IGAD Parliamentary Caucus Network Launched to Promote Peace, Dev’t

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Parliamentary Caucus Network officially launched with the objective to promoting peace, development and regional integration. The launch of the network was announced at the High Level Regional Legislators Meeting today in Addis Ababa. The three-day High Level Regional Legislators Meeting brought together legislators from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda. The meeting organized by IGAD Centre of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) with the support of Sweden government aims at advancing conversation on how to successfully achieve gender sensitive legislations and to officially launch the IGAD Legislators Network. This regional meeting would provide a platform for the legislators to advance conversations on ensuring gender equality and push for gender sensitive P/CVE legislations. The newly launched network is expected to champion peace, security, development and integration in the region, it was ind icated. IGAD Centre of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE), Simon Nyambura emphasized that it is pivotal to have an IGAD Parliamentary Caucus Network which will ensure and champion peace and stability in the region. 'This network will not only just help IGAD in terms of fighting terrorism and violent extremism, but in search for peace and stability within the region. We think that the members of parliament have a role to ensure that this region is peaceful and secure,' he stated. The members of parliament have been playing a role in allocating resources as it is critical in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism, he elaborated. 'Therefore, we are encouraging them to continue oversight in the agencies that fight terrorism and violent extremism, because we cannot win this war unless we fight this war within the rule of Law, respect for human rights.' He stressed that legislators should play a critical role to ensure that the region is safe and secure. Deputy Spe aker of the House of People's Representatives, Lomi Bedo said on her part this meeting is critical to ensure that gender perspectives are integrated in all security related legislations being developed and reviewed as well as strengthen cooperation between legislators in the region. Ethiopia is committed to champion the involvement of women in security issues in all the policies and strategies, she reiterated. Head of Regional Development Cooperation in Africa at the Embassy of Sweden in Addis Ababa, Jochim Beijmo said the work against violent extremism is the global threat to security. 'We think that integrating gender equality into that process is very important, because we know that women have special needs and they are also sometimes victims of these extremism movements,' he pointed out. Beijmo reaffirmed that Sweden is a key supporter of IGAD as part of our engagement for peace and security in the region. Source: Ethiopian News Agency