Seychelles delegation attends 147th IPU assembly |11 November 2023
The Speaker was accompanied by honourables Waven William and Audrey Vidot, and IPU desk officer, Emma Didon.
The sessions began with the meeting of the speakers and heads of delegation of the Africa Group, in which Speaker Mancienne informed the group of Mr William’s candidacy for the position of President of the Sustainable Committee.
On October 22, the delegation attended the SADC and Africa Geopolitical Group Meetings with the former chaired by Hon. Mancienne in his capacity as President of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. The meeting was centered on emergency items such as the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as well as the election of the IPU president.
Three of the four candidates hailed from the SADC region, namely Speaker of Tanzania, Dr Tulia Ackson, Speaker of Malawi, Catherine Gotani Hara, and member of the Somali parliament, Marwa Abdi Bashir. The fourth candidate was a member of the Senegal parliament, Adji Diarra Mergane Kanoute.
On Monday, October 23, the official opening of the 147th IPU Assembly took place with the inaugural ceremony and welcoming messages by the Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola, Carolina Cerqueira.
Also in attendance was the Secretary General of the IPU, Martin Chungong; president of the IPU, Duarte Pacheco; and president of Angola, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço.
Initialised and chaired by the Seychelles delegation, was the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) meeting, which saw the discussion of SIDS representation at the COP28, later this year. In attendance were representatives from Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Cabo Verde. During this meeting, Fiji was elected as the Chair of the group, with Cabo Verde elected as Vice-Chair. Hon. William, acting as interim chairperson of the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, attended the meeting for Presidents of Standing Committees and Geopolitical groups where he informed on the programme of the committee for the upcoming meetings.
For her part, Mrs Vidot attended the Forum of Women MPs, with discussions centered on the democracy and human rights committee’s draft resolution titled ‘Orphanage trafficking: The role of parliamentarians inreducing harm’, as well as the panel discussion titled ‘Women in politics: To stay or not to stay?’.
Ms Didon, in her capacity as the secretary and adviser of the committee, attended the meeting of advisers and secretaries, where logistical matters of the IPU Assembly were discussed.
On Tuesday, October 24, Speaker Mancienne gave an intervention on the theme ‘Parliamentary Action for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: SDG 16’, during the general debate. The Speaker reflected on the need to reform and revitalise our institutions, specifically the world’s parliaments to ensure more lasting peace.
Hon. Vidot attended a morning session of the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF), in which members of the various French caucuses expressed their appreciation and commitment the APF has displayed and expressed the importance of promoting the French language and supporting the common issues of the Francophone.
Hon. Vidot later attended the Forum of Young Parliamentarians to discuss the challenges parliaments face when engaging young people in politics. During this meeting, Hon. Vidot shared insights about the efforts in Seychelles, including extensive committee work done by the National Assembly Media, Youth, Sports and Culture Committee (MYSCC), and the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC).
On Wednesday October 25, Hon. William chaired the meeting of the Sustainable Development Committee’s Bureau in his capacity as interim chairperson which was followed by a meeting of the committee. During the meeting, the committee debated on the theme of the next resolution ‘Partnerships for climate action: Promoting access to affordable green energy, and ensuring innovation, responsibility and equity’ and discussed the parliamentary meeting at COP 28.
Mr Mancienne and Mr William also attended the workshop on parliamentary climate action platform against methane. This was followed on Thursday, October 26, by an expert hearing on the theme ‘Ensuring global food security’ at the second sitting of the Standing Committee of the Sustainable Development, which ended with the election of the Standing Committee where Hon. William was voted as President for a period of 3 years.
To conclude the assembly, the election of the new IPU president by the Governing Council was held on Friday, October 27, following the hearing of presidential candidates the day prior.
The Speaker of Tanzania, Dr Tulia Ackson, won the election with a landslide victory of 172 votes out of 303 votes cast and will now serve as the President of the IPU for a three-year term.