7 Apr 2021

Vanuatu Parliament summoned for later this month

12:52 pm on 7 April 2021

Vanuatu's Parliament will convene for the first extraordinary session on 20 April.

Speaker Gracia Chadrack has summoned the parliament as per standing orders.

Vanuatu parliament

Vanuatu parliament Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

There are six bills listed for discussions. These include; Bill for the Public Health (Amended); Bill for the Value Added Tax (Amended); Bill for the Tax Administration (Amended); Bill for the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions); Bill for the Citizenship (Amended) and Bill for Dangerous Drugs (Amended).

During the session, parliamentarians are also expected to debate three written motions.

They include the Motion for Indemnity for AstraZeneca (Covid-19 vaccines), Motion for the Re-establishment and Appointment of Members to the Parliamentary Standing Committees and Motion to establish the Ad-Hoc Committee to consider the Bill for the Commercial Government Business Enterprise Act.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu health authorities are working on a Covid-19 vaccination plan.

Potential use of the Astrazeneca vaccine in Vanuatu is also listed to be discussed in parliament.

The introduction of the vaccine in the country will be tabled in parliament as a motion.

The motion is the indemnity motion, which is a guarantee to the factory that no legal issues will affect it if there is any negative effect of the vaccine on ni-Vanuatu.

Last week, the ABC International Development held a workshop in Port Vila on Covid-19 reporting and protecting information integrity for the mainstream media and social media.

The training aimed to equip them on how to write accurate reports on Covid-19.

During the workshop, participants raised concerns about the difficulties of getting right information from health authorities.

They asked the government, through the ministry of health, to use media to educate people in Vanuatu on the pandemic and its vaccines.

Participants also raised the issue of the ministry and department of health having websites but the content could only be accessed by a few people.

Strict Covid-19 prevention protocols are in place for incoming cargo in Vanuatu. April 2020.

Strict Covid-19 prevention protocols are in place for incoming cargo in Vanuatu. April 2020. Photo: Vanuatu Airports ltd.