The National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is leading a high-powered parliamentary delegation to the 139th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The IPU will be held from Sunday to Thursday, 14-18 October 2018, under the theme: “Parliamentary leadership in promoting peace and development in the age of innovation and technological change”.
In a statement on Saturday, Parliament said the SA delegation includes Deputy Chairperson of the National Council Of Provinces (NCOP) Raseriti Tau, House Chairperson for International Relations Mmatlala Boroto, Chief Whip of the NCOP Seiso Mohai, as well as Members of Parliament Pumzile Mnguni, Peace Mabe, Michael Waters and Ntombovuyo Mente.
The South African delegation is joining 1,300 delegates from over 130 countries who will deliberate on a number of critical issues affecting the development of the people across the world that include science-technology and innovation; human rights; violence against women; disarmament; sustainable development goals and migration.
A special IPU session marking the Universal Declaration on Human Rights’ (UDHR) 70th anniversary will take place on Tuesday inclusive of the Madiba Centenary celebration.
“The programme will start with a video clip featuring Speaker Mbete and the material on Mandela and continue with an interactive debate with academics and human rights victims,” said the statement.
“It will conclude with the adoption of a declaration of world Parliaments recommit themselves to advance the UDHR principles and the values embodied Mandela.”
During the five-day intensive programme, the IPU will also unveil a ground-breaking report on violence against women in European Parliaments that corroborates a 2016 IPU study that found that 82% of women Members of Parliament had experienced gender-based psychological violence.
South Africa’s Parliament said these engagements are expected to give impetus to the #MeToo movement established to help break the silence and fight the scourge of women abuse across the world.
“On her own South Africa is Celebrating the Centenary of MaSisulu this year to advance her legacy, moving beyond fighting violence against women to a 360degree development of women,” said Parliament in a statement.
There will also be a panel discussion of MPs, Media and Academics on how parliaments can deal with and regulate fake news that has been enhanced by among others the exponential growth of information and communication technologies and social media.
In addition, the assembly is expected to adopt a resolution on the advancement of the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”.
The 130-year-old forum of world Parliaments meets twice each year, to coordinate efforts and promote democratic parliamentary systems, share best practices, promote world peace and optimize technology and innovation to drive the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
– African News Agency (ANA)