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Considering the future development agenda

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lord Fakafanua, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, was in the UK recently to attend a Parliamentary conference and Meg Munn MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the South Pacific, was pleased to meet him to discuss political and governance issues.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association organised the conference, entitled ‘Post 2015 Development Agenda’, which brought together 80 parliamentarians from national parliaments. The focus was on identifying lessons from the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, and considering the future development agenda after 2015. The role of parliamentarians in developing countries to monitor and hold governments to account was a central aspect.

Meg discussed with the speaker the provision of aid to Tonga to support its development. Since 2007 aid from the UK has been channelled through the European Union, but this can lead to a perception that the UK is less interested in the region. Meg stressed the continuing involvement of the UK in the pacific, and that the local Foreign Office staff ensure that there is good knowledge of the developmental needs of the region.

Meg said:

"It was good to meet Lord Fakafanua and hear about developments in Tonga first hand. I was pleased to hear that the new King is continuing the democratic changes that were started by the previous king, who I met when I visited the country in 2007."

Associated Photograph :

Meg with Lord Fakafanua

Meg with Lord Fakafanua

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