Representatives of 19 Australian and Pacific parliaments have met in Canberra and renewed their commitment to a parliamentary twinning program that has helped to strengthen parliamentary democracy in the Pacific region.
Attending the 44th Australian and Pacific Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference at the ACT Legislative Assembly, the parliamentary representatives called on the Australian Government to continue funding of the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships program.
“We consider that the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships program has made a significant contribution to the professional development of parliamentarians, the capacity building of parliamentary secretariats and the enhancement of community engagement with parliaments throughout the Pacific region,” the Australian and Pacific Presiding Officers and Clerks said in a joint communique.
“We believe the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships program provides a sustainable model for democratic development as it is helping to build enduring relationships among parliaments in the Pacific region and therefore a vibrant Pacific community of parliamentary democracy.”
The communique acknowledged the significant support provided to the program and capacity building in the Pacific region by the Australian government’s international development agency AusAID, stating that the outcomes achieved would not have been possible without AusAID support.
At the same time, the communique noted that the AusAID funding had been the catalyst for Australia’s federal, state and territory parliaments to contribute funding, expertise and resources to Pacific parliaments.
At the Canberra conference, Australia’s federal, state and territory parliaments approved $70,000 for Pacific parliamentary projects from a fund specifically established to support capacity building among Pacific parliaments.
Read the communique