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Upper House speaker champions peace, connectivity at IPU’s assembly

Addis Ababa, March 25, 2024 (FBC) – The Ethiopian delegation, led by Mr. Agegnehu Teshager, the Speaker of the FDRE House of Federation, is currently participating in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 148th Assembly being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

This assembly, which commenced on the 23rd of March and will conclude on the 27th of March 2024, serves as a platform for various IPU statutory bodies to convene. These bodies include the Governing Council, Standing Committees, Committees on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and on Middle East Questions, as well as the Forum of Women Parliamentarians and the Forum of Young MPs.

The primary focus of the General Debate revolves around the overarching theme of “Parliamentary diplomacy: Building bridges for peace and understanding.” This significant event is anticipated to serve as a platform where delegates can engage in thoughtful deliberations, exchange viewpoints, and inspire parliamentary action in this crucial realm.

During his address at the opening session, Mr. Agegnehu emphasized that the assembly will play a pivotal role in enhancing comprehension of ideas that foster global peace and stability. He further underscored the importance of parliamentarians’ participation, in addition to political commitment, to effectively mitigate conflicts and wars in various regions across the globe.

According to Mr. Agegnehu, Ethiopia is steadfastly committed to achieving peace and security. He emphasized that his government is actively working towards the complete implementation of the Pretoria peace agreement, which was signed between the federal government and TPLF to resolve the conflict in the northern part of the country.

Furthermore, the Upper House Speaker highlighted the significance of fostering economic connectivity in East Africa as a means to establish enduring peace and stability. He pointed out that Ethiopia is undertaking several significant projects, such as the construction of the GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam), with the aim of realizing regional connectivity and fostering economic integration in the region.

He reaffirmed Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to the pressing importance of parliamentary dialogue and diplomacy at the global, regional and bilateral levels.

Mr. Agegnehu also took part in the meeting of speakers of the BRICS member countries, which was organized by Russia. During this session, he affirmed that Ethiopia is committed to playing a significant role in bolstering the parliamentary union of the BRICS member countries.

It is learned that the 148th Assembly will adopt resolutions on the emergency item and on the subject items taken up by the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security entitled Addressing the social and humanitarian impact of autonomous weapon systems and artificial intelligence and by the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development entitled Partnerships for climate action: Promoting access to affordable green energy, and ensuring innovation, responsibility and equity.

The Assembly is expected to conclude with the adoption of an outcome document on the overall theme of the General Debate.

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