CANBERRA – Uganda has been handed the rights to host the next sitting of the Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers slated for January 2024.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa who is currently attending a four-day Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers’ Conference in Canberra, Australia announced the development through his Twitter handle. The conference, which started on January 3, would end on Friday – January 6, 2023.
Tayebwa, who was elected Vice Chairperson for the forthcoming Conference, described the opportunity as a vote of confidence for Uganda. He added: “The hospitality that we have as a country is what everyone at the conference is looking forward to experiencing.”
Moses Wetangula, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya lauded Uganda for winning the bid and pledged his country’s candid support to ensure that the forthcoming Conference in 2024 gets a befitting and requisite level of standardised organisation.
Equally, Anthony Rota, the Canadian Speaker of the House of Commons pointed out that Uganda was a beautiful country, to which his country would offer support in order to explore more socio-economic and political ties and mutual benefits. The Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference was first held in Canada in 1969.
Uganda now hopes to exploit the global event to earn foreign exchange, and market the various tourism sites such as safari destinations that include; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley and Lake Mburo National Park famous for excellent game viewing.
The Conference attracts more than 120 delegates including parliamentary staff, and observers from 32 Commonwealth Parliaments to maintain, foster, and encourage impartiality and fairness on the part of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Parliaments, and promote knowledge and understanding of parliamentary democracy.
At the ongoing summit in Canberra, the visiting delegates will attend workshops and plenaries on topical issues relating to the roles of Presiding Officers, including the pandemic, security, e-parliaments, and the central role Presiding Officers play in leading innovation.
It is the first Conference to be convened in three years, owing to the devastating impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Commonwealth state members aim at strengthening relationships and learning modalities of debates and other relevant parliamentary processes.
The Conference is an independent group and has no formal affiliation with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Commonwealth Secretariat or the Commonwealth Heads of Government operates on a two-year cycle, usually early in January of every year.
Additional reporting URN