REPRESENTATIVES from the PNG, United Nations and the National Parliament came together to welcome women candidates from across the country in the opening ceremony of the 2017 National Practice Parliament for women program.
Fifty candidates who intend to run in the national elections have been selected for the five-day program from Mar 7-11.
Participants will be trained in critical national policy issues, parliamentary processes and campaign strategies.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Dr Alponse Gelu, the Registrar for Political Parties, said the role of an MP is very important and deserves their attention and commended them for participating in the Practice Parliament activity to prepare themselves for how to be a politician.
“Individuals who make it into Parliament come from different backgrounds, but many just don’t know how our parliamentary system works,” he said.
“To be an effective representative of your people, there are two important things that you must know in my opinion. Firstly, the national Constitution and secondly, roles and responsibilities of the Parliament and its operations.”
The Practice Parliament for Women is being organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in coordination with Office of Integrity of Political Parties, the National Parliament and Department of Community Development and Religion.
Koffi Kouame, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. (acting) and UNFPA Resident Representative said: “The practice parliament activity is designed to showcase the abilities of women to participate in the political life of this country.
“This activity is special because it gives each of the participants the opportunity to show the nation what they can do when they are given the chance to stand up in a parliamentary setting and debate public policies and legislation.”
Experts from government, academia, civil society and the media have been invited to train the candidates. The program will conclude with a practice parliamentary session on Mar 13, hosted by the National Parliament in the State Room.