Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi presenting his statement during the debate
|Story by George Sanzila
Belgrade, Serbia - Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi says Namibia has been relentlessly promoting peace and security. According to Hon. Katjavivi, with Namibia having endured the bitter and protracted struggle for independence that involved war, the country attaches great importance to international diplomacy and intervention to resolve conflicts.
Hon. Katjavivi made the remarks at the 141st IPU Assembly where he participated in a debate entitled “Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms and the contribution of regional cooperation” today (14/10/2019).
He noted that Namibia was in part, a product of international solidarity and that it has progressed into one of Africa’s success stories. “Namibia obtained her independence in 1990 after many years of a bloody conflict, thanks to the will of our people and the intervention of the United Nations, through resolution 435 of the UN Security Council, which paved the way for our independence. We in Namibia know very well what war can do to people as well as the importance of international intervention. Namibia today is regarded as one of the success stories of the United Nations”, noted Katjavivi.
To complement what has already been achieved in international law and order, Hon. Katjavivi stated that the Namibian parliament has ratified a number of international conventions such as the African Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention, Genocide Convention, Terrorism Financing and Terrorism Bombing Convention among many others. With the mandate to monitor and hold the executive to account, the Speaker further noted that the Namibian Parliament has continued to exercise oversight including that of scrutinising progress on the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Hon. Katjavivi further noted that the Namibian parliament that has an open-door policy, has been an active member of continental and regional legislative bodies intended to promote cooperation, unity, peace and democracy. “The Namibian parliament provides a platform for citizens to engage in peaceful demonstrations while submitting petitions on issues of importance. The public is at liberty to visit individual MPs to discuss pertinent issues as well as familiarise themselves with the functions of parliament. Namibia is also one the few countries in the world hosting the Children’s parliament that inculcates a democratic culture among young people”, said Katjavivi.
He also drummed up support for the people of both Western Sahara and Palestine. “I would like to make a special plea to all of us in this hall to listen to the people of Western Sahara and Palestine. This is in terms of implementing key UN resolutions on the question of self determination for both of these people”, pleaded Katjavivi.
The IPU Assembly is a global organisation of parliaments that brings together lawmakers to identify international challenges and make recommendations for action. Fellow lawmakers Hons. Margaret Mensah Williams, Elma Dienda, Dawid Boois and Heather Sibungo are accompanying the Speaker.