Hon. Alitia Bainivalu to ask the Prime Minister: Can the Prime Minister update Parliament on Fiji’s Membership of the Assembly of the Global Development Network (GDN)

Honorable Speaker, I thank the Honourable Member for the question. Honorable Speaker, the Global Development
Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in Low – and

Middle – Income Countries, with a mission to promote better lives. The GDN promotes research on the premise
that contextualized and locally driven research leads to more informed policies, increased policy ownership, better informed
implementation, and more sustainable and inclusive development choices.

GDN also focuses on strengthening research capacity across countries and disciplines.

Honorable Speaker, GDN fosters collaborative efforts among socio-economic research
institutions, individual researchers, policymakers, and donors that encourage capacity-building and networking to accelerate development.

Honorable Speaker, since 1999, GDN has supported over 4000 development research grantees from over 140 countries. GDN was
created in the aftermath of the landmark World Bank 1998-1999 World Development Report, Knowledge for Development, which set the stage for active promotion of policy research, particularly in developing countries.

The GDN headquarter is in New Delhi, India, with additional presence in Washington, D.C, United States of America, and a newly
established office in Clermont- Ferrand in France. Furthermore, GDN works on all aspects of development and has previous experience in subfield such as development finance, agriculture, research systems, governance, industrial productivity, natural resource management, biodiversity, and education. As it continually incorporates new topics on an annual basis.

Honorable Speaker, I am pleased to inform that on 18 October 2023, Cabinet approved Fiji’s membership of the GDN Assembly,
thereby enhancing participation of our nation in GDN hosted events. The annual cost of Fiji’s membership is $100,000 USD.

Honorable Speaker, given that Fiji has always played a major role in promoting development in the Pacific, our membership of GDN will provide participating researchers and development practitioners with global recognition and visibility and further strengthen the work carried out by our people for the development and betterment of lives at both local and regional levels.

The Strategic Planning Office within the Ministry of Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development, and Statistics is
currently coordinating with The University of the South Pacific (USP) on behalf of the Fiji Government to host the 25th Annual Global Development Conference in Fiji in November 2024, marking the return of GDN’s flagship event to the Pacific.

Honorable Speaker, for Fiji to host this historic meeting is timely, as the Coalition Government has re-established the Strategic Planning Office within Ministry of Finance to ensure better coordination and formulation of a strategic and robust development pathway for the nation.

Through the conference we envisage building our research capacity, improving our networking and also strengthening
collaboration with universities as well as with the GDN member countries.

Honorable Speaker, the conference will be an important step in Fiji’s global engagement around sustainable development issues.
Honorable Speaker, Fiji has commenced initial discussions with the Global Development Network on the planning, and logistical
aspects of hosting the conference.

Honorable Speaker,as alluded earlier, the Strategic Planning Office from the Ministry of Finance, is collaborating with The University of the South Pacific as a co-partner in hosting the event. The GDN conference is tentatively scheduled for the last week of November 2024.

Honorable Speaker, The University of the South Pacific, being the local partner will fund an amount of US$300,000 towards the 25th GDN conference.

Honorable Speaker, Fiji’s membership of GDN will enable policymakers, researchers, academics, and professional bodies to
undertaken and produce evidence-based policies that is contextualized to the local region.

GDN will generate and share knowledge and forge new working relationships with donors, partners, and other key stakeholders to deepen research capacity at individual and institutional levels.

Honorable Speaker, hosting the Annual Global Development Conference will enable a larger contingent of participants from the Pacific and local and regional research institutions and knowledge to be featured, on a theme to be mutually agreed, in line with the identified development priorities in the Pacific.

Honorable Speaker, Fiji will sign the Agreement to become a member of GDN during the 25 th GDN Conference in November

Lastly, Honorable Speaker,the Annual Global Development Network involves high-level, inclusive, evidence-based debates on current development challenges and priorities. The GDN conference intends to bring around a total of 800 participants in a hybrid mode, out of which roughly 250-400 in person participants, from across sectors and disciplines.

Honorable Speaker, we will be presenting Fiji to the world, and look forward to welcoming the GDN Conference to Fiji.

Thank you, Mr Speaker Sir.

Translate »