Speaking at the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Seychelles, Hon. Patrick Pillay, delivered a speech to the International Parliamentary Members at the 137th IPU General Assembly on the importance of sharing diversity, its influence on strengthening the assembly and delivering on its aspirations.
Touching upon diversity and the promotion of inclusive participation, Hon. Patrick Pillay thanked the Assembly for creating a space for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) National Parliaments to meet on the margins of the IPU Parliamentary engagements to discuss pertinent issues. Hon. Pillay further called on the IPU Assembly, under its agenda of advocacy, diversity and inclusion to consider maintaining the space for the voice of the SIDS to be heard, especially on issues relating to climate change. Delivering a poignant message on climate change, inclusion & diversity, Hon. Patrick Pillay also mentioned the unique parliamentary situation in the Seychelles, whereby the Executive and the Parliament are working together for the good of the country. Hon. Pillay emphasized that this unique cohabitation is necessary for stability and progress and that as the Speaker of the National Assembly has a pivotal role to play in ensuring this new parliamentary status is maintained.
Taking place on the margins of the IPU Assembly, the two Heads of Parliament of Seychelles & Fiji, Hon. Patrick Pillay and Hon. Dr Jiko Luveni co-convened a meeting with SIDS under the theme of “How can Small Island Developing States parliaments effectively change with Climate Change issues” in the presence of delegations headed by the Speakers of Mauritius, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Tuvalu. The discussions were aimed at sparking the debate on how their national parliaments can engage with the issue of climate change within the legislative process taking into account the human and financial restraints of small legislatures, and finally on how they can influence and engage the international delegations at the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Germany later this year.
Given the vulnerability of Small Island developing states in regards to climate change and other issues, the SIDS Parliamentarians have released a declaration calling all Parliaments to develop and approve national enabling of legislation towards low carbon, climate resilient and gender responsive development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Hon. Pillay delivered the nine point declaration to the Standing Committee meeting on Sustainable Development, Finance & Trade and announced the agreement between the SIDS Parliamentarians to cooperate at future IPU Assemblies and events to ensure the voices of the small island developing states are taken into account.
The Speaker along with the delegation from the National Assembly, held talks with the Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of Russia, His Excellency Evegeniy Bushmin. As well as meeting with the SIDS Parliamentarians and the Russian Federal Assembly, Hon. Jany De Letourdie, Deputy Clerk, Mrs Tania Isaac attended the Women’s Parliamentary Forum under the theme of “Sharing our diversity: The 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Democracy” and whereby panel discussions took place on Gender-sensitive parliaments.
As the Assembly continues today and tomorrow, the Speaker and the delegation from the National Assembly will participate in further discussions and meetings.
The Speaker is accompanied by a delegation from the National Assembly compromising of the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Charles de Commmarmond, Hon. Jany De Letourdie, Hon. Waven William, Mrs Tania Isaac, the Deputy Clerk and Mr. Terry Romain-Personal Assistant to the Speaker.