MUSEVENI CALLS ON THE COMMONWEALTH MEMBER STATES TO PROMOTE TRADE SECURITY AND INNOVATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL PEOPLE
By Moses Sserwanga
President Yoweri Museveni has opened the 64 Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference while urging the 54 member states to use their numerical strengthen of a combined 2.5bn population to promote investment and create jobs without necessarily distorting the CFTA Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
Under the same arrangement , Museveni who is also the Vice Patron of the Commonwealth Parliament, told the well attended delegates drawn from across the world their unity in diversity could be employed to promote trade among the member states , peace and security and work on cultural exchanges programs.
The conference which attracted well over one thousand delegates is being held at the lake side Munyonyo resort in Kampala Uganda . The cooperation , Museveni, explained needed mutual respect of the territorial sovereignty of states .
The commonwealth he said should also promote the spread of the benefits of scientific innovation because, like in all ages, the advances in science and technology have always been the primers of change in society. “ The protection of the environment must remain not only a core point of our commitment but also a basis of our agreed joint point of action. The oppression of man by nature can be solved by the use of science through the whole world. The oppression of man by man is always better resolved by the affected communities, in some extreme cases, supported by appropriate external solidarity. This is what we did with apartheid and with colonialism,” he stressed .
The Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda who is also the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) and the convener of the 64th CPC , thanked President Museveni for the support towards the organization of the conference. “ He has supported the Uganda Parliament to host CPA Africa Region Conferences including, the CSPOC Africa Region in 2009, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Africa Region in 2010, the 4th CPA Africa Youth Conference in 2018, as well as the CHOGM in 2007,” she said.
While making reference the conference ‘s theme : “Adaption, engagement, and evolution of Parliaments in a rapidly changing Commonwealth,’ Speaker Kadaga noted that a lot was happening – from the demographic characteristics to the diversities of race, belief and people’s needs.
“There is a growing focus on greater scrutiny of Parliamentarians, coupled with a demand for accountability and transparency. At the same time, the public trust in Parliaments is flagging in most countries, yet the people increasingly expect more from their representatives,” she noted .
She highloighted the major challenges facing the Commonwealth countries as climate change, individual and group terrorism, hunger and malnutrition, old and new disease epidemics; local and regional conflicts; and the rising frequency and cost of natural and man-made disasters. These , she said , threatened the present and future wellbeing of the people coupled with the ever growing numbers of refugees, distressed persons, stateless persons in the Commonwealth community ..
“As Parliamentarians, we are the bridges between Government and the people. They, therefore, rely on us to speak for them and to plan for them a future that is better than the present and the past. This Conference theme awakens us as elected representatives of the people, to adapt, engage and evolve to match the challenges that we face,” she told the cheering delegates .
“One of the assignments as national Parliaments towards achievement of the United Nations Agenda 2030, we are expected to promote, plan for and monitor the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” Kadaga said.