31 Jan 2011

Tonga's MPs told to remember they're accountable for their actions

4:40 pm on 31 January 2011

Tonga's MPs have been told they must remember they'll be held accountable for their decisions and actions.

The speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Lord Lasike, launched a leadership workshop for the MPs today, saying the onus is on the politicians to learn to work together.

The Parliamentary Awareness and Leadership workshop follows the historic elections in November last year when voters for the first time directly elected the majority of MPs.

Lord Lasike says the workshop marks the beginning of his office's efforts to strengthen the services provided to MPs and the people of Tonga.

A number of agencies are assisting the workshop, including the United Nations Development Programme.

The UNDP administrator, former New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, sent a message reminding the MPs they had less than five years to help the country meet the Millennium Development goals.

Miss Clark told the MPs that well targeted policies can help deliver and sustain development results, especially for vulnerable communities.

She says the Assembly has an important task to ensure that not only is government accountable to the people, but also that the budget and development processes bring benefits for all.