Support for PNG, AROB Parliaments

This week saw the launch of a new initiative to further strengthen Papua New Guinea’s democratic institutions.

Drawing on Papua New Guinea’s rich democratic tradition, the launch of UNDP’s Parliamentary Support Programme heralds a new partnership with the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville House of Representatives of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The package of assistance will work to strengthen collaboration between both parliaments.

It will support members of both legislatures in their efforts to debate matters of public interest as they steward Papua New Guinea’s national development.

Under the Programme, UNDP will work with Parliamentary staff and the Members of Parliament of both legislatures to strengthen the Committee systems, parliamentary services and community outreach.

Parliaments sit at the apex of governance, making the institution one of the most important sites of discussion, debate and action. This Programme responds to this as it aims to ultimately increase the accessibility of Parliament and public debate to all citizens.

In launching the Programme, UNDP’s Resident Representative to Papua New Guinea, Dirk Wagener, said: “The importance of Parliament as a place to discussion, debate and resolution cannot be underestimated.

“On this International Day of Parliamentarism, it is fitting that we celebrate the role of Parliaments, not just here but around the world.

“Papua New Guinea’s National Parliament has much to be proud of. This Programme will build on that tradition, offering support to those dedicated parliamentary staff and incoming Members of Parliament, many of whom we hope are women.”

Clerk of the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea, Kala Aufa, said there was an existing five-year Parliamentary Partnership (Twinning) Agreement between the two parliaments signed in Arawa, in 2021.

Aufa said the work program for the agreement fosters enhancing and strengthening cooperation between both legislatures for legislative excellence, capacity building and harnessing technology opportunities to improve systems, services and public engagement.

“Your assistance is timely and will go a long way to towards achieving modern, efficient and engaging parliaments in the region,” he said. “We are excited and ready to be partners in this important programme.”

Commenced this week, over the next six months the Programme will see training delivered to Parliamentary staff, investment in raising the awareness among citizens on the role of strong Parliaments for democracy and good governance and assistance in the induction of new Members of Parliament.

A range of policy issues will be focused on, gender action, climate change and the importance of improved basic service delivery, particularly for stronger health and education outcomes.

The Government of Australia funded the first phase of this five-year programme.

Press release