FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

7 September 2011

Gambia: At the National Assembly Report On the Inter-Parliamentary Union

The sitting of the National Assembly on Monday, 5th September 2011, in the third session in the 2011 legislative year, witnessed the laying of the report on the inter-parliamentary union (IPU) 124th Assembly from the 15th to 20th April 2011 by the deputy speaker.

In laying the report before the National Assembly, the deputy speaker Hon. Fatou Mbye said the inter-parliamentary union (IPU) is an independent self-governing body funded by members' parliaments comprising 155 national parliaments.

She said the IPU offers the worlds community of parliaments a collective voice in inter-national affairs as it is the only organization of its kind with the global legitimacy to provide a bridge between parliaments and international decision making bodies.

The National Assembly, deputy speaker told deputies that the theme of the 124th IPU Assembly was "parliamentary accountability; living up to people's expectations" and was held in Panama City, Panama. She said one hundred and twenty-five (125) parliaments represented by eight hundred (800) parliamentarians attended the assembly and related meetings.

The deputy speaker told deputies that during the official opening of the 124th IPU assembly on the 15th April 2011 at Atlapa convention centre, the president of the Republic of Panama, Ricard Martinelli, in his opening address challenged members of the inter-parliamentary union to find ways of making the organisation stronger and effective in the face of the current global challenges.

Deputy speaker Madam Mbye told deputies that in his coming address, the president (speaker) of the National Assembly of Panama, Mr. Jose Munoz Mollina said parliamentarians could only truly represent their people and sustain human development if parliaments were accessible to the people and the people were in touch with parliament. She said the Panamanian parliament speaker noted that democracy guarantees human rights.

The deputy speaker told deputies that during the opening of the assembly, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Joseph Deiss while speaking on the theme parliamentary accountability; living up to citizens' expectation told the gathering that the world is in pressing need of a better global governance system as it become ever more inter connected and interdependent.

The deputy speaker said during the welcome address of the president of IPU Dr. theo-Ben Gurirab declared that people wanted more transparency, freedom, social justice, fair play, jobs, developments and more democracy not less.

Continuing with the laying of the report, Hon. Madam Mbye noted that on Saturday the 16th of April 3011, delegates converged to partake in the general debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world with the overall theme of parliamentary accountability living up to people's expectations. She said in delivering her key note address, Ms. Michelle Bachelet the UN under-secretary-general and executive director of UN women underscored her organisation's determination to act as a catalyst for change and their readiness to assist counties to deliver on their commitments for concrete changes in the lives of women and girls. Contributing to the debate on the topic, she said the speaker of the Indian parliament Ms. M. Kumar said the world faced the daunting challenge of unrest and instability which reflects the gap between the expectations of citizens and their government's ability to fulfill that expectation. She said the Indian speaker informed the gathering that parliamentarians had to work collectively toward developing democratic institutions.

The Gambians deputy speaker highlighted that during the debate, the speaker of Sweden, Ms. S. Eberstain said politicians had a duty to maintain high moral standards as corruption was a terrible disease that undermined democracy, impeded economic growth and eroded trust in political institutions. She said the United Nations high commissioner for refugees Ms. N. Karsenty informed law makers that every body has the right to a nationality, but that there were 12 million people globally who were considered stateless depriving these individuals of even the most basic right accorded to citizens.

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