‘Parliaments are the last port of call for the population in case of violations of human rights. Conflicts can and will rise in situations of political oppression, economic despair, deprivation, exclusion despondency and social inequality.
Parliaments are therefore the institutions where the oppressed and abused seek refuge, protection and readiness,’ Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga told the Inter-Parliamentary Union Governing Council Meeting at its 135th Assembly in Geneva.
Kadaga urged legislators from across the globe to interest themselves in matters regarding human rights abuses since most countries subscribe to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, as well as regional conventions on human rights.
She challenged IPU member states to have the issue of human rights violations feature prominently on the order of business of their respective Parliaments.
In the course of the deliberations, the Speaker opted to withdraw Uganda’s request to include an emergency item to sponsor a Motion to guarantee the safety of migrants on their way to countries of destination in favour of Kenya which aims to address the South Sudan conflict: The role of parliaments in safeguarding peace and security.
Under the rules of the IPU Assembly, any Member of the Union may request the inclusion of an emergency item on the Assembly agenda.
The emergency matters discussed included helping to consolidate international peace and security through the recognition of a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Other items discussed were the role of parliaments in combating terrorism for sustainable peace, security and development. It was presented by Bangladesh while the item on Restoring Peace and Security in Syria was requested by the Russian Federation and Syrian Arab Republic.
The Assembly also discussed the issue of separation of powers as an essential element of democratic systems and as a guarantor of the proper functioning of parliaments. It also discussed the role of parliamentarians in protecting the principles of State sovereignty and State immunity from prosecution in the national courts of another State, and in preventing the adoption of unilateral legislation undermining these principles.