International conference comes with $300,000 price tag

A budget of $300,000 has been earmarked to fund an international conference on the Rights of the Child which Samoa will host in May this year.

The money is included in the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.) budget approved by Parliament last week. 

The total additional expenditure for M.J.C.A. is $504,455. 

A report from the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the supplementary budget queried the $300,000 allocated for the international conference. 

The report noted the reason for holding the conference in Samoa is because the Acting Chief Justice, His Honour Vui Clarence Nelson, is the Chairman of the Board. 

“The concern of the Acting Chief Justice, is to promote Samoa’s ways of life (tu ma aga) to participants which includes the bondage between children and parents where Samoa stands out from the rest of the world,” stated the report. 

“The Ministry anticipates that this would be a good opportunity to promote Samoa’s standards such as capturing our youth and nurturing of children until they grow into adults.” 

Another positive factor of the conference raised by the Ministry is because Samoa is founded on God.

“This signifies the teaching of young ones about love and building strong relationships with our elders.”  

From the $504,455 budget for the Ministry of Justice, $112,455 is set aside to fund the salaries for new officials of the Lands and Titles Court.

The Finance Committee noted the increasing number of Judges in L.T.C. but does not reflect any funds in the main budget for their support staff. 

In addition, the Committee suggested the need for support staff for new Judges as there are no funds allocated for such in the first supplementary. 

Also with the Ministry, a sum of $92,000 has been given to commence works on building the Court House in Savai’i. 

The Ministry of Justice had told the Committee the proposal was initially $500,000 for the project. 

But only $92,000 was granted to the begin the work.

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