Nuku‘alofa, Tonga – October 4, 2016 THE Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) and New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) jointly invited the Lord Speaker, Lord Tu’ivakano and the Minister of Health, Hon. Saia Mau Piukala to the AFPPD-NZPPD Agenda 2030 Workshop for Pacific Parliaments on Prioritizing the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Agenda in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held at Wellington, New Zealand on 28-29 September 2016.
The workshop focused on strengthening the Pacific parliamentarians’ advocacy skills and capacity to address the population and development issues within the new AFPPD-NZPPD Agenda 2030.
The workshop expected the parliamentarians to champion and advocate for the ICPD agenda in the SDGs framework at the national level and the national committee staff or parliamentary staff who are engaged, in providing policy advice.
The 2030 Agenda was set and the SDGs which will influence policy priorities and resourcing for population and development issues for the next fifteen years were adopted at the United Nations (UN) in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda also ensure of the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD PoA) remains a priority, parliamentarians have a critical role to play.
The workshop had three main expected outcomes and they were to:
1. Increase the knowledge and understanding of key leaders at Pacific Parliaments, parliamentarians and national committee secretariats on the linkages of ICPD and the Agenda 2030;
2. Strengthen Pacific Parliaments’ institutional capacity (leaderships; parliamentarians; and National Committee secretariats’ skills and capacity) to advocate for ICPD implementation at the national level; and
3. Increase the knowledge of Pacific parliamentarians, especially AFPPD associate members and non-member countries, on the role of the AFPPD as a coordinating body of regional parliamentarians’ network in providing knowledge sharing platforms at the national, regional and global levels.
During this workshop the Lord Speaker humbly accepted an invitation for Tonga to be a member of the AFPPD Executive Committee. This is an honor and blessing to the Legislative Assembly of Tonga and a worldwide recognition of the hard work of the Population and Development Parliamentary Committee of Tonga.
At the end of the workshop each country who attended made presentation on how the relevant national framework, if there is, has addressed the SDGs in each country. The Minister of Health for Tonga, Hon. Saia Mau Piukala presented the presentation for Tonga, and explained how SDGs are plotted into the seven national outcomes in the Tonga Strategic Development Framework II 2015-2025 (TSDF II). And in particular how each Government Ministry, Department or Agencies had mapped their outcomes in their Corporate Plans or Sector Plan to achieve the relevant SDGs.
Meanwhile the Tongan delegations to this workshop have returned to Tonga to resume work in the Legislative Assembly and the parliamentary committee on Population and Development.