Bahrain — The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has made a passionate appeal for the international community to promote peaceful co-existence but without meddling in internal affairs of sovereign states.
Speaking at the sidelines of the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) happening in Manama, Bahrain, Tayebwa said that political tolerance shouldn’t interfere with values and norms of other sovereign states— saying it is possible to corporate and coexist without unwarranted interference.
“Tolerance doesn’t mean that we forget our own values and culture,” Tayebwa said, citing an example of the host country which he described as a role model of promoting tolerance.
“Bahrain which is at the centre of promoting tolerance, is a country where you can’t bring some of the things we are talking about here. Pornography sites are blocked here, homosexuality isn’t allowed here. These are things which we have agreed upon that we can promote tolerance but not at the expense of our values and disrespect beliefs of certain communities and sovereignty of other states”.
“It is very important for Parliament to have that red line set in as far as handling issues of tolerance are concerned,” he added.
He said Uganda is open to working with non intrusive states around the world.
Tayebwa committed on behalf of Uganda’s Parliament where he is a Deputy Speaker, that the institution would make laws that promote tolerance, coexistence and mitigation of climate change.
Tayebwa also highlighted Uganda’s role in regional peace keeping and said they have helped to pacify the region.
Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) President, Duarte Pacheco justified Bahrain’s selection to host the 146th Assembly of the IPU despite raised questions posed about its fledgling democratic experience dating back to 2002, by saying ‘it was perfect in all aspects’ .
“We are in a country that shows to the world that people from different cultures, religions, can live together in a peaceful society and in the perfect coexistence. What we find here is what we should have in other countries of our world – Peaceful coexistence,” Pacheco said at the opening of the IPU 146th Assembly on Saturday.
Parliamentarians from across the world are meeting in Bahrain for their Assembly and related meetings held under the theme “Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance”.
At the Bahrain Assembly, all IPU statutory bodies, including the Governing Council, Standing Committees, Thematic 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, have convened.
The General Debate will provide a platform for delegates to deliberate, exchange views and galvanize parliamentary action in fighting intolerance and promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies.
“It’s very relevant to share some figures with you. IPU is this multilateral organization of the world created in 1889. So more than 130 years old, much before the First World War, the United Nations, the Second World War, and we joined Parliaments from across all over the world.”
Pacheco said the assembly was global, and not confined to a single region, which explains the fact that “more than 140 delegations that are in Bahrain to talk about the problems of our world.”
“That is because we understand that global problems may be solved only through global solutions.”
“Terrorism is a problem. But one country alone will not be strong enough to fight it. The same with poverty, and I can talk about many other problems of the world. That’s why these conferences are so relevant. That’s why 1,000 parliamentarians from so many countries are here with all the staff and experts who come with them.”
Pacheco said that the world came together to fight the recent pandemic.
“Many scientists from different cultures and countries worked together in a record time to find the vaccines, and the world won,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t learn the lesson and many conflicts persist in our world.”
He pointed out that parliamentarians have the necessary tools in their hands and legislate and direct resources to make the world a safer place where we could all live together.
The president stressed that parliamentarians should defend human rights, including women’s rights, and support the greater participation of young people in political life.
“There is no democracy without the participation of young people who will talk about the future that will be more relevant for them,” he said.
On behalf of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa inaugurated the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted Bahrain’s history in laying democratic systems that today reflect crucial pillars of the Kingdom’s comprehensive development, led by HM the King and supported by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
Noting, this global meeting of minds as a reflection of the Kingdom winning the confidence of the international community to host diplomatic events such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and related meetings.
He underlined other milestones, citing the the establishment of the King Hamad Center for Interfaith Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence, the launch of the “Kingdom of Bahrain Document” to encourage peace efforts, and the inauguration of the King Hamad Chair for Interfaith Dialogue at the Italian Sapienza University.
He highlighted Bahrain’s approach in promoting tolerance and coexistence and advocating peace within the framework of the international community to spread dialogue and reject intolerance.