Connect with the electorate, parliamentarians told

Members of Parliament with facilitators at the retreat. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE role and responsibilities of Parliament can be understood better by the public if parliamentarians established and maintained a connection with the electorate.

Speaking at a three-day retreat for MPs, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Veena Bhatnagar said there was also a great responsibility in ensuring the executive was properly scrutinised, that debates on national issues were promoted, and that community views were taken into account so that sound and meaningful policies could be formulated and implemented to benefit all.

She said Parliament was uniquely placed to make a difference in gender equality through both its legislative powers and its powers of scrutiny of the actions of Government.

Meanwhile, the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative, Bakhodir Burkhanov, also highlighted the crucial role of parliamentarians in shaping Fiji’s national development agenda.

“As elected parliamentarians, you will play a crucial role in shaping Fiji’s national development policies and laws that advance human development and ultimately accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Mr Burkhanov said.

“The Fiji Parliament has made great strides in localizing the SDG action. In the previous term, it made history by becoming the first Parliament in the world to have carried out a self-assessment on the SDGs.”

The retreat at Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa is organised by the Parliament with the support of the British High Commission and the Fiji Parliament Support Project, which is a project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji with funding from the Governments of Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

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