The National Assembly Speaker, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is leading a high-level delegation from the South African Parliament to attend the 147th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Luanda, Angola. The event is scheduled to take place from 23 to 27 October 2023 at the National Assembly of Angola.
The IPU is the oldest multilateral organisation made up of 178 parliaments. Representatives of 110 parliaments are expected to attend. Among the objectives of the Assembly is to consider how parliaments can strengthen trust between people and governance structures, to make public institutions more effective, accountable, and representative, and to better equip parliaments to address the multiple interconnected geopolitical, economic, and environmental crises facing the world.
The Assembly is held under the theme: “Parliamentary action for peace, justice, and strong institutions.” The theme is closely linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions, and is an enabler of the entire development agenda.
The five-day session will include the election of the 31st IPU President by secret ballot for a three-year term. The new IPU President will take over from Mr Duarte Pacheco, a Member of Parliament in Portugal. So far, four female candidates, all from Africa, have indicated their availability for the position. They are Dr Tulia Ackson, Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Ms Catherine Hara, Speaker of Parliament of Malawi, Ms Adji Kanoute, Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament of Senegal, and Ms Marwa Hagi, Member of the House of People of Somalia.
The Assembly will also elect nine Executive Council Members and adopt several resolutions, including a resolution on Orphanage trafficking: The role of parliaments in reducing harm. All the Standing Committees and other statutory bodies of the IPU are scheduled to meet. The Assembly is expected to announce the winner of the 2023 MP of the year award – the Cremer-Passy Prize. The winning parliamentarian is expected to have a first-class track record on climate action and complementing the IPU’s climate campaign – Parliaments for the Planet – launched earlier this year.
Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula will also attend as part of the eight prominent parliamentarians representing the global parliamentary community in the IPU Task Force for the Peaceful Resolution of the War in Ukraine. A meeting is scheduled for parliamentarians from both the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The IPU Committee on Middle East Questions is also scheduled to meet and consider the latest developments and chart a path to peace for the region. The IPU is also in close contact with the parliamentary leadership of both Armenia and Azerbaijan and has offered its offices to help promote political dialogue between MPs from the two countries.
The South African parliamentary delegation will participate in each structure of the IPU, including thematic Standing Committees on Peace and International Security, Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade, Democracy and Human Rights, as well as the United Nations Affairs.
The South African parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula, consists of the following members:
• Ms Sylvia Lucas, Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and a member of the African National Congress (ANC) MP • Mr Seiso Mohai, NCOP Chief Whip, and a member of the ANC, MP • Ms Doris Dlakude, Deputy Chief Whip of the majority party, ANC, MP • Ms Fikile Masiko, ANC, MP • Dr Annelie Lotriet, Democratic Alliance MP • Mr Floyd Shivambu, Chief Whip of the Economic Freedom Fighters MP • Mr Xolile George, Secretary to Parliament
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.