Australian Parliament takes note of Pacific support projects

The first ever annual statement on the Australian Parliament’s major parliamentary capacity building programs in the Pacific has been tabled in both houses of parliament.

The President of the Senate John Hogg and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop said the statement reflects on a significant commitment by Australia’s federal, state and territory parliaments to the development of close and mutually beneficial relations with Pacific Island parliaments.

“It is important for our parliament and the broader Australian community to understand the extent of the work being done in our region to support democratic development,” both Senator Hogg and Mrs Bishop said.

Highlights for the year included the strengthening and extension of parliamentary twinning arrangements, the further development of the Samoa Parliamentary Support Project and the holding of the inaugural Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships Forum in February 2013.

The main parliamentary support projects are grouped under the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships and Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships programs, which have been running successfully for the last several years.

Looking forward there is considerable opportunity to build on these achievements as the programs grow in both scope and capacity.