By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Gambia, Hon. Seedy Njie, emphasized the need for the maintainance and sustainability of peace while addressing the International Parliamentary Union’s (IPU)146th General Assembly.
“While acknowledging the promulgation of universal accords, treaties, and conventions that promote and safeguard fundamental human rights, freedoms, and justice. It is essential for all of us as stakeholders in the broader ecosystem of democracy to foster inclusive societies where rights and liberties are upheld for a more cohesive, democratic, and peaceful coexistence among citizens of the world.
“I would like to remind Ourselves as people of faith of one of the most common sayings of God enshrined in his holy books sent to mankind, ‘that he has created us into tribes and nations only for us to know each other.’ This verse teaches tolerant and what is very fundamental is that our diversities in culture, race, color, language, ethnicity, religion, gender, or political affiliations should only serve as divergent in opinions and beliefs and should strengthen us to coexist in peace and harmony as humans,” Hon. Njie said.
The theme for this year’s IPU General Assembly is “Promoting Peaceful Coexistence and Inclusive Societies: Fighting Intolerance.”
Hon. Njie describes the theme as timely stating that the theme shows a clear manifestation of the prominence the IPU as one of the largest international parliamentary platforms continues to ascribe to, in promoting democracy and world peace in the face of declining peace, intolerance, and discriminations around the world.
Hon Njie said promoting inclusive societies to fight intolerance, social and economic inequalities, and discrimination is an incumbent duty not only on them as politicians and Parliamentarians but on all citizens for a just and peaceful world.
He said peace is the surest way of continuous and sustained development of their constituents globally.
“In today’s globalized world characterized by conflicts and geopolitical interests, it has been a year since Russia invaded Ukraine, and sparked a conflict that has generally affected all nations and countries directly or indirectly, and affected the living conditions of people we represent. It has contributed to the rise and hike of prices of commodities and inflation of all economies worldwide, while ordinary people suffer daily. Sadly, Innocent civilians have been cruelly caught up in the conflict, with thousands of lives lost and millions displaced since February 24th, 2022, and the actual numbers likely to be much higher,” he stated.
Hon. Njie said the only option worth promoting is to end the year long-war between Russia and Ukraine, Since the second half of 2021, there has been a sharp hike in energy prices in Europe and worldwide.
He said the price of fuel has further risen because of the war, which has also led to concerns related to the energy supply globally.
Hon. Njie further told the members of IPU that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to result in the isolation of the world’s 11th-largest economy and one of the biggest producers of grains, wheat, barley, corn, and cooking oil.
He said the immediate global implications will be higher inflation, lower growth, and some disruption to financial markets as deeper sanctions take hold, while the longer-term fallout will be a further debilitation of the system of globalized supply chains and integrated financial markets that have dominated the world economy since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
“While the war continues to cause devastation around the world; we must not forget to commend significant players like that of Türkiye and the United Nations for brokering a deal last summer to allow Ukrainian grain to pass through the Black Sea. The leadership of Türkiye must be specifically applauded for also mediating the negotiations of a prisoner swap involving nearly 300 prisoners, a crucial step to saving lives and preventing further violation of human rights resulting from the war,” Hon. Njie said.
The Gambian Deputy Speaker further said the up to date, President Erdoğan continues to maintain his role “as an active channel of communication” and “a reliable mediator” in the eyes of both parties without compromising the principles of International Law on territorial integrity.
Hon. Njie who led the Gambian delegation to the General Assembly urged the IPU the United Nations General Assembly, and the Security Council to take responsibility and begin serious negotiations to bring the two countries together and engage in direct dialogue to end the conflict immediately in the interest of international peace, justice, and tolerance.
Hon. Njie told the gathering that the Gambia’s Constitution provides an entrenched bill of rights: safeguarding people’s liberties, fundamental human rights, and freedom of associations and beliefs that are necessary for a democratic society; whilst recognizing their religious differences and traditional norms for an inclusive society where tolerance is guaranteed.
“Following the change of government in 2017, The Gambia continues to gain its standing on the international stage, thanks to its tolerant and democratic Leader who ensured and assured the protection of people’s liberties and political pluralism entrenching our democratization processes,” he said.
Hon. Njie urged the IPU as the sole global parliamentary network to continue to provide the necessary support to institutions of parliament in promoting tolerance and upholding inclusiveness through their organizations and working procedures.
Hon. Njie said the IPU should not rest on its laurels as they continue to advocate and preach messages of peace in their deliberations in Parliaments, and at their various platforms to strengthen their “Political Currencies” and ensure that they promote peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies against all forms of discriminations and intolerances.