Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Anita Among, has called on her counterparts in the Commonwealth to take the lead in delivering a peaceful, conflict free world.
She was speaking at the closure of the 27th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala on Saturday, 06 January 2024.
“The world has witnessed severe geo-political changes, characterised by increased violence and wars, especially in the Middle East and part of Europe. As Parliaments, we cannot afford to sit and act as bystanders,” Among said.
She also rallied the Speakers and Presiding Officers to advocate for respect of other states’ values, cultures and traditions, saying differences in perspectives should happen within the bounds of friendship.
Among pledged Parliament of Uganda’s commitment to support cooperation among Commonwealth legislatures.
“As the Parliament of Uganda, we shall strengthen Parliamentary diplomacy through the various Inter Parliamentary bodies at our disposal, including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. We shall advocate for unity, diversity, greater respect for people and greater co-existence, “she said.
Running from 03 to 06 January 2023, the conference provided a platform for Speakers and Presiding Officers to deliberate on climate change, security of Speakers and Presiding Officers and their health, as well as gender inclusivity and youth.
Speaking to diverse and inclusive Parliaments, Speaker, Among who made reference to Sustainable Development Goal, three, said there ought to be deliberate steps to promote youth engagement in Parliamentary for continuity.
She cited, among other strategies, Uganda Parliament’s efforts through the annual Youth Parliament where youth leaders across the country participate in a moot plenary session.
During a plenary session at the conference where India was also endorsed to host the 28th CSPOC in 2026, Parliaments were asked to be involved in addressing climate change through legislation.
The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, Harivansh Narayan Singh, said the forum will provide an opportunity for delegates to positively impact lives of citizens in the Commonwealth.
“It will be a moment of pride for India and the people of India are ready to showcase their diverse culture. We look forward to welcoming all of you to India,” he said.
The conference aims to maintain, foster and encourage impartiality and fairness of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Parliaments of the Commonwealth countries as well as to promote knowledge and understanding of Parliamentary democracy in its various forms, among others.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.