Deputy P.M. attends Health conference

Members of Parliament from the Pacific – including Samoa - have been told to remember who they serve at a conference on sexual health in New Zealand.

Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, is among the participants. 

More than 30 delegates representing 10 Pacific countries are in Wellington to discuss how Pacific Parliaments can prioritise sexual and reproductive health and rights in the sustainable development goals, or S.D.G.s.

But the delegates were told talk is worth little if it doesn't improve the reality for Pacific people.

Fiame told Radio New Zealand that M.P.s are targeted on the concept that they are representing their respective communities.

"The whole point is, and I think it's still relevant, to remind members of parliament of that community connection, their representation of those as opposed to being a member of a government that sets policies," she said.

Fiame said MPs have to check if their work is actually matching up with the needs expressed at the local level.

The two-day workshop is co-hosted by the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (A.F.P.P.D.) and their New Zealand colleagues from the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (N.Z.P.P.D.).

The aim of the workshop is to strengthen parliamentarians’ advocacy skills and capacity to address population and development issues.

A.F.P.P.D. is a network of 29 parliamentary committees from across the Asia Pacific region. It advocates for parliamentary action and change, in support of population and development issues. 

These issues include sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, women’s empowerment and population dynamics.

Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.G.s) in September   2015, parliamentarians are working to ensure that the International Conference on Population and Development (I.C.P.D.) remains a priority within this new international development agenda.


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