Funafuti, Tuvalu – Fifty-four year old Amberoti Nikora of Kiribati is a human rights advocate, a former Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant of the Kiribati Government; and now the Country Focal Officer for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Human Rights Progamme in Kiribati.
With his wealth of knowledge in parliamentary mechanisms and human rights, Mr Nikora was in Tuvalu last week sharing his experiences with newly elected members of Tuvalu’s parliament as an exchange organised by SPC through its Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT), with assistance from the European Union (EU) and Australian Government.
“I was a member of parliament in Kiribati for 20 years and at the beginning of my term as an MP, I wasn’t confident because of my limited understanding of parliamentary processes. It took time and perseverance for me to become an active voice for my people in parliament. My three years of human rights work with SPC has also broadened my knowledge in human rights advocacy. I am honoured to be part of this great exchange this week to share my experiences with Tuvalu MPs,” Mr Nikora said.
Mr Nikora stressed that parliaments are the highest decision and law making institutions in our countries and it is important that elected members understand their role as guardians of human rights for their people.
“Without the right understanding of the parliamentary processes, the roles and responsibilities of MPs, it will be difficult to confidently represent the interests of constituents in any parliament,” Mr Nikora said.
The exchange is part of the induction seminar for Tuvalu’s parliament organised and supported by the United National Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the New Zealand House of Representatives, the Parliament of Victoria and SPC.
Tuvalu held its general elections in March 2015 that resulted in the formation of a new Government in April 2015.
The induction seminar briefed and guided the newly elected MPs with knowledge on their roles and responsibilities, with SPC RRRT providing technical assistance on human rights and good governance.
Honourble Speaker Tausi of the Parliament of Tuvalu invited RRRT to address all Parliamentarians following the success of a regional MPs Human Rights Consultation hosted by SPC which he attended in Fiji earlier this year.
The SPC RRRT Programme receives core funding from the Australian Government and additional funding from various donors including the EU. With the EU Pacific Islands Ratification & Implementation of Human Rights Treaties project implemented through the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), RRRT works to support Forum Island countries to ratify, implement and report on core United Nations human rights conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
SPC is the principal scientific and technical agency supporting development in the Pacific Island region. It works to build a human rights culture that enhances the rule of law and democracy in the Pacific region. Promoting the use of human rights standards in law, practice and policy is part of SPC’s Regional Rights Resource Team’s broad, long-term strategy for achieving that goal.
Jilda Shem, SPC Communications Officer, [email protected], Phone: +679 9314174
Sanya Ruggiero, EU Press and Information Intern,, [email protected]