PARLIAMENT - Speakers of Parliament from eleven countries of the Great Lakes Region have vowed to restore peace and ensure stability in the region.
This was revealed Wednesday during a conference of Speakers of the Forum of Parliaments of the International Conference of the Great Lakes region member States (FP-ICGLR) that is taking place at the parliamentary building in Kimihurura.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, the president of the Rwandan Senate, Dr. Vincent Biruta, said that some of the issues to be addressed by the forum include peace, security and development of member States of the region.
“We as representatives of our people can play a significant role in restoring peace in some parts of our region which have been troubled for long,” noted Biruta.
He added that the setting up of the legal framework of the forum will enable participation of parliaments in the establishment of peace, security and development to allow the people represented by the MPs to develop.
Several declarations leading to the formation of the forum have since 2004 been signed by both the Heads of State and Members of Parliaments of the Great Lakes region.
The declarations sealed the pact on security, stability and development in the Great Lakes to promote good governance, democracy and human rights values.
The Executive Secretary of the ICGLR, Liberata Mulamula, said that this was the third meeting since the signing of the Nairobi security pact.
“This constitutes an important part of the pact and brings us to the realization of the establishment of successful peace in our region,” said Mulamula.
She added that despite the problems of insecurity that have for long characterized the region, there have been significant progress in resolving security related issues the region.
“We strongly recognize and commend the just concluded parliamentary elections in Rwanda where women have proved that they can with no doubt make it; we also recognize the efforts of the Burundian parliament for their efforts in bringing about unity and reconciliation in Burundi; the Kenyan parliament for their role played in restoring peace and the formation of a united government,” said Mulamula.
The vice president of Association of European Parliamentarian for Africa (AWEPA) Luc D’Hoore, said that parliamentary diplomacy is simply parliamentary response to the nature and complexity posed by interdependence that characterizes today’s global world. He added that AWEPA works to support the solidarity between parliamentarians, to support human rights and international justice.
“It is important to keep looking into the issues of light weapons illegal trafficking together with the HIV/Aids pandemic that constitute a real scourge for the region,” said D’Hoore.
The countries attending the conference include Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Republic of Congo Brazzaville, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.