Post-election MDGs Training for Parliamentarians
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were the focus of the recently held “Post-election MDGs Training for Parliamentarians”, a joint initiative of the Samoan Legislative Assembly and the UN System with the aim of raising MPs’ awareness on their role in supporting the achievement of the MDGs.
The Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament gathered for this purpose at the Tofilau Eti Alesana Building on October 5th, 2011, and engaged in sessions with UN representatives, learning together and discussing different aspects of the MDGs in Samoa throughout the afternoon.
Nileema Noble, UN Resident Coordinator, pointed out that “with effective governance being a key underlying mechanism for achieving the MDGs, Parliament has a lead role to play in terms of oversight, legislation and leadership.”
The training thus provided practical ideas for how MPs can help ensure that Samoa meets its MDG commitments. Opportunities for MPs’ engagement that were discussed include the establishment of an MDG Special Committee within Parliament, the use of MDG progress reporting and the examination of national legislation and budgets to ensure they are aligned with the MDGs.
Interactive discussions on different MDG topics such as poverty, reproductive health and gender equality, chaired by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Honourable Laauliolemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao followed the presentations. They revealed the great potential role the parliamentarians can take on for the achievement of the MDGs in Samoa. Samoa is well positioned in achieving many of the MDGs, even though there are some gaps remaining, as the Second National MDG Progress Report Samoa pointed out.
The event, leveraging parliamentary energies to support the MDGs, also strengthened the government’s commitment to accelerating their achievement.
In the spirit of the eighth goal – building a global partnership for development – the training marked a cornerstone in the cooperation of the Samoan government, parliamentarians and development partners for achieving the MDGs and bringing about desired changes for Samoa and its people.
Viewing this event as a starting point for further cooperation, the UN system is committed to further supporting and strengthening the parliament’s capacities to assume a leading role in the achievement of positive development outcomes.