A 14 member delegation composed of six British Members of Parliament is expected in Zambia to participate in the 134th International Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly that will be held in Lusaka from March 19 to 23, 2016.
Leader of delegation and chair of the British Group Nigel Evans said that he hopes the Assembly will provide an opportunity to learn more about Zambia and its people especially to first time visitors. The British Parliamentarian said this when Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde and First Secretary-Tourism Donald Pelekamoyo last week delivered a briefing at West Minister to highlight the current matters of interest to the Parliamentarians which included Politics, Press Freedom, Tourism, Government policy and programmes, Gender mainstreaming, Health policy and Youth involvement in the economy and politics as they prepare to travel to Zambia.
The group in attendance composed: Nigel Evans MP (BGIPU Chair and leader of the delegation) Andrew Gwynne MP (Shadow Minister for Public Health) David Mackintosh MP, Graham Jones MP, Stephen Pound MP, Baroness Hooper, Andrew Kennon (Clerk of the Committees, House of Commons), Rick Nimmo, BGIPU Director, Dominique Rees and BGIPU Deputy Director and other IPU staff.
“The objective of the brief was to highlight current matters of interest to the Parliamentarians and relevant to the Assembly’s theme – Youth Engagement – which included Politics, Press Freedom, Tourism, Government policy, Gender equality, Health policy and Youth empowerment and involvement in politics. It was also an opportunity for the members to ask questions of interest and getting a better and general understanding of the issues highlighted above prior to the MP’s visit. It is important to know that the Assembly will attract delegates from all over the world so it also provides us the opportunity to further market Zambia’s hospitality; the friendliness of its people; the peace and above all its tourism potential” he said.
He said after the Assembly and related meetings, a number of the MP’s are keen to visit organisations and projects that have been established to address AIDS and HIV, and also programmes dealing with Gender and women empowerment and at least five of the delegation will stay on to experience Zambian tourism, particularly in Livingstone.
The IPU is the international organization of Parliaments. The Union is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy. The IPU fosters contacts, co-ordination, and the exchange of experience among parliaments and parliamentarians of all countries; Considers questions of international interest and concern and expresses its views on such issues in order to bring about action by parliaments and parliamentarians;
The IPU’s 134th Assembly in Lusaka from 19-23 March 2016 will be held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) and the Radisson Blu Hotel and will convene a general debate on “Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth”. IPU Members will also consider resolutions on “The need to enhance global cooperation against the threat to democracy and individual rights” and “Ensuring lasting protection against destruction and deterioration for the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of humanity” at the conclusion of the Assembly.
The Lusaka assembly is unique in that it will focus on the Youth Engagement. Young Members of Parliament are set to define their role in delivering the new generation of development goals. Agenda 2030: Youth leading the way, leaving no-one behind, jointly organized by IPU and the Zambian Parliament, will identify the groups most at risk of being excluded in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and what action is needed. Critical policy areas, including climate change, sustainable development and global economic models, will be highlighted during the conference.