Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi addressing the assembly yesterday (08/04/19)
|Story by George Sanzila
Doha, Qatar - Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon.Prof. Peter Katjavivi says parliament has a great role to play in enhancing peace, security, good governance and the rule of law as its mandate is law making.
He said this during a general debate on parliaments as platforms to enhance education for peace, security and the rule of law at the ongoing 140th IPU General Assembly taking place in Doha, Qatar. Addressing more than a thousand lawmakers from around the world, Hon. Katjavivi noted that despite many nations subscribing to the ideals of the United Nations of promoting peace and security, many countries are still plagued by violence and other forms of instability.
“The United Nations came into being with the noble objective of promoting peace, security and the rule of law. Yet despite the many efforts carried out by international organisations, many communities, countries and regions around the world continue to experience various forms of violence”, bemoaned Hon. Katjavivi.
The Speaker, who referred to the recent terror attack in Christ church, New Zealand also noted that there is a worrying trend of increasing acts of violence against women and children. ‘’The 2018 Global Peace Index reveals that there is an escalation in violence against women and children and an increase in acts of violent extremism in different parts of the world”, said Hon. Katjavivi.
Hon. Katjavivi therefore implored lawmakers to enact laws that are meant to foster peace and security.
He stated that for parliament to carry out its mandate effectively, it should be truly representative. “Parliaments in a multi-party democracy are the platform for different opinions and are well-placed to find solutions to challenges in the societies they represent. However, for Parliaments to be able to do this, they need to be truly representative”, said Hon. Katjavivi.
The Speaker noted that contemporary social challenges such as inequality between groups, competition for the control of natural resources, unemployment, lack of education and other population pressures have the potential to destabilise peace, therefore parliament has the power to correct such anomalies through legislation.
Hon. Katjavivi further emphasised the importance of education as one of the best solutions to this predicament. He told the gathering of the world’s parliament that Namibia has been making efforts towards a better life for all its citizens. “In Namibia, we are committed to the growth at home strategy and the nation has deliberately implemented free primary and secondary school education. Even at university level, government supports students from low income families. The constitution guarantees fundamental human rights to all”, noted Hon. Katjavivi.
About 160 out of 179 member countries, are represented at this year’s gathering including 80 Speakers of Parliament and 40 Deputy Speakers.
The IPU Assembly is a global organization of parliaments that brings together parliamentarians to identify international challenges and make recommendations for action.