By Spy Uganda
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has issued a welcome message to over 1200 delegates coming to Uganda for the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, slated for September 22-29, which will be held at tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia’s Common Wealth Speke Resort Munyonyo.
Museveni’s message reads thus “Welcome message of H.E The President to the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference
It gives me great honour to welcome Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliament, Members of Parliament and distinguished delegates to Uganda for the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
We last hosted the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in 1967 and we are glad that we are hosting the Commonwealth delegates again.
Uganda acknowledges the contribution of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and indeed of Women Parliamentarians in advancing good governance and in ensuring effective parliaments. Your efforts in promoting women’s representation in Parliaments and in participation in governance is an ideal we cherish and practice as seen by the affirmative action in Uganda’s Constitution and its policies, which have given women more opportunities to run for elective office.
In their Representative, Legislative and Oversight Roles, Parliaments are key in the growth and development of a nation. They give voice to the wishes and aspirations of the people and superintend over the activities of government to ensure it is accountable to the people. Parliaments therefore play a critical role when they articulate the wishes of the people, through its oversight roles and ensure resources are put to sectors that drive growth and national development.
Looking at the theme of this year’s conference, “Adaption, Engagement and Evolution of Parliaments in a Rapidly Changing Commonwealth,” it speaks to the need for Parliaments to reform, promote two-way communication and rebuild trust with the population whose interests you represent in the legislature.
Parliaments should thus adapt to how they reach out and engage with the public especially through its committee systems and outreach programmes. These are key avenues of public participation and in ensuring that the citizen’s interests feed into the law-making processes. Adaptation also entails Parliaments stepping up to embrace and use new media technologies to reach the masses.
Indeed, your theme augurs well with a Parliament that aspires to be people-centred. There is therefore need for continuous public engagement, information and education so as to enhance public confidence in Parliaments.
I would like to welcome you once again to the Pearl of Africa and invite you to explore our beautiful wildlife and attractions. Come experience the true Ugandan hospitality and culture; discover our wild game such as mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, the over 1,000 species of birds, and experience first-hand why Uganda is ranked a tourist’s paradise.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda/Deputy Patron, Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.