Speaker of the National Assembly, Prof. Peter Katjavivi speaking during the debate.
|Story by George Sanzila
Geneva, Switzerland - Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi has commended the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Secretariat for recently organizing a seminar in Namibia that evaluated gender sensitivity of the Namibian Parliament. Namibia prides itself among countries that are ranked high in terms of women representation in Parliament. Of the 104 members of Parliament in the National Assembly, 48 are women representing a 46%.
According to Katjavivi, Namibia’s experience would serve as a yardstick for other sister Parliaments. “I thank the IPU Secretariat for recently organizing for Namibia to host 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 at the 138th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva, Switzerand where over 135 Parliaments are converged to look at pertinent issues affecting the world. The assembly began on Saturday (24/03/18). One issue that has been enjoying attention is the migration crisis that Katjavivi stated was exacerbated 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”, bemoaned the Speaker.
He noted that Namibia attaches great importance to 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”, assured Katjavivi.
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”, argued 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 ends on the 28th of March 2018.
The IPU Assembly 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. 65 Speakers are present at this year’s assembly.
George Sanzila works as Chief Information Officer in the Division: Research, Information, Publications and Editorial Services at the National Assembly.