Africa Summit - Session V: Inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) Africa Continent and Senegal Chapter.
Since the IAPP was founded on Feb. 15, 2016, at the National Assembly of Korea, IAPP chapters have been inaugurated in more than 70 nations, most often in national parliaments. Several thousand parliamentarians have participated in these events. The Senegal event marked the launching of Africa’s IAPP continental office and Senegal’s national IAPP chapter.
Dr. Paterne Zinsou, secretary general of UPF for West Africa, was the moderator.
Opening remarks: Hon. Pape Sagna Mbaye, president, Foreign Affairs Commission, National Assembly of Senegal, thanked UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for the experience of attending the World Africa Summit and the inspiration: “We dream to be in a better world.”
Hon. José de Venecia Jr., the international co-chair of IAPP, introduced the background of IAPP and UPF and their importance in dealing with the serious issues which “pose threats to human development and to achieving a lasting peace in our world,” with emphasis on poverty and income inequality.
According to OXFAM, he noted, the richest 1 percent controls half of all global wealth. He proposed “the establishment of a ‘Global Anti-Poverty Fund’ or ‘Global Micro-Finance Fund’ to help fight poverty and inequality and help lift the poorest peoples in our regions and in the world.” He also referred to the need to reforest and to create jobs in developing countries. He called for a dialogue between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam and brought attention to global warming and the narcotics trade.
Hon. Patricia Kaliati, a member of the National Assembly of Malawi, said the IAPP must make sure members of parliament are working in a holistic way. She quoted Proverbs 15-17, “It is better to eat vegetables with those who love you than to eat meat with those who hate you.” Hon. Kaliati said: “We are launching IAPP to protect the disaffected. We provide peace. Support our children and youth… Thank you for the economic empowerment of women, youth and leadership training.”
Hon. Jong Seong Lim, a member of the National Assembly of Korea, gave an overview of the history of highways in South Korea, beginning with the first expressway, the Gyeongin Highway between Seoul and Incheon, which opened in 1968.
“At that time, it took one hour to get from Seoul to Incheon; but it was shortened to 18 minutes, thanks to the opening of the expressway. It was the first expressway in South Korea and thus symbolized a coming era of rapid growth,” Hon. Lim said. “The highways of South Korea have been the driving force of economic growth and developed as a medium of balanced national development and regional harmony.” The development of highways is crucial to the prosperity and peace of the African countries, he said.
Offering a Japanese perspective, a member of the Diet spoke of his own experience as a volunteer in Ethiopia as part of the Japan Overseas Corporation Volunteers. This was part of a smallpox eradication campaign under the leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO). Japan has been helping African countries make progress with goods and technologies. The Diet member said: “Africa needs to exert the spirit of self-help and learn how to make themselves progress in science and technology as much as Japan did. Japan is always ready to help them.” Last month Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to give almost $3 billion to support the developing countries.
H.E. Moustapha Niasse, the president of the National Assembly of Senegal, spoke on the issue of women and domestic violence and the value of having women participate in peace and conflict resolution in Africa. “In many societies, women are especially vulnerable due to the pre-existing gender imbalance in levels of political, economic and social power,” he said.
Hon. Yakubu Dogara, speaker, Federal House of Representatives, National Assembly of Nigeria
Hon. Aymérou Gningue, president, Bennoo Bokk Yaakaar Party, National Assembly of Senegal
Hon. Maitre Madické Niang, president, Liberté et Démocratie Group, National Assembly of Senegal
Hon. Demba Diop, representative of Non-Aligned Group, National Assembly of Senegal