Chairperson of the National Council Hon. Margaret Mensah-Williams, addressing the Mexican Senate
|Story by Rafael Hangula
The Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Margaret Mensah-Williams has called on improved relationship between Mexico and Namibia; and between Latin America and Africa parliaments to uphold democracy.
Mensah-Williams said this when she addressed the Mexican Senate on 07 December 2017, in Mexico.
“I believe that the time is right to start building bridges between our two parliaments; between Mexico and Namibia; and between Latin America and Africa,” she said.
“The time is opportune for us to join hands in promoting democracy, the rule of law, world peace, and help to build sustainable societies and protect the environment. I believe that legislatures have a central role to play in this regard.” she added.
The Chairperson briefed the Mexican Senate that there are many platforms through which these countries can come together, adding that Mexico and Namibia can engage in direct parliament-to-parliament cooperation bilaterally with the aim of transferring knowledge and sharing best practices.
“We can join hands through the many multilateral platforms such as the IPU, the UN, African Union and many others to build even more bridges,” she noted.
Mensah-Williams also emphasized that the world the world is changing hence parliaments need to continue playing a central role through giving citizens the assurance they need and a sense of direction.
“Therefore, as players in this globalized world, our two parliaments must continue to tap into the global network. There might be over thirteen thousand kilometers between our two countries but, the challenges our legislatures face are not very different,” said the Chairperson.
Additionally, she congratulated Senator Gabriela Cuevas Barron on her election as the 29th President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Barron was elected as the IPU President this year October.
In promoting the country’s flag, Mensah-Williams said as Namibia is currently pursuing her economic diplomacy in the 21st century, the Namibian Parliament passed the Namibia Investment Promotion Bill in August last year to provide a clear and transparent framework for investment in Namibia, because economic relations are now a priority in Namibia’s interaction with the international community.
Namibia is a country with an economy that is mainly based on the extraction and export of primary commodities and a society many of whose peoples live below the poverty line. For this, the country is anxious to achieve rapid economic growth and, consequently, a significant reduction in the absolute number of the absolute poor.
“Therefore, I extend an open invitation to Mexican companies to come to Namibia and explore investment opportunities. Our priority areas, among others, are the tourism, agriculture, infrastructure development and manufacturing sectors,” she empathized.
Mensah-Williams who has been at the forefront of promoting women’s rights and equality between men and women and the current President of the IPU Bureau of Women Parliamentarians, said that parliaments are key to achieving gender equality. She further thanked Mexico through the UN system, for helping Namibia to win its independence from Apartheid South Africa through the passing and later on, the implementation of UN Resolution 435 which was the basis of Namibia’s transition into a sovereign state.