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Membership granted. The IPU Executive Committee says the South Sudan parliament fulfills the conditions for membership of the assembly.
South Sudan yesterday became the 162nd member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) after a resolution to have it admitted was unanimously supported by the delegates of the assembly.
It joined the Republic of Myanmar which had been readmitted, after spending 50 years without a national parliament and Haiti which was admitted in the previous assembly.
In a letter to IPU Secretary General Anders Johnson, requesting to join the IPU, the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan, Mr James Wani, said: “Our parliament and government are ready to honour their financial commitment and once admitted as a member, the legislative assembly undertakes to abide by the IPU statutes and rules.”
In accepting South Sudan into the IPU family, the IPU Executive Committee said the parliament of South Sudan fulfills the conditions laid down in Article 3 of the Statutes for membership of the union.
The Article states that every parliament constituted in conformity with the laws of a sovereign State whose population it represents may request affiliation to the IPU.
The leader of the opposition in the South Sudan parliament called for support to the young nation.
In response to the request for support, which was also made by Myanmar, the secretary general said the IPU will ensure that the young institutions are helped to grow.
“We are going to send a group of experts to assess their needs and make a report which will form the basis of the international support,” Mr Johnson said.
The IPU expressed solidarity and sympathy for the Syrian people and called for an immediate end to the violence and government crackdown on protesters.
The IPU expressed support for international and regional efforts to find peaceful solution to the crisis. However, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba and North Korea had reservations on the resolution.
The assembly rescinded its earlier decision to dismiss the Malian parliament from the union, saying Ecowas, a body uniting West African countries, has made several achievements.
“We decided to keep monitoring the situation in Mali but Ecowas has made great achievements since the coup took place. The parliament has been restored, and the constitution was also restored. So we are not talking about dismissing Mali right now,” Mr Johnson said.
Speaking during a press conference yesterday, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, condemned the attempt by opposition leader Kizza Besigye and his associates to access the assembly and meet delegates for political discussions.
She said the FDC leader had no business meeting IPU delegates because the opposition is represented in the House and opposition MPs have a leader in the House.
“The Parliament of Uganda has representatives in the assembly who are representing the interests of Uganda and some of those MPs are from the opposition,” she said.
“IPU is an international assembly and all countries have issues they want debated. As Uganda, we sponsored the maternal health resolution,” she said.
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