The President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), H.E. Chief Fortune Charumbira is leading a delegation to the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and its related meetings which kick off today till 15 March 2023 in Manama, Bahrain.
All IPU statutory bodies, including the Governing Council, Standing Committees, Committees on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and on Middle East Questions, as well as the Forum of Women Parliamentarians and the Forum of Young MPs, are expected to convene during this Assembly. The General Debate will focus on the overall theme of Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance - and provide a platform for delegates to deliberate, exchange views and galvanize parliamentary action in this area.
The PAP is taking part in the IPU Assembly for the second time as an Associate Member of the international parliamentary body. This follows the continental Parliament’s active first participation in the 145th Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda where the President of the legislative arm of the African Union addressed world parliamentarians on gender equality.
Leading up to the opening of the 146th IPU Assembly in Manama, the President of the PAP took part in the traditional preparatory engagements including meetings of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Africa groups on 10 March 2023. These consultations covered several items including the report of the executive committee, emergency items to be included in the agenda of the Assembly and the security situation in Eastern DRC.
Intervening on the occasion of these meetings, the President of the PAP, H.E. Chief Charumbira reiterated the Continental Parliament’s commitment to working closely with all stakeholders to ensure alignment and consensus on African positions.
“Our role as Africa’s Parliament is to facilitate cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Parliamentary fora. We’re also called upon to cooperate with National and Regional Parliaments and similar bodies within and outside Africa. Our participation in these global gatherings is therefore to ensure that Africa speaks with one voice,” said Chief Charumbira.
On the issue of Palestine, the President of the PAP sought to reaffirm the African Union (AU)'s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause.
“ The 36th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government held in February 2023 in Addis Ababa was unequivocal about the issue of Palestine. Africa is fully behind the cause and this is the position we must all adopt during this IPU Assembly,” said H.E. Chief Charumbira.
Finally, the 147th IPU Assembly expected to hold in Luanda, Angola received an overwhelming support from the Africa group.