IPU commended for hosting gender seminar

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George Sanzila
Geneva

Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi has commended the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Secretariat for organising a seminar in Namibia that evaluated the gender-sensitivity of the Namibian Parliament.
Namibia prides itself among countries ranked high in terms of women representation in parliament. Of the 104 members of parliament, 48 are women representing a 46 percent of the parliamentarians.

According to Katjavivi, Namibia’s experience would serve as a yardstick for other sister parliaments. “I thank the IPU Secretariat for recently organising that Namibia hosts the seminar on evaluating the level of gender sensitivity of the Parliament of Namibia and the former Speaker of the Australian Parliament who served as the key facilitator. I believe the report will be shared with other sister parliaments,” said Katjavivi.

Katjavivi is attending the 138th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland where over 135 parliaments have since Saturday converged to look at the global immigration crisis caused by conflict.

“For many of us who were involved in the struggles for liberation of our various countries, we experienced first-hand what a conflict can do to a nation. It creates wanton suffering and migration,” he informed fellow dignitaries.

He reiterated Namibia attaches great importance to global peace and stability in order to realise sustainable development.

“We designed our constitution to ensure that peace and stability are cherished and maintained in the country. The Namibian Constitution upholds equality for all and the strengthening of institutions that cater for human rights and the rule of law,” said the Namibian National Assembly speaker.

He further said the issue of migration was multifaceted and therefore required further scrutiny if concrete solutions are to be found.

“We have people who are forced by circumstances beyond their control and on the other hand, we have criminal tendencies linked to human trafficking, terrorism and other crimes. It becomes difficult to tell which migrant needs to be protected and which one needs to be denied refuge,” noted Katjavivi.

Katjavivi was contributing to a debate on “strengthening the global regime for migrants and refugees: the need for evidence-based policy solutions.”

The IPU General Assembly concludes today.
The IPU Assembly is a global organisation of parliaments that brings together lawmakers to identify international challenges and make recommendations for action. There are 173 members and 11 associate members of the IPU of which Namibia is a member and 65 Speakers attended this year’s assembly.
• George Sanzila works as the Chief Information Officer in the Division: Research, Information, Publications and Editorial Services at the National Assembly.

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