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IPUs Calls For Parliamentary Diplomacy: A New Era Of Cooperation

By Sharleen Mohammed

The 148th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland, with a focus on parliamentary diplomacy and its impact on peace and security.

The spring edition of the IPU Assembly has drawn over one thousand six hundred (1 600) delegates, including Speakers from one hundred and forty eight (148) IPU Member Parliaments.

Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of National Assembly and Hon. Mabel Memory Chinomona, President of the Senate are currently in Geneva, Switzerland attending the 148th assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) being held under the theme “Parliamentary Diplomacy: Building Bridges for peace and understanding”. The spring edition of the IPU Assembly has drawn over one thousand six hundred (1 600) delegates including Speakers from one hundred and forty eight (148) IPU Member Parliaments.

According to the 2023 statistics obtained by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, fifty six (56) countries across the globe were experiencing armed conflict.

Consequently, some of these conflicts have negative global impact on world economies. Inaccessible grain and fertiliser supplies, curtailed movement of goods and services resulting in devastating consequences of humanitarian crisis. In this context, the IPU is applauded for providing a much-needed platform for Parliamentarians to exercise diplomacy through dialogue in order to complement the peace and security efforts by the United Nations and other multilateral humanitarian organisations.

 

Hon. Mudenda and other delegates from the SADC region are expected to articulate on conflicts in the region and how Parliamentary diplomacy through dialogue can resolve the current conflicts. The theatre of conflicts in the SADC region include the Cabo Delgado and Eastern DRC areas.

The IPU has been consistent in leading conversations pertaining to women empowerment and increasing the participation of women in politics and decision-making positions. Accordingly, Hon. Chinomona is expected to share Zimbabwe’s progress and best parliamentary practices in the area of gender parity during the Forum of Women Parliamentarians.

As has become standard practice at IPU Assembly meetings, the SADC Group and Africa Geopolitical Group convened on 22nd March 2024 to discuss and reach consensus on issues affecting the region and the continent. The meetings provide a focussed approach in tackling issues under consideration by the global Parliamentary body.

In keeping with the spirit of the theme of the Assembly, both the SADC and Africa Geopolitical Group resolved to support the submission of an Emergency Item submitted by South Africa entitled, “ Raising awareness of the International Court of Justice provisional measures for Israel in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, and of the need for urgent action on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” for inclusion on the Agenda of the IPU. This emergency item will be married with Algeria’s proposal in terms of Rule 11(2) of the IPU Statutes which allow for such composite approach.

Regarding the IPU Task Force on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Executive Committee noted the progress registered by the IPU Task Force in dealing with the conflict.