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Inter Parliamentary Union calls for end of intolerance

By Joyce Namutebi

Added 20th October 2017 01:34 PM

In a declaration the law makers called for transparency, accountability and respect for human rights and the rule of law to serve as the basis for building sustainable and peaceful diversity.

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In a declaration the law makers called for transparency, accountability and respect for human rights and the rule of law to serve as the basis for building sustainable and peaceful diversity.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga led Uganda's delegation to Inter Parliamentary Union

CONFLICT|LEADERSHIP

MEMBERS of Parliament have called for an end to intolerance, mistrust and violence and instead advocated for accountability and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

In a declaration the law makers called for transparency, accountability and respect for human rights and the rule of law to serve as the basis for building sustainable and peaceful diversity.

The declaration was issued at the close of the 137th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, where Parliamentarians from 155 countries committed to pursuing cultural pluralism and peace through interfaith and inter-ethnic dialogue, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

Actions MPs agreed to take include preventing discrimination and human rights violations related to religion and ethnicity, promoting national and local dialogue to create multicultural and inclusive societies, enhancing civic education, and strengthening parliaments.

Outgoing IPU President, Saber Chowdhury said, “Over 800 MPs have one ambition to promote tolerance, and have said with one voice that hate speech and divisive words have no place in peaceful societies. We aspire to a world where all of us – irrespective of race, gender, political persuasion or sexual orientation – are equal in the eyes of the law. We are here to stand up for democracy, justice and equality,” 

The President of the 137th IPU Assembly, Ms. Valentina Matvienko said, “I presume it is necessary to push the discussion on the main topic of the Assembly, the cultural pluralism, to a global level at a world conference promoting inter-religious and inter-civilization dialog with the participation heads of state and leaders of world religions”,

IPU Members adopted a resolution on Sharing our diversity: The 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Democracy.

This resolution reaffirms the core elements set out in the original declaration, including genuine partnership between men and women in the conduct of the affairs of society, an independent judiciary, free and fair elections, open and free media, parliamentary oversight, and the protection of the rights of minorities and vulnerable or marginalized groups.

IPU Members also elected a new president, Gabriela Cuevas from Mexico, who said, “It is an honour to follow in the footsteps of Saber. I am committed to continuing the work he began, and taking the IPU to new levels of achievement and global influence.”

Debates and discussions also took place on topics as wide ranging as 20 years of parliamentary contributions to the United Nations, cyber-security, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the private sector inputs to increasing renewable energy.

The IPU has also welcomed Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu, and the Marshall Islands as new members, increasing its membership to 177 Member Parliaments.

Some 1,876 delegates attended the 137th IPU Assembly in St. Petersburg, jointly organized with the Russian Parliament. Among them were 829 MPs, 82 Speakers of Parliament, 64 Deputy Speakers of Parliament and 249 women MPs.

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