Parliamentary speakers from different parts of the world meeting in Kampala, the Ugandan capital under the auspices of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), have on Monday elected the speaker of the Uganda Parliament ,Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the 126th IPU assembly president.
Kadaga, a lawyer by profession, was Uganda’s first female speaker after serving for several years as a deputy speaker. She was influential in lobbying for Uganda to host this year’s IPU conference that has brought delegates from all over the world.
A number of speakers representing their national assemblies and parliaments have during the ensuing debate, called for greater democracy, transparency and accountable governance.
Some of the parliamentarians cautioned that when MPs fail to exercise their oversight function, citizens will lose confidence in legislative arms of government. The week-long event being held in Kampala, is meeting under the theme "Parliaments and People, bridging the gap."
The President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator David Mark, noted that law makers in assemblies should champion accountability, transparency and justice. He also called for a sample bill to guide women’s participation in parliaments and the fight again poverty and wealth redistribution.
The speaker of the South African Parliament, Max Sisuluthe observed that the citizens of the world are faced with abject poverty, climate change challenges, food insecurity and conflict. He said how these challenges is to be mitigated is a test to the relevance of the legislators the world over.
"If we are truly committed to deliver on the promises we made to improve on the lives of our people, it cannot be business as usual," Sisulu advised.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, urged legislators to hold their governments accountable whenever they fail to deliver on their promises.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Mr. Zachary Muburi, Mr. Ban said the UN relies more on strong and effective parliaments to meet challenges of the 21st century.
Source African Press Agency
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