September 23, 2019

High-level Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference Opens In Uganda With Small Rwandan Delegation

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Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga (R) welcomes Alix Boyd Knights, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Dominica, an Island in the Caribbean

Over 1,000 delegates are arriving in Uganda for the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, one the major gatherings of the 54 nations member bloc.

Rwanda, despite ongoing standoff with Kampala, has sent all-female parliamentary delegation.

It comprises Edda Mukabagwiza, Deputy Speaker in Chamber of Deputies in charge of Legal Affairs and Government Oversight, and MP Mukobwa Justine, head of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Rwanda Branch.

The conference is scheduled for 22 – 29 September 2019, with a series of events planned under the theme “Adaption, Engagement and Evolution of Parliaments in a Rapidly Changing Commonwealth”.

More than 20 Speakers of Parliaments are expected to attend.

This Monday, a segment dedicated to women issues is taking place. Delegates will review how far the bloc has gone in supporting women development.

A report to be tabled shows that of the Commonwealth countries, only Rwanda has achieved gender parity in its parliament, with women making up more than 60% of MPs in the lower house.

Just 12 other Commonwealth countries have parliaments where more than 30% of MPs are women.

The CPC in Uganda will be followed the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in Kigali, Rwanda mid next year.

By Rwanda attending the Commonwealth conference in Kampala, though with relatively small delegation compared to other nations, is indication that relations on a slow mend.

Rwanda has imposed travel ban against its nationals going to Uganda. Rwanda has skipped major international conferences in Uganda.

Meanwhile, MP Justine Mukobwa is already in Kampala, as Mukabagwiza will arrive on September 25 for the main conference events.

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