Speaker of the Fijian Parliament the Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu is grateful to the Australian Government and the Australian Federal Parliament for their continuous support to the Fijian Parliament in its ongoing desire to be an effective and efficient legislative institution.
During the handing-over of the video conferencing equipment in Parliament this morning, Hon. Ratu Naiqama highlighted that this assistance and partnership do not only benefit the Parliament as an institution but has the bigger effect of progressing Parliamentary democracy and good governance in Fiji.
“As you may be aware, the Fijian Parliament is making a concerted effort to progress our e-Parliament initiative. This is part of a bigger goal of strengthening our Parliament’s capacity to be more transparent, accessible and accountable to Fiji citizens.”
“We also want to ensure that Parliament has the capacity to produce effective legislation, effective oversight and contribute positively to Fiji’s national development agenda,” the Speaker said.
He acknowledged that today’s citizens and Parliamentary stakeholders demand instantaneous information and transparency.
“This is why we have to continuously embrace new technologies to modernise Parliamentary processes, enhance the flow of information and encourage widespread citizen participation.”
“This video conferencing equipment will no doubt complement and further enhance the Fiji Parliament’s existing hybrid system,” he added.
The Charge D’Affaires of the Australian High Commission in Fiji, Mr Stuart Watts stated that the video equipment would strengthen communication in the Fiji Parliament.
“One thing that COVID-19 taught us is the importance of being able to adapt our communication channel so that we can remain connected.”
“We are therefore pleased to make a further contribution to strengthening communication for the Fiji Parliament through the video conferencing equipment presented today.”
“This equipment is being contributed by the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships on behalf of Australia’s Federal, State and Territory Parliaments, a great example of Parliaments working together.”
The Australian Government is a key partner in the UNDP Fiji Parliament Support Project that began in 2014 and now in its third phase of implementation.