By Moses Mulondo
The 129th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) commenced on Tuesday in Geneva to discuss social-economic matters related to member states.
According to a statement from the East African Legislative Assembly, the President of the IPU, Abdelwahed Radi said the organisation would revise the statutes and rules to enhance its efficiencies in a bid to render better services to the Member States.
The President maintained that IPU was committed to implementing the new Strategic Plan (2012-17) anchored on better Parliaments and stronger democracies, enhanced international involvement of Parliaments and the IPU as a more effective instrument of Parliamentary Co-operation.
The IPU leader said that more work was necessary to refine democracy and the reforms in various matters taking place in the Member States.
The IPU, he noted, would adopt a gender mainstreaming policy and also invite a new forum of young Parliamentarians to its fold.
In the three day Assembly, which has brought together nearly 600 MPs from 129 countries, Members’ panel discussions shall debate the need of ridding the world of all nuclear-weaponry as well as weapons of mass destruction.
Also on the agenda are deliberations on the role of Parliaments in protecting the rights of children, particularly, unaccompanied migrant children and in preventing their exploitation in situations of war and conflict.
Another topic to be discussed by a congregation of MPs from across the globe will be risk resilient development taking into consideration of the demographic trends and natural constraints.
In addition to the main topics, two other panel discussions on Internally Displaced Persons and on political party control over MPs shall take place.
The IPU has four Vice Presidents including Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda. East African Legislative Assembly is represented in the conference by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Margaret Nantongo Zziwa and Members, Hafsa Mossi, Hon Sarah T. Bonaya and Susan Nakawuki.
The conference is expected to approve the re-admission of the Parliament of Somalia as a Member of the IPU. If approved, the Assembly shall also consider a proposal to waver the arrears accumulated by the Parliament towards the IPU before its suspension from the Union in 2009.
Parliament of Bhutan has also made a request for admission and Egypt shall know its fate once the Assembly pronounces itself on the dissolution of the Parliament of Egypt on July 3, 2013.