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Kadaga unveils upcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to public

Speaker Kadaga has explained to Ugandans the importance of the upcoming parliamentary conference. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA — The speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has briefed the public on the upcoming 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, which will get underway in Kampala in September.

Hon. Kadaga appealed to Ugandans to grab the prospective business opportunities.

While appearing on a local TV show, the Speaker confirmed that climate change will be top on the agenda for the upcoming 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary conference.

“The participants will engage debate on issues of climate change, innovations in parliaments, facilitation for persons with disability …” Ms Kadaga said.

This is in line with the theme of the Conference: “Adaptation, engagement and evolution of Parliaments in a rapidly changing Commonwealth.”

The United Nations has raised a red flag on devastating effects of climate change in Africa, projecting that by 2080, a greater part of today’s vegetation cover would have 75 per cent of the continent’s population exposed to hunger.

Ms Kadaga said the conference is expected to attract 1,000 delegates from parliaments of member states.

“The conference draws together speakers of parliaments, clerks of parliaments, spouses and accompanying persons,” she said.

She emphasised that the conference is a good opportunity for parliaments from the 54 member states to engage and network.

Among other activities, the Conference will have a youth roundtable and a CPA lecture.

Deliberations will also discuss urbanisation, sexual harassment, separation of powers as well as post legislative scrutiny and CPA benchmarks for democratic legislatures.

Parliament recently commissioned a web portal to facilitate online application for the visitors, and has registered significant progress on confirmations.

She confirmed that guests will meet costs for their accommodations with Parliament only offering to negotiate with the selected 20 hotels to offer fair discount rates.

Parliament will provide transport and protocol services from the time of arrival to departure.

“We are providing chauffer driven cars with lead cars to speakers of national parliaments while other participants will be provided with shared transport,” said Ms Kadaga.

Asked about constant absenteeism by ministers and some MPs, Ms. Kadaga disclosed that “everyone should watch the space”.

“I will definitely take action in a bid to stem the habit,” Ms. Kadaga said.

Answering a question about what could be done about the huge number of MPs on the Independent ticket, Kadaga appealed for introspection by all parties, with regard to party primaries.

She said that many MPs were compelled to become independent due to real and perceived unfairness in the primaries.

She also echoed the message for value addition to agricultural produce as a panacea to rampant poverty in the countryside.

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