The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, Lord Fakafanua is joining Presiding Officers and Clerks from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific in the 52nd Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference in Honiara, Solomon Islands from the 2nd to 6th of July.
The Speaker of the Solomon Islands Hon. Patterson Oti this morning opened the 52nd Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference at the Solomon Islands National Parliament. The Conference is held annually where Speakers, Presidents and Clerks of Parliaments from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific come together to meet, address common issues and challenges and to share their experience.
In his opening speech, Hon. Patterson Oti expressed his gratefulness to the Speakers and Clerks from each Parliament for accepting his invitation to come to the 52nd POCC.
This year’s theme is Building strong and resilient Parliaments. Hon. Oti also expressed the importance of engaging the population and include them in their decision making.
A special welcoming traditional ceremony or Chupu was held to welcome the Presiding Officers and the Clerks.
The President of the Congress of New Caledonia Hon. Roch Wamytan was invited by the Solomons Islands Speaker to give the Keynote address.
The first order of business was the election of the Chair and the Deputy Chair of the Conference. The Solomons Islands Speaker, Hon. Patterson Oti was elected Chair and Lord Fakafanua nominated the President of the South Australian Senate, Hon. Terry Stephens as the deputy Chair and was carried.
Today’s program included jurisdiction reports from some of the Parliaments and presentations on Representation, Resilience and innovation and Parliamentary Privileges and Procedures.
Lord Fakafanua will chair the presentations on the topic: Parliamentary Partnership and Engagement on Wednesday. Accompanying officer, Deputy Clerk Dr Vikilani will also present Tonga’s jurisdiction report to the 52nd POCC.
The Conference will conclude on Wednesday afternoon with the handover to host of the next Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference to South Australia the Twin Parliament of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.