Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and Buhweju MP Francis Mwijukye at the IPU conference in Geneva.

The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has been elected President of the African Geopolitical Group at the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Kadaga’s election was during the meeting of the African Geopolitical Group at the ongoing 135th IPU Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday 23rd October, 2016.

In her role as the leader of all African Parliaments that are members of IPU, Kadaga, the Kamuli District representative, said she will coordinate pertinent and emergency matters on the African continent.

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The IPU which comprises all United Nations Member States is meeting 23rd – 27th, October 2016 in Geneva under the theme, “Human Rights Abuses as Precursors of Conflict: Parliaments as Early Responders.”

The Speaker urged world leaders to address issues that force Africans to migrate to Europe, citing migrants from different African countries who attempt to cross high seas in search of greener pastures but end up drowning at times with their families.

“We have to mitigate the effects of migration. The African people continue to be trafficked, they continue to be killed, they continue to be drowned by the transporters,” she said adding: “the Mediterranean Sea is now the grave yard of the African people.  We should put more effort to see what is really happening to the African people.”

In Geneva, the IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights is marking its 40th anniversary, providing an opportunity to reflect upon its achievements with regards to human rights around the globe.

Among the issues to be considered by the 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union is a Resolution by the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, on “The freedom of women to participate in political processes fully, safely and without interference: Building partnerships between men and women.”

The Standing Committees on Peace and International Security will hold a hearing on “The role of Parliament in preventing outside interference in the internal affairs of sovereign States” and panel discussions on “Promoting democratic accountability of the private security sector” and “Comprehensive Disarmament”.

The Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade is faced with a debate on “Promoting enhanced international cooperation on the SDGs, in particular on the financial inclusion of women as a driver of development”.

In addition, the Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs is to scrutinize “Funding the United Nations” and “The UN response to allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers”.

The 135th Assembly’s Forum of Women Parliamentarians, has scheduled a panel debate on “Securing the rights and future of women and girls during war and conflict” and a parity debate on harassment and violence against parliamentarians.

Speaker Kadaga is leading a delegation from the Parliament of Uganda including Raphael Magyezi (NRM, Igara West), Maureen Osoru (NRM, Arua district), Latif Sebaggala (Ind. Kawempe North) and Francis Mwijukye (FDC, Buhweju) and the Clerk to Parliament, Mrs. Jane Lubowa Kibirige.