A delegation from the Parliament of Fiji called on Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma in London this week to discuss the country’s new Parliament, which resumed its activities in September 2014 after a break of eight years.
Mr Sharma welcomed the parliamentarians and congratulated them on their historical role in taking forward democracy in Fiji. “The Commonwealth looks forward to working with, and helping, the Parliament of Fiji in whatever way possible,” he said.
The delegation was led by Dr Jiko Luveni, Speaker of Parliament and included Pio Tikoduadua, Leader of Government in Parliament; Ro Teimumu Kepa, Leader of the Opposition and Viniana Namosimalua, Secretary General of Parliament. Dyfan Jones, Parliamentary Development Specialist, UNDP Pacific Centre accompanied the group.
Dr Luveni said: “We are keen to make the most of the networking and engagement opportunities available to us and are very open to learning and benefitting from Commonwealth best practices.
“We look forward to establishing deeper partnerships with the Commonwealth which will help the Fiji Parliament to move forward and ensure the principles of democracy are upheld.”
Mr Tikoduadua said: “Fiji now has the solid foundations it needs to grow but it needs nourishment and we will be looking to the Commonwealth for support in that area.”
The parliamentarians are in the UK between 22 January and 4 February, on a visit organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK) and United Nations Development Programme. The visit will enable the key office holders in parliament -- 90% of whom are new -- to see how other parliaments function and better facilitate the proceedings of the Parliament of Fiji.