the Speaker and consists of Minister of Women and Social Welfare, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou and secretariat staff.