Present at the 13th Parliamentary conference when Uganda last hosted the event 52 years ago, Her Majesty, who is the patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), delivered her message through Uganda’s President Museveni at the Conference’s official opening on Thursday, September 26,2019.
“I am pleased to send my best wishes to you and all the delegates present at the sixty-fourth commonwealth parliamentary conference, which is being held in Uganda this week,” the Queen wrote.
I note with interest that the theme for the discussions taking place this year is ‘Adaptation, Engagement and Evolution in a rapidly changing Commonwealth’.”
She added: “I much appreciated your thoughtful words and hope that this year’s conference is memorable and productive.”
“On behalf of the people of Uganda, I welcome the members of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, (CPA) to Uganda. It is my honor to open the 64th Commonwealth Parliament Conference (CPC) and wish the delegates fruitful deliberations. I hope this 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference is memorable and productive,” her letter stated.
In response, President Museveni recognized the support of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of United Kingdom.
“On behalf of the people of Uganda, I welcome the members of CPA to Uganda. It is my honor to open the 64th Commonwealth Parliament Conference and wish the delegates fruitful deliberations. I hope CPC 2019 is memorable and productive,” he said.
The President also lauded the CPA Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, who is also Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon, along with the CPA Secretary-General Mr. Akbar Khan.
Hon. Rebecca Kadaga ,Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament, who was also event host said the fact that it has taken 52 years to host this conference again shows Uganda’s huddles in its democratic journey but that is all in the past.
She highlighted rapid urbanization, climate change, poverty, gender issues with respect to women parliamentarians, and human rights violations as cross-cutting issues in several Commonwealth states and urged the delegates to find lasting solutions.
Hon. Emilia Lifaka spoke highly of the reception delegates have enjoyed in Uganda.
“Mr. President, I want to tell you that your country is good, your people are generous, we have been treated well,” she noted.
Lifaka commended Kadaga not only for hosting but also being an inspiration for young legislators in the region.
The traditional ruler (Isebantu kyabazinga) of Busoga kingdom, Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV, asked delegates to prioritize climate change and gender equality and challenged them to plant trees. This was while hosting 300 of the delegates at a reception held at Nile Resort in Jinja town where they had gone to tour the Source of The Nile.
“As a way of action, I challenge CPA, starting from this meeting in Uganda to launch a program to plant one million trees in every CPA host country going forward; as CPA’s practical approach to mitigate the negative effects of climate change”.
Delegates were also treated to a host of other tourist sites and entertainment including visits to Murchison Falls National Park, Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Bulange (seat of Buganda Parliament), Kagulu Rock Climb, Source of The Nile, as well as traditional dances, dining, and reveling.
The Antigua Speaker entertained fellow guests at a dinner this evening – great vocals, and greater guitar skills.
Ugandans were awestruck by the attendance of Desmond Elliot, former Nigerian Nollywood actor turned legislator of the Lagos State House of Assembly.