By Nation Reporter
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini says he will constitute parliamentary committees which will have active voices from the youth and women in line with the 134th Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) resolution.
Dr Matibini said he would engage different political players both from the ruling and opposition parties to encourage them to adopt women and youth parliamentary candidates as the country goes to the polls in August 2016.
He said this yesterday in Lusaka when he addressed a press conference to mark the end of the 134th Assembly of the IPU at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
The IPU assembly and related meetings were held under the theme ‘‘Rejuvenating democracy: Giving voice to the youth’’.
“The fact that the assembly comes to an end today does not mean that it is time for us to rest here in Zambia. For us, it is now time to put into motion the resolutions which have been passed at the conference.
“It is worth noting that the development of the nation is enhanced by resolutions made at such gatherings,” Dr Matibini said.
He said the National Assembly of Zambia would adopt family-friendly policies in its scheduling of committee meetings and plenary sessions in line with gender equality principles.
He said fair representation and the participation of women and youths in governance was one of the preconditions for achieving genuine democracy.
Dr Matibini said there could be no real democracy if half the population was excluded from participation and power.
“Policies and initiatives which empower women must be part of that fabric,” he said.
Dr Matibini said it was important to have women and youths represented in leadership and decision-making than they were today.
Dr Matibini said a few countries were already reaping the benefits of involving men and women as equals in their growth and development. “In many other places, the story of women and youth’s full empowerment is still to be written. Women and youth’s full participation and leadership are prerequisites for sustainable development.
“If we are to build sustainable routes out of poverty, women and youths must be full beneficiaries and contributors to their country’s progress,” he said
And IPU president Saber Chowdhury said the assembly had been a success and expectation had been fully met.
Mr Chowdhury said following the successful hosting of the 134th IPU Assembly, Zambia was more than ready to host global events.
IPU secretary general Martin Chungong said transforming the way politics were being conducted would end terrorism.
He said encouraging more youth and women participation would help in the fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile, the IPU proposed a multi-faceted approach to dismantling terrorist networks, combatting hatred, and counteracting terrorist propaganda.
The resolution stressed the “absolute need” for international anti-terror cooperation to be stepped up.