Parliament goes online amid restrictions

Parliament will now be able to convene virtually despite coronavirus restrictions on its usual gathering, thanks to an online conferencing facility which will be officially opened on Tuesday. 

The conferencing equipment was funded by the government of Japan and implemented by its development partner, the United Nations Development Programme’s ‘Strengthening Legislatures in Pacific Island Countries Project' (S.L.I.P.).

The online conferencing will be, from 21 April, used to convene committee hearings involving Members of Parliament and stakeholders that otherwise would not be able to occur due to state of emergency restrictions on gatherings. 

Meetings of more than five people are banned under the restrictions.

So only the Parliament's Speaker, Leaupepe Tole'afoa Fa'afisi, the Japanese Ambassador to Samoa, Genichi Terasawa and the United Nations' Resident Representative, Jorn Sorenson and two select Committee Chairs are expected to attend Tuesday's official opening ceremony for the new facility. 

The handover of the equipment is to be held at the Maota Tofilau Eti Alesana Building in Mulinu’u at 10 a.m.

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