The First Ordinary Session of the Fourth Pan African Parliament has opened in Midrand, where the host government of South Africa pledged continued support to the institution.
“I would like to assure you of our continued support to the Pan African Parliament as the government and the people of South Africa and we remain available for engagements on issues you may wish to raise with us at all times,” said Hon. Ms Maite Nkoana, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
The new President of PAP, Hon. Roger Dang Nkodo, will chair this Session, being held at the PAP headquarters in Midrand, South Africa, Oct. 5 – 17, 2015.
Uganda’s representatives to PAP are Hon. Onyango Kakoba (NRM, Buikwe North), Hon. Jacquline Amongin (NRM, Ngora district), Hon. Beatrice Barumba (NRM, Kiruhura district), Hon. Sam Otada (Ind., Kibanda) and Hon. Elijah Okupa (FDC, Kasilo).
Hon. Nkoana, who represented the South African President, said that the revised Protocol for the Pan African Parliament will enhance its mandate as it enters into force adding that it would have the full support of her government.
“There is a lot we can learn from each other and use each other’s model laws while we fight for that common cause of being mandated or given the ultimate
goal of becoming a continent’s legislative body,” she said.
“It will enable us to entrench democracy, promote and protect human rights. The AU requires stronger organs in order to achieve its continental and political, economic integration.”
Hon. Nkoana added that the Pan African Parliament will enhance the ambitions for development and total eradication of poverty on the continent.
She appealed to African countries to give chance to their negotiators during world meetings to defend Africa’s common position on the climate.
“Our livelihoods are to a greater extent dependent on the environment and the surroundings we live in; the importance of preserving the climate cannot be over emphasized,” she said.
Referring to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) scheduled for Paris, France at the end of November, she said Africa will participate in the process with a clear determination to pursue the adoption of a fair, ambitious and legally binding instrument.
“If you walk into any negotiation, make sure that there is no conclusion of that discussion if it does not end with that which protects us,” she said.