JINJA – Isebantu Kyabazinga wa Busoga, His Majesty William Gabula Nadiope IV has tasked participants of the ongoing 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to prioritize climate change and gender equality.
Holding a banquet for his over 300 guests at Nile Resort Hotel, Jinja on Wednesday, the monarch noted that planting of trees throughout the commonwealth should be top on the agenda.
“We meet here today at a time when the world is grappling with climate change issues. It is real and it is happening right before our eyes. I am happy that you realize its dangers and you have planted trees in Kagulu at the Hill. That was great. But let’s do more”, the Kyabazinga noted asking delegates to pass resolutions as CPA and legislations and policies back in their respective countries that will reduce carbon emissions.
“As a way of action, I challenge CPA, starting from this meeting in Uganda to launch a program to plant one million trees in every CPA host country going forward; as CPA’s practical approach to mitigate the negative effects of climate change”. .
The King, who appreciated CPA where members gather and work out achievable targets and plans to help member states of the commonwealth in terms of democracy, development and equality with respect for diversity, revealed that its important to appreciate the peculiarity of the different cultures and norms that different societies of the Commonwealth hold dear to them.
“It should and I hope it is the responsibility of the CPA to help all member parliaments and countries achieve development without them losing their moral fabric.Without them being forced to adopt practices that simply break their social cultural norms and history”, he emphasized adding that a society and a people without a cultural and moral history to refer to is a society built on sand thereby agitating for understanding, respecting and preserving those cultures and norms that the respective societies hold dear, especially those that seek inclusiveness, equality and equity for the two genders, the Commonwealth will achieve all it set out to achieve without a single member feeling superior over the other and without the problems that come with the one cap fits all approach to policies.
On gender equality, the Kyabazinga rallied all concerned to be considerate.
“We meet here at a time when the debate for equal pay for equal work done is loud. The gender equality debate should now move from just having women in positions of leadership. They should earn the same as their male counterparts and where it is also affecting the men, the men should earn the same as their female counterparts. The same should happen in sports if we want to inspire our girls and women to join the game”.
The reigning 4th King of Busoga emphasized the need to promote technological innovation on the agenda for the young people, the same as relevant quality education for all.
“When that and more is achieved, I am sure you will be advancing the values of the Commonwealth and the aspirations of the people you represent”.
He too called upon legislators to make choices and pass resolutions and plans on the side of love not hate; on the side of inclusion not exclusion; tolerance not intolerance.
Over 10 speakers from different countries, 250 delegates, Leader of opposition, Hon Cecilia Ogwal, Hon Elijah Okupa, Isabalangira of Busoga, Jinja LCV boss, George William Mutyabule, Permanent Secretary of the Kingdom,, Butembe Hereditary Chief attended the luncheon that was characterised by cultural and traditional dances.
Earlier, the delegates toured and climbed Kagulu hill, source of the Nile before returning to Kampala