Namibia and Georgia have agreed to reactivate relations and build new bridges of friendship between the two countries, parliaments, and people to people.
The understanding was reached during a formal bilateral meeting between National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi and his Georgian counterpart Kakha Kuchava at the recent 143rd IPU Assembly and related meetings, which were held from 26 to 30 November in Madrid, Spain.
It was the first in-person IPU Assembly since 2019, because of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with 117 parliamentary delegations, 939 delegates, 37 speakers, and 29 deputy speakers attending, with 38% women MPs and 24.8% young MPs.
According to Simon Uirab, the director in the office of Katjavivi, the two speakers touched on the historical linkages between the two countries, which they believe should be nurtured.
“Speaker Katjavivi recalled the important role played by Eduard Shevardnadze, the then foreign minister of the Soviet Union, during the process leading up to the independence of Namibia,” Uirab said in a statement.
He said Shevardnadze was one of the invited guests who witnessed the historic moment of Namibian Independence on 21 March 1990 and a year later, he became president of Georgia when it, too, became independent.
He said a partnership between the two parliaments could address matters of mutual interest. According to him, the Georgian delegation also expressed an interest in establishing parliamentary friendship groups between the two parliaments.
Furthermore, Uirab said Katjavivi chaired the meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) parliamentary group and participated in the Africa geopolitical group meeting.
He said the delegation also attended the Governing Council meetings and meetings of the Standing Committees of the IPU Women Parliamentarians Forum and Young Parliamentarians Forum.
He said Katjavivi and his delegation also attended the official launching of the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement, representing 120 countries. Katjavivi addressed the meeting and pledged Namibia’s commitment towards this Parliamentary Network, and recalled the fact that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) had made significant contributions towards the struggle for the independence of Namibia.
Uirab said the meeting approved a declaration calling on member states to respond to existing and emerging challenges to peace, security and sustainable development, with a view to ensuring parliamentary contributions to the solution of major problems of concern to all Non-Aligned Movement member states.
Additionally, Uirab said Katjavivi chaired the meeting of this IPU Committee and reported on it formally to the assembly.
He said the meeting consisted of two panel discussions with high-level UN officials.
The first panel, according to Uirab, was on the UN’s role in the global vaccination campaign, featured WHO, and UNAIDS representatives.
“Members were fundamentally supportive of the WHO and UNAIDS response to the pandemic but drew attention to several gaps in the broader multilateral response that require urgent attention. The need for greater global solidarity was stressed,” he said.