Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi (left) with Serbian Speaker, Hon. Maja Gojković.
|Story by George Sanzila
Belgrade, Serbia - Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi met his Serbian counterpart Hon. Maja Gojković on Friday last week ahead of the 141st Inter - Parliamentary Union that started yesterday (13/10/2019) in Belgrade, Serbia.
The two exchanged views on a myriad of issues including the creation of a parliamentary friendship group to facilitate cooperation between the two legislative bodies.
“We would love to have a friendship group that will further strengthen bilateral relations that already exist between our two countries. It is on this basis that we would want to have this platform to be able not only create a link between the two legislatures but also promote government to government and private sector to private sector cooperation. We also have an active honourary consul promoting training and capacity building”, noted Katjavivi.
The two countries have a close relationship dating back to the time of Namibia’s struggle for independence. It is also in Serbia where the Non - Aligned Movement, a grouping of 120 developing countries who do not want to be officially aligned with or against any major power bloc of countries, was established in 1961.
“I recall the time I used to visit Belgrade during the time of the former Yugoslavia and how the former government used to help to print Swapo publications”, remembered Katjavivi during the meeting woth the Serbian Speaker.
Both the African geopolitical group and the SADC group meetings also preceded the assembly. The latter meeting that was chaired by Hon. Katjavivi unanimously agreed to have Zimbabwean Speaker, Hon. Jacob Mudenda as a candidate to the IPU executive.
At the African geopolitical group meeting, it was revealed that the emergency item that was adopted at the previous IPU Assembly in Doha, Qatar has started to bear fruits. The item centred on the need for assistance to victims devastated by Cyclone Idai earlier this year that affected over a thousand people in SADC countries of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. More than US$600 million has been raised in Zimbabwe alone including other donations such as food and sanitary ware, it was revealed.
President of IPU, Gabriela Cuevas Barron also addressed African delegates at the meeting that included a minute of silence in remembrance of late Zimbabwean statesman, Robert Mugabe.
The IPU Assembly is a global organisation of parliaments that brings together lawmakers to identify international challenges and make recommendations for action. The membership of the global body of parliaments has increased to 179 member countries and close a thousand parliamentarians are attending the event. Fellow lawmakers representing Namibia at the meeting include Hon. Margaret Mensah Williams, Elma Dienda, Dawid Boois and Heather Sibungo.
The Assembly that was officially opened by the Serbian Head of state, H.E. Aleksandar Vučić ends on Thursday (17/10/2019).