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The Parliament Office(PO)

Parliament of Botswana will send a delegation of 3 Members of Parliament to attend the 127th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly to be held in Quebec, Canada from 21st to 26th October 2012. The delegation led by Hon Kagiso P. Molatlhegi, Member of Parliament for Gaborone South, will also comprise, Hon. Dumelang Saleshando, Leader of Opposition and Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central and Hon. Mephato R. Reatile, Member of Parliament for Ngwaketse South.

The Assembly will be held under the Theme; “Citizenship, Identity and Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in a Globalized World,” and is expected to attract over 1,300 participants from more than 120 IPU member national Parliaments, regional Parliaments, observers and international organizations. It will be formally opened by Canada’s Governor General David Johnston at an inaugural ceremony involving IPU President Abdelwahad Radi, the Speakers of the two Canadian chambers Andrew Scheer and Noël A. Kinsella as well as UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.

According to a press release from the IPU – “The protection of religious diversity in particular is also one of three emergency items being proposed for IPU members to act on. Proposed by the United Arab Emirates, it also calls for an international agreement that would criminalize religious defamation. Syria and Mali have respectively proposed emergency items on the violence against Christians and other minorities in Syria and the situation regarding institutions and security in Mali. A decision on which emergency items will be debated upon during the Assembly will be taken on the opening day”.

The 127th Assembly will also include several panel discussions on issues relating to the use of social media to enhance citizen engagement and democracy; the role of parliament in safeguarding civilian lives; building peace after conflict; fair trade and innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable development and a debate on whether the UN takes democracy seriously enough.

Members will have an opportunity to participate in the debates led by the IPU Gender Partnership Group which will culminate in the adoption of a plan of action on ways to make Parliaments more gender sensitive. The plan of action focuses a wide range of issues including increasing the number of women in Parliaments and within their decision-making bodies. It will similarly address the many challenges women MPs and parliamentary staff face in the working environment of a predominantly male Parliament.

The Honourable Members are expected back on the 29th October 2012.


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