APU Conference ends with pledge for Women and Youth Empowerment

APU Conference ends with pledge for Women and Youth Empowerment

The 69th Session of the Executive Committee and the 39th Conference of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) concluded in Rabat on Wednesday November 9 2016, with delegates pledging to commit themselves to empowering women and youth.

Hon. Lassana Fati, the newly elected Chairperson of the African Parliamentary Union who is also the Deputy President of the National People’s Assembly of Guinea Bissau called on parliamentarians to encourage participation of the youth in politics as a priority action for the progress of democracy worldwide.

“We have rededicated ourselves to the Pan-African ideals of our founding fathers for the Africa we want,” Hon. Fati said.

Hon. Fati called on the APU Members States to implement all the decisions adopted during the Conference.

“African states should leverage their resources for the benefit of their people,” he said.

He added that women and youth are the greatest asset for Africa and hence they should be empowered as nations strive to attain sustainable development and democracy.

Member states were tasked to be commit themselves to the Millennium Declaration that calls for countries to spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament had earlier requested for sanctions to be imposed on Members states that do not consider women in delegations to APU.

The Summit resolved under Article 8 of the APU Statute that every delegation of a national group to the session of the African Parliamentary Union shall include at least 30 percent woman representation.

Delegates also suggested that any delegation that does not conform to this amendment for three consecutive meetings, shall be prevented from attending further meetings and not be eligible for any office on the Committee.

Hon. Michael Georges Hage, the Morocco Representative called on Member states to contribute fully to the decision adopted by the Summit on the alternative sources of financing APU activities.

Mr. Fayez al Shawabkeh the APU Secretary General tasked African parliaments to make laws which meet the Sustainable Development Goals requirements and to ensure effective implementation by their governments.

“Ensure that your governments adopt the social and economic policies that foster sustainable growth in keeping with the SDGs, and remember to pursue their efforts in institutional reforms in order to promote democracy, human rights, and fighting corruption,” he said.

The Chief of Cooperation of European Union to Morocco Mr. Philip Mikos requested African parliaments to work within the framework of  bilateral and multilateral parliamentary activities and also to involve parliaments of developed countries in efforts to get their respective governments to fulfil their commitment of allocating 0.7% of gross national product to official development assistance.

Mikos also called on national Parliaments and governments to promote private investment and public-private partnerships (PPP) for the financing and operation of public utilities especially in the areas of housing, resilient infrastructure and environment.

The African Parliamentary Union is a continental inter-parliamentary organization first established in Abidjan on 13 February 1976. The Union aims to bring together Parliamentary institutions of all the nations of Africa, to encourage contacts among African and world Parliamentarians, and to strengthen and promote democracy and peace.