Mensa-Williams Shines At IPU

Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly with a delegation of Parliamentarians attended the 130th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, Switzerland. The IPU brought together more than 700 parliamentarians from 147 countries to meet under the theme “Renewing our commitment to peace and democracy” and to cover issues relating to peace, democracy, human rights and sustainable development around the world.

The women parliamentarians in attendance unanimously elected Hon. Margaret Mensah-Williams as President of the Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians for a two-year term. She has served the IPU as a Member of the IPU Executive Committee (2007-2010), Vice-President of the IPU (2008-2010) and Vice-President of the IPU Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians (2010-2011). IPU member parliaments have been called to pressure their governments to respond to appeals for humanitarian action to help the large and growing number of displaced people.

A panel discussion focused on the contribution of Parliaments towards a nuclear-weapon free world. The Namibian delegation stated that although Namibia is ranked the 5th largest producer of uranium in the world, the country ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT0) on 15 April 1998. In doing so, Namibia does not support the use of its uranium for nuclear weapons or explosive nuclear devices.A panel discussion was held on the protection of children’s rights, in particular unaccompanied migrant children and preventing their exploitation in situations of war and conflict.

The IPU meeting urged Parliaments to enact specific legislation to protect girls from human trafficking, sexual exploitation and gender violence and also to amend legislation to prevent children being recruited as child soldiers. Members of Parliament younger than 45 years will meet bi-annually to broaden diversity and inclusiveness by increasing the presence of young parliamentarians at IPU assemblies and meetings. The IPU asked all countries to include younger Members of Parliament in their delegations. Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab was President of the IPU from 15 October 2008 to 19 October 2011. When his term came to an end the Governing Council conferred on him the title of Honorary President of the IPU.

Source : Namibia Economist