President Mwai Kibaki to open 114th Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in Nairobi
Geneva / Nairobi, 26 April 2006 - At the invitation of the Parliament of Kenya, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will hold its 114th Assembly from 7 to 12 May 2006, at the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC), in Nairobi. The inaugural ceremony will take place at 7.30 p.m. on Sunday 7 May, in the presence of the President of Kenya, Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the President of the IPU, Mr. Pier Ferdinando Casini, and the President of the Parliament of Kenya, Mr. Francis Ole Kaparo.
More than 700 legislators from the 143 Member Parliaments of the IPU and several special guests are expected to attend this event. The Assembly takes place at a particular difficult moment for the region when more than 20 million people of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania are living under the threat of starvation due to drought. In an appeal sent out earlier this year, IPU President Casini called on parliaments to help mobilize international support. "Kenya alone needs emergency assistance for some 3,5 million people who are running out of food and water in the north-eastern part of the country", he declared.
In Nairobi, the legislators will also discuss agenda items related to promotion of democracy and democratic institutions; control of trafficking in small arms and light weapons; environmental management and global degradation of the environment; and effective ways of combating violence against women. See full program on IPU web site: http://www.ipu.org/conf-e/114agnd.htm.
An emergency item may be added to the agenda. So far, six proposals for topics have been received, relating to freedom of expression and respect for religions and to combating the potential avian influenza pandemic.
A handbook on Democracy will be launched and two panel discussions will be held during the Assembly (open to the press). The first one, scheduled to take place on Tuesday 9 May, from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. will discuss Africa's development. The second, slated for Wednesday 10 May, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. will address the question of HIV/AIDS and children.
The Meeting of Women Parliamentarians will convene on Sunday, 7 May, at 9.30 a.m. The Nairobi Assembly will also provide an opportunity for delegates to hold bilateral meetings and seek ways of resolving conflicts in various parts of the world. The IPU Committee on Middle East Questions will also meet on this occasion.
In addition, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will continue its examination of many cases involving allegations of violations of the human rights of parliamentarians. It is currently considering human rights issues involving legislators or former legislators from Bangladesh, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Eritrea, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel/Palestine, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey and Zimbabwe. The public report currently under consideration by the Committee is available to the press.
Established in 1889 and with its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the IPU, the oldest multilateral political organisation, currently brings together 143 affiliated parliaments and seven associated regional assemblies. The world organisation of parliaments has an Office in New York, which acts as its Permanent Observer at the United Nations.
Contact for additional information or interviews:
Mrs. Luisa Ballin, IPU Information Officer
5, ch. du Pommier, CH - 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex / Geneva
Phone: +41 22 919 41 16 / 27, Mobile: +41 79 649 71 45, Fax: +41 22 919 41 60
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Kenyan Information Officer of the 114th
Mrs. Susan Mumbi Njuguna, Press Officer.
Phone +254 20 250 702 or +254 20 216 669