The meeting also recognized the need for youth and women to receive special focus.
PIC: Uganda parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga makes her remarks during the IPU-IGAD meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Next to her is her Ethiopian counterpart Abadulla Gemeda and far-right, the Secretary-General of the Union, Mohamed Adam Mohamed Ismail. (Credit: Parliament of Uganda)
ADDIS ABABA - The conference of Speakers of the Inter-Parliamentary Union of IGAD member states (IPU-IGAD) ended their two-day meeting with a resolution to fight climate change, desertification and terrorism.
"Terrorism is the crime of crimes against humanity, and the sin of sins," read the text of the Resolution of the 7th Conference of Speakers meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Governments of IGAD countries, which include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and Sudan, were urged to tackle all forms of terrorism, including state terrorism, so as to ensure peace and security in the region.
The meeting also recognized the need for youth and women to receive special focus and consideration in all national programmes of IGAD member states especially in stamping out harmful cultural practices that affect women.
While the meeting was unanimous with most of its resolutions, it could not take a common stand with regard to the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of individuals, including sitting African heads of state.
With Sudan urging the meeting to take issue with the ICC, Ugandan parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, implored members to instead support the position that the African Union heads of state would take.
"I am not very comfortable with making a resolution on the issue of the ICC. My Parliament has not discussed this issue, and I don't want us to commit ourselves here," she said.
On member states' contribution to support activities and programmes of IPU-IGAD, only Ethiopia had fully paid up its membership, with the other six countries, including Uganda, yet to make their contribution for 2016.
"I want to propose that we identify an activity that will market IGAD not just for the governments' budget but also to attract donors," said Kadaga.
"There are many problems in the IGAD region. I propose that we start with the campaign against Female Genital Mutilation, which is going on in all our member countries."
She told the meeting that Uganda is in the process of honoring its contribution to the Union.
Speakers from parliaments of Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti attended the conference. The next meeting of the 8th Conference of Speakers, will be held in Uganda.