Uganda has rallied members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to support its bid to host the group’s headquarters in Kampala.
Ugandan Members of Parliament led by Kabula County’s Enos Asiimwe on Wednesday submitted the country’s bid to host the CPA headquarters at the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (66th CPC) in Accra, Ghana.
While presenting the bid, Mr Asiimwe and his colleagues, who represented Speaker Anita Among, said Uganda is strategically situated and has all the requirements necessary to host the headquarters.
The legislator added that there are immense economic opportunities associated with having CPA headquarters in a first-developing country like Uganda.
“The opportunities of hosting the headquarters include hosting conferences, the jobs at the Secretariat, infrastructural development opportunities given that CPA is a rich organization that would put up its headquarters in the new country,” he said.
The flagship event, which was hosted under the theme ‘The Commonwealth Charter 10 years on: Values and Principles for Parliaments to Uphold,’ brought together over 500 parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and decision makers from across the Commonwealth with the prospect of the coming together of the CPA’s global membership to address the critical issues facing today’s Parliaments and society.
Bugiri Municipality legislator Asuman Basalirwa, while defending Uganda’s bid, said: “It is my considered view that Uganda has what it takes to host the headquarters of the CPA; firstly, as a member of the East African Community right from the 70s in the defunct community, we have played host to some of the institutions of the community like East African Development Bank.”
“Our legal regime is flexible enough to recognise the CPA as an International Parliamentary Organisation, with full rights, privileges and immunities accorded to such organisations under international law and the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations,” he added.
During the 65th conference, CPA members proposed that the association headquarters be relocated from Britain to any willing member.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) currently has about180 branches consisting of national parliaments and sub-national legislatures of the Commonwealth member states. The branches are divided into nine regions: Africa, Asia, Australia, British Islands and Mediterranean, Canada, Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic, India, Pacific, and South East Asia. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat is based in London.
With the ever-increasing focus on greater scrutiny of Parliamentarians and Parliaments, the CPA’s conference presented an opportunity for members to benefit from professional development, supportive learning and the sharing of best practice with colleagues from Commonwealth Parliaments together with the participation of leading international organisations.
The conference also explored a wide range of workshops during which members had the opportunity to collectively dialogue on matters of cooperation among member states such as global warming, terrorism, human rights, and ways tackling poverty and achieving sustainable trade and economic development.