Parliament signs cooperation agreement at 146th Inter – Parliamentary Union Assembly in Bahrain
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi, recently led a delegation of Members of Parliament from both Houses to the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Bahrain, where he made several proposals to realize Namibia’s unwavering commitment to promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies while fighting intolerance.
At the IPU Assembly, on behalf of the Namibian Parliament, Katjavivi and Hon. Kauma signed a cooperation agreement with the IPU Secretary General, Martin Chungong, for the latter to fund and facilitate capacity-building undertakings aimed at advancing gender equality in Namibia.
According to Katjavivi, the training will target women MPs and female staff members and look at important issues such as strategic planning and future functioning of the joint women’s parliamentary caucus, lobbying, advocacy, gender mainstreaming, and gender-responsive budgeting, among many other areas of interest.
Katjavivi further outlined Namibia’s legislative interventions aimed at protecting the rights of all individuals without discrimination on any grounds, including race, culture, colour, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
“Notably, the Namibian parliament has enacted laws such as the Combatting of Domestic Violence Act, the Combatting of Rape Act, and amendments to the Criminal Procedure and High Court Acts. These laws promote human rights and ensure access to justice for all,” Katjavivi said, adding that the country’s efforts towards promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies are not limited to legislation.
According to Katjavivi, the government has also implemented policies that ensure equal representation of women and youth in government and decision-making positions. “As a result, the number of women representation in Namibia’s parliament has increased to 48%, while youth representation stands at 5%.”
Additionally, Namibia has created a Children’s Parliament, providing a platform for young people to engage with each other and discuss issues of tolerance and promotion of human rights, he added.
He affirmed Namibia’s commitment to promoting peace and cooperation among peoples of the world.
“The Namibian parliament’s efforts towards promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies through legislation, initiatives, and policies are commendable. Namibia stands ready to share best practices with fellow IPU Member Parliaments and work together to build a more peaceful and prosperous future for all, he said.
The 146th IPU Assembly hosted by the Parliament of Bahrain in cooperation with the IPU secretariat from 11 to 15 March, brought together parliamentarians from the rest of the world representing over 140 countries, including speakers and deputy speakers, and ran under the theme “Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance.”
The IPU is a global organisation of parliaments that brings together lawmakers to identify international challenges and make recommendations for action. It comprises 179 national parliaments and 14 regional parliamentary bodies
Meanwhile, Katjavivi was selected as Vice President of the IPU Task Force on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The Task Force’s mission is to facilitate political dialogue and promote peacebuilding efforts in compliance with the UN Charter and international law principles such as national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-use of force, according to the information and communication department of the National Assembly.
Accordingly, as a part of its mandate, the Task Force continues to engage parliaments from both countries and identify areas of convergence to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“Katjavivi is optimistic that this collaborative effort will result in a breakthrough for peace, and will continue to work diligently with the Task Force towards this goal,” said the information and communication department of the National Assembly.