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Developments with Pacific legislatures. Pacific Governance Network Suva, Fiji 1-2 December 2008. Pacific Centre. UNDP in the Pacific. UNDP Pacific Centre Technical advice for country programmes Regional initiatives UNDP Country Offices

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Developments with pacific legislatures

Developments with Pacific legislatures

Pacific Governance Network

Suva, Fiji

1-2 December 2008

Pacific Centre

Undp in the pacific
UNDP in the Pacific

  • UNDP Pacific Centre

    • Technical advice for country programmes

    • Regional initiatives

  • UNDP Country Offices

    • Fiji Multi-Country Office: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Kiribati, Nauru

      • Solomon Islands Sub-Office

    • Samoa MCO: Samoa, Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue

    • Papua New Guinea CO

UNDP Pacific Centre

Legislatures gg human development
Legislatures, GG & human development

  • Historically, donors have engaged with Exec branch

    • Exec responsible for developing budget, negotiating internationally, implementing policy domestically, etc

  • Esp in Westminster countries, sometimes blurred the line between Exec and Legislature

    • Compare experience in US-Pres system - Palau and FSM

  • BUT increasingly development partners recognise vital role played by legislatures in national development framework

UNDP Pacific Centre

Good gov sust human development
Good Gov & Sust Human Development

  • Most Pacific Island countries’ National Development Strategies/Plans reference GG & SHD

  • Recognition that national development founded on Good Governance

    • Participation- All men and women should have a voice in decision-making

    • Accountability- Decision-makers are accountable to the public and institutional stakeholders

    • Transparency–Open govt built on the free flow of information

    • Responsiveness- Institutions and processes serve all stakeholders

    • Equity- All men and women have opportunities to improve their well-being

    • Effectiveness and efficiency- Processes and institutions produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources

    • Rule of law- Legal frameworks are fair and enforced impartially

UNDP Pacific Centre

Good gov sust human development1
Good Gov & Sust Human Development

  • Pacific National Development Plans – guided by the Millennium Development Goals

    • Equitable social and protection services

    • Equitable economic growth and poverty reduction

    • Crisis prevention and recovery

    • Sustainable environmental management

  • MDGs endorsed by all Pacific Governments

UNDP Pacific Centre

Legislatures gg human development1
Legislatures, GG & human development

  • Strong and independent legislatures can:

    • Enact pro-poor laws and regulations

    • Promote Exec accountability

    • Promote public participation

    • Promote implementation of international standards

    • Promote and protect human rights

    • Promote gender mainstreaming

    • Help mitigate conflict and local tensions

UNDP Pacific Centre

Legislatures gg human development2
Legislatures, GG & human development

  • Key role through:

    • Law making

      • Promote pro-poor budgets and expenditure

      • Ensure all laws are human rights compliant, gender sensitive and pro-poor

    • Oversight of the executive

      • Promote development priorities and govt accountability

      • Mainstream development issues in all committees

      • Set up specific sectoral committees

    • Representation – giving the public a voice

      • Maximise public participation in law-making and oversight processes

      • Can provide a forum to air/discuss/debate grievances

      • Promote a sense of empowerment in individuals

UNDP Pacific Centre

Developments in the region
Developments in the region

UNDP Activities with Legislatures

  • Parl projects in Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands

    • PNG and Fiji Projects previously

  • Designing more projects in Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, FSM and Palau

    • Usually start with Induction Programme for MPs

    • Currently undertaking Legislative Needs Assessments – will then design projects

  • Parliamentary project components

    • Strengthen parliamentary secretariat

    • Support capacity development of MPs

    • Support civic education, including gendered approaches

UNDP Pacific Centre

Developments in the region1
Developments in the region

Human rights

  • RRRT-SPC running regional human rights training for Pacific MPs


  • PNG & Bougainville: Parliamentary Committees

  • New PPAPD Champions on HIV/AIDS (and Youth)

    Aid oversight (+ conflict management)

  • Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs Parl Committee currently reviewing RAMSI Facilitation Act

    • Public hearings – open forum to air issues

  • Pacific: could consider promoting Pacific Plan oversight through use of parliamentary committees

UNDP Pacific Centre

Developments in the region2
Developments in the region

Gender equality

  • New PIFS/UNDP Pacific Centre “CEDAW: Pocket Guide for MPs”

  • UNIFEM has new Gender Equality in Political Governance Programme

    • Including promotion of more women in parliaments

  • PIFS/UNDP Pacific Centre working on “Guide to Your Options: Using Temporary Special Measures to Promote Gender Balance in Pacific legislatures”

UNDP Pacific Centre

Developments in the region3
Developments in the region

Benchmarking for democratic legislatures

  • Idea of developing benchmarks to assess “state of legislature”

    • Not comparative – not comparing across legislatures but across time

    • Not static - supposed to be able to track progress

    • Can be used as basis for developing indicators for parl support activities

  • Work to date – CPA, IPU, NDI

UNDP Pacific Centre

Developments in the region4
Developments in the region

  • Pacific Parliamentary Assembly on Population and Development (PPAPD) / Forum Presiding Officers and Clerks (FPOC)

    • New regional Secretariat – will support national legislatures + undertake work regionally

    • Opportunity to promote better coordination + develop “regional parliamentary hub”

      • Explore regional parliamentary support services

UNDP Pacific Centre

Ms Charmaine RodriguesUNDP Regional Legislative Strengthening AdvisorPacific Centre, SuvaPh: +679 330 0399 x204Email: [email protected]

Pacific Centre