Fiji delegation attends 138th IPU Assembly in Geneva

A Fiji delegation led by the Speaker of Parliament Hon. Dr Jiko Luveni is currently in Geneva, Switzerland for the 138th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) from 24-28 March, 2018.

The delegation is part of a meeting of 740 Parliamentarians including 75 Speakers of Parliaments and 216 women parliamentarians from over 137 countries.

A range of key issues that will be covered during the five-day meeting includes strengthening the parliamentary contribution to the global compact for migration, sustaining peace as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development, tackling women’s underrepresentation in politics, engaging the private sector in the development of renewable energy, and building sustainable and resilient societies.

Parliamentarians will also identify and agree upon parliamentary inputs to the UN-led reforms on the rights and protection of migrants and refugees.

The meeting will ensure that the interests of the 6.5 billion people represented in the meet are part of the global negotiations on the new migration regime. MPs will look in detail at their contribution to ensuring domestic enforcement of the two related Global Compacts expected to be adopted by the UN community later this year.

The Assembly featured a high-level interactive panel on Sunday, 25 March, 2018 with the Director General of the International Organization for Migration; William Lacy Swing, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

They provided insights on the current plight of migrants and refugees and their vision for addressing this humanitarian challenge over the next decade.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains a core subject and delegates will adopt a resolution on sustaining peace as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development. This resolution affirms the link between effective implementation of the SDGs and conflict prevention and sustaining peace and by building strong and effective institutions, such as parliaments.

A second resolution will be adopted on engaging the private sector in implementing the SDGs, especially on renewable energy. This resolution is expected to call upon parliaments to facilitate private investment in sustainable development, especially renewable energy, by setting up public-private finance mechanisms, fostering a business climate conducive to research and development investment and to creating legal incentives to attract private-sector investors.

Delegates will also participate in several forums, including the IPU’s Young Parliamentarians and the Women Parliamentarians. The Young Parliamentarians forum will have an update and discussion on the Forum’s workplan and activities as well as country reports. The Women Parliamentarians will be looking at actions parliaments can take to address the root causes of the underrepresentation of women in politics.

The delegation includes the Minister of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou, Assistant Minister for Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Hon. Joeli Cawaki and Opposition MP Hon. Professor Biman Prasad.

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan and the staff hosted the delegation to a dinner on Friday 23 March, 2018.