Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi (left) and Chairperson of the National Council, Margaret Mensah Williams (right) with the newly elected President of the IPU, Hon. Gabriela Cuevas Barron of Mexico
|Story by George Sanzila
St. Petersburg, Russia - Hon. Gabriela Cuevas Barron from Mexico has just won the IPU Presidency after defeating fellow lawmaker from Uruguay, Hon. Ivonne Passada for the top seat.
The election took place in a session of the Governing Council of the IPU at the 137th IPU Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia. Hon. Barron takes over from Hon.Saber Hossain Chowdhury of Bangladesh whose term of office comes to an end at the conclusion of the Assembly today. The President of the IPU has a three year mandate.
Katjavivi noted that Namibia herself being a victim of colonial domination and apartheid has forged ahead and put in place mechanisms that are anchored on social justice and fundamental human rights, post-independence. “In Namibia we emerged out of colonial domination and apartheid system that was built on division of the people along ethnic and racial lines. In independent Namibia we put emphasis on fundamental human rights and freedoms, protection of life and liberty and forging unity in diversity”, stressed Katjavivi.
Namibia which has been supporting the newly elected President is represented at the Assembly by lawmakers, Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi, National Council Chairperson, Hon. Margaret Mensah Williams, National Council MP, Hon. Cletius Sipapela, National Assembly MPs, Hons. Elma Dienda and Heather Sibungo.
The IPU Assembly that was founded in 1889 is a global organization of Parliaments around the world that brings together lawmakers to identify international challenges and make recommendations for action. There are currently 173 members and 11 associate members of the IPU and Namibia comprises this composition. It is the biggest gathering ever for the Assembly with more than 160 delegations and 96 Speakers.