The Acting Speaker of the Children’s Parliament, Norman Ndeuyeeka, and Chief Whip of the Children’s Parliament, Emma Theofelus, along with other members of the National Assembly and National Council are currently in Geneva, Switzerland representing Namibia at the 133rd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly.
The IPU Assembly, formerly known as the Inter-Parliamentary Conference, is the principal statutory body that expresses the views of the IPU on political issues. It brings together parliamentarians to study international problems and make recommendations for action.
The conference came about as a result of their recent advocacy call to the President of Pan-African Parliament (PAP), representing the African Chapter of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Young Parliamentarians Forum. The visit was meant to urge PAP to prioritise young people in governance, as well as decision-making, as much as they prioritise women’s issues. The advocacy visit coincided with the PAP’s Women’s Conference 2015.
Theofelus says the visit was fruitful, as the president assured the young parliamentarians that through the PAP’s Youth Caucus, as well as any other avenues available, young parliamentarians and the youth would surely be prioritised.
“The PAP is one of Africa’s tools to unite Africa and if the young people are not aware of the importance of solidarity and togetherness, come 2063, Africa will not be fighting against various ills together. I believe it’s important for all African structures to vigorously bring young people into boardrooms and involve them in decision-making.
“They should further equip and capacitate them to leave the boardroom with substantial ideas that can be implemented to emulate the well-crafted policies that most African countries have adopted,” says Theofelus
“It is of vital importance that young people are included in decision-making and the democratic process – only then are they able to seize the opportunities to better the future with what they do today,” Ndeeuyeka adds.
During a busy five-day IPU Assembly, IPU members will also adopt a resolution on democracy in the digital era and the threat to privacy and individual freedoms. In addition, they will examine major global issues, such as counter-terrorism, the protection of cultural heritage and will also look at ways to strengthen parliament’s ability to oversee government. The conference that started last Friday ends today.