Parliamentary Trips July – October 2017

Study Group on Public Accounts Committee Oversight of Responses to National Crises12 – 15 July 2017, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia hosted a global study group on Public Accounts Committees (PACs) and their oversight of responses to national crises. The Study group took place in Victoria, Canada from 12-15 July 2017. Member for Finance & Expenditure Committee, Afioga Toomata Aki Tuipea attended the study group which came to agree that where considering their oversight of responses to national crises, PACs should access expertise offered by organizations like the Red Cross.

This initiative is part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Associations’ longstanding commitment to strengthen Parliaments especially developing parliamentary capacity for effective financial scrutiny and improving Parliaments’ audit performance. The study group was attended by Members of Parliament from CPA branches including Grenada, Samoa, Sierra Leone, British Columbia and Sri Lanka.


14 Regional Meeting ACP-EU JPA, 19 – 21 July 2017, Port Vila, Vanuatu

Members of the Assembly from the Pacific Region of the ACP Group and their European Parliament counterparts gathered at Port Vila, Vanuatu for the 14th Regional Meeting ACP-EU JPA from 19 to 21 July 2017. The group’s main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states as well as a greater integration into the world’s economy.

The meeting discussed: the process of regional integration and cooperation in the region; state of play of negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs); Pacific perspectives on climate change; ACP-EU relations Post-Cotonou; the blue economy and marine governance, including fisheries; prospects for commodity exporting countries – kava, sugar, coconuts and oil; the situation in West Papua. Members also visited a local wind farm, which demonstrated Vanuatu’s vision and commitment to shift to a more clean energy future.

The Chairperson for the Social Sector Committee, Hon. Gatoloaifaana Amataga Alesana-Gidlow represented the Parliament of Samoa in the meeting.

Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption Workshop 22nd – 25th August 2017

The Associate Minister for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa, Afioga Taefu Lemi represented Samoa at the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption Workshop held at Niue on the 22nd- 25th August 2017.

The GOPAC is an international network of Parliamentarians dedicated to good governance and combating corruption throughout the world, provides information and analysis, establish international benchmarks and improve public awareness through a combination of global pressure and action.

3rd Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians Forum on Global Health, 24 – 25 August 2017, Tokyo, Japan

The Associate Minister for the Ministry for Revenue, Tofa Sooalo Umi Feo Mene and Member of the Social Sector Committee, Afioga Aumua Isaia Lameko, attended the 3rd meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians Forum on Global Health. The meeting was chaired by the Japan Parliamentarian League for the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the National Diet in Tokyo, 24-25 August 2017.

The meeting discussed the progress of participating countries towards achieving the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals and focus on accelerating action for priority issues including non-communicable diseases and health ageing.

The Forum was established in 2015 with support from WHO and serves as a platform for parliamentarians to exchange ideas, build political will, strengthen capacities and foster collaboration towards sustainable health.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentary (CWP) Australian Region Conference 28th – 30th August

Members of Parliament: Chairperson of Finance and Expenditure Committee, Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau and Member of the Infrastructure Sector Committee, Faaulusau Rosa Duffy-Stowers represented Samoa in the Commonwealth Women Parliamentary Conference held in Melbourne, Australia.

The Conference aims to strengthen the participation of women in Politics and to commit themselves to gender equality and women’s rights. It also creates a forum whereby women leaders discuss ways to build up good governance in their nations and ways to encourage more women to be involved in communities and associations

The Samoan representatives were able to express their opinion on female representation in Samoan politics and share the common idea that more women in Parliament will reflect good governance of a nation.

Women Clerks and Deputy Clerks Meeting aims to address Gender Inequality 5th-6th September 2017

Women from across the Pacific holding secretariat positions in Parliament met in Suva on the 5th-6th September to share their experiences as Clerks and Deputy Clerks and to promote gender equality within the working environment and Parliament. Sefuiva Charlene Malele, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly attended the meeting.

The Meeting aims to inspire and encourage female clerks to be accurate in their roles especially within a male dominated environment. Other issues that were deliberated amongst participants included: power dynamics within Parliament, the process of developing interdependence between the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk and the Speaker, the challenges faced by women senior secretariat staff who deal with male Members of Parliament and ways to create a  gender sensitive Parliament.

Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnership (PWPP) Forum  25th-28th September 2017

The first Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnership Forum (PWPP) took place in Honiara on the 25th– 28th September. The Solomon Islands Parliament hosted the PWPP conference with assistance from the Australian Parliament’s Skill Centre and was funded by the Australian Department of the Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Initiative.

Hon Jane Prentice (Australian Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) spoke on the importance of women’s existence in Parliament.  Sharing the critical importance of sustainable development goals, women’s economic empowerment, the effects of climate change and a way to improve forum for women are some of the many matters discussed amongst the candidates.

The Chairperson for the Finance and Expenditure Committee, Aliimalemanu Alofa Tuuau was amongst the sixty female participants at the Forum.

47th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly – Brussels (Belgium) 

The 47th African, Caribbean and Pacific Group States- European Union took place in Brussels on the 9- 12 October 2017 in which Chairperson for the Social Committee, Hon Gatoloaifaana Alesana Amataga Gidlow attended.

The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a consultative body which aims to promote the democratic process through dialogue and consultation and most importantly facilitate a greater understanding between the peoples of the European Union and those of the ACP states and raise public awareness.