Kenya to host the fifth Great Lakes region parliaments’ forum

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NAIROBI: The Kenyan Parliament will host an international forum for parliaments within the Great Lakes region.

It will host the fifth Plenary Session of the Forum on Parliaments of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (FP-ICGLR) from next week, bringing together legislators from the 12 member states.

The legislators will convene in Nairobi from January 20 to 22 to discuss politics, security and youth unemployment, among other pressing topics within the region.

"The forum provides a platform for exchange of views on conflict resolution, experiences and dialogue among parliaments of member states," said Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro during a press conference at Parliament Buildings Wednesday.

The conference will be under the theme "Parliamentary Diplomacy: Promoting security, stability and developments in the Great Lakes Region".

It will focus on the political and security situations in the Great Lakes Region with specific emphasis on South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, the Speaker said.

Other countries participating include Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and South Sudan.

It will further discuss the role of the parliaments of member states in the fight against illegal exploitation of natural resources in the region and the implementation of related international and legal instruments.

There will also be a forum on infrastructure development and investment promotion in the great lakes.

Each of the parliaments is entitled to a six member delegation, FP-ICGLR invited guests and the secretariat, where 76 participants and several ambassadors or their representatives have confirmed their attendance.

Kenya's delegation led by Ethuro will be represented by 11 members that include Senators and Members of the National Assembly.

PF-ICGLR was established in 2008 after the Joint Secretariat of the United Nations-African Union requested Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa to facilitate parliamentary activities related to the pact on security, stability and development of the Great Lakes Region.

The Forum operates as a framework of dialogue between parliamentary institutions.

SOURCE: Standard Digital, January 15th, 2015,