SA at­tends In­ter-par­lia­men­tary Union

Sunday Tribune - - NATION -

NA­TIONAL As­sem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete is lead­ing a high-pow­ered par­lia­men­tary del­e­ga­tion to the 139th As­sem­bly of the In­ter-par­lia­men­tary Union (IPU) in Geneva, Switzer­land.

The IPU is be­ing held from to­day un­til Thurs­day, un­der the theme: Par­lia­men­tary lead­er­ship in pro­mot­ing peace and devel­op­ment in the age of in­no­va­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal change.

Yes­ter­day, Par­lia­ment said the del­e­ga­tion in­cluded the deputy chair­per­son of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces (NCOP), Raser­iti Tau; House chair­per­son for in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, Mmat­lala Boroto; chief whip of the NCOP, Seiso Mo­hai; and mem­bers of Par­lia­ment Pumzile Mn­guni, Peace Mabe, Michael Wa­ters and Ntombovuyo Mente.

The del­e­ga­tion is join­ing 1 300 del­e­gates from more than 130 coun­tries, who will de­lib­er­ate on a num­ber of crit­i­cal is­sues af­fect­ing the devel­op­ment of peo­ple across the world, in­clud­ing sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion; hu­man rights; vi­o­lence against women; dis­ar­ma­ment; sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals; and mi­gra­tion.

A spe­cial IPU ses­sion mark­ing the 70th an­niver­sary of the Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion on Hu­man Rights (UDHR) will take place on Tues­day, which will in­clude an event cel­e­brat­ing the Madiba Cen­te­nary.

The pro­gramme will start with a video clip fea­tur­ing Mbete and ma­te­rial on Man­dela, and con­tinue with an in­ter­ac­tive de­bate with aca­demics and hu­man-rights vic­tims.

It will con­clude with the adop­tion of a dec­la­ra­tion by world par­lia­ments recom­mit­ting them­selves to ad­vance the UDHR prin­ci­ples and the val­ues em­bod­ied by Man­dela.

Dur­ing the five-day pro­gramme, the IPU will also un­veil a ground-break­ing re­port on vi­o­lence against women in Euro­pean par­lia­ments that cor­rob­o­rates a 2016 IPU study that found that 82% of women MPS had ex­pe­ri­enced gen­der-based psy­cho­log­i­cal vi­o­lence.

Par­lia­ment said these en­gage­ments were ex­pected to give im­pe­tus to the #Metoo move­ment es­tab­lished to help break the si­lence on abuse against women, and help fight the global scourge.

There will also be a panel dis­cus­sion by MPS, mem­bers of the me­dia and aca­demics on how par­lia­ments can deal with, and reg­u­late fake news that has been en­hanced by, among oth­ers, the ex­po­nen­tial growth of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies and so­cial me­dia.

The as­sem­bly is ex­pected to adopt a res­o­lu­tion on the ad­vance­ment of the Global Com­pact for Safe, Or­derly and Reg­u­lar Mi­gra­tion.

The 130-year-old fo­rum of world par­lia­ments meets twice ev­ery year to co-or­di­nate ef­forts and pro­mote demo­cratic par­lia­men­tary sys­tems, share best prac­tices, pro­mote world peace and op­ti­mise tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion to drive the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the UN Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals. |

BALEKA MBETE

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