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Thursday 19 April 2018

The New South Wales Parliament’s launched of the scholarship program for Solomon Islands Parliament and Bougainville Parliaments will strengthen and keep the partnership between the three Parliaments strong.

President of the New South Wales Parliament, Hon. John Ajaka in his remarks at the launching ceremony at the National Parliament of Solomon Islands said there are two main reasons for their visit here.

One is to reaffirm their long standing partnership to the twinning partnership. 

Over the last 10 years, the members and officers of both parliaments have collaborated on dozens of initiatives to strengthen the capacity of this two parliaments, to do what members are elected to do. That is:

To make effective laws, represent our citizens and oversight the actions of the government. 

“We’ve learned much from each other and over this time and have become firm and trusted friends,” he said.

The delegation will be having numerous meetings and visits as part of their visit program, thus, Hon. Ajaka said these visits will in no doubt help them to understand the political and social context in which members of the Solomon Islands parliament work and the particular challenges faced as legislatures.

“And hopefully over the next few days you’ll get to know us better. The better we know each, the better place will be to support our twinning partnership into the future.”

He added the second reason for their visit is to formally launch the twinning bilong yumi scholarship for staff of the Solomon Islands and Bougainville Parliaments.

Although the NSW Parliament has not received external funding support for its activities since 2016, they have to find creative and effective ways to support the program. 

He listed some as the:

  • Partnership agreement arrangements with other agencies such as the Pacific Office of the United Nations Development Program whom he acknowledge and thank. Last year, a staff from the Solomon Islands Parliament, Ms. Jean Sahu spent a month in the NSW Parliament.  The cost of her attachment was shared with the UNDP.
  • Another example, in 2017 several NSW branch commonwealth women parliamentarians co-hosted a women’s leadership seminar on sport and elections in Honiara and the Australian high commission. The presentation of 100 netball uniforms to Ms. Salome Akao, a member of the Solomon Islands Olympic committee was a result of the links made during that trip.

“We are determine to find creative and cost effective ways to keep our partnerships strong and this is where this twinning scholarship comes in place,” Hon. Ajaka said.

Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Mr. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu thank the delegation.

Speaker of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Mr. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu thank the delegation.

He acknowledged that over the years the National Parliament of Solomon Islands has greatly benefitted from the twinning partnership, thus, he is very grateful for everyone who gathered to reaffirm and celebrate the partnership between the two parliaments.

 “This morning we will witness the launching of the twinning bilong yumi scholarship and I am very grateful that all of you are here to reaffirm and celebrate the partnership between the two parliaments.

Mr. Ajilon said, he hope that this week will be a fruitful week and that the visit will further strengthen the friendship.

The scholarship is believed to have terrific potential to facilitate the professional development of staff of both Parliaments. 

To contribute to the body of knowledge about parliamentary matters and most importantly to keep the link strong between our parliaments.

There will be two application rounds in 2018. Closing dates for each are: Friday 25th May and Friday 26th October 2018.