Sierra Leone Parliament is seeking re-affiliation with the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) after being suspended for not paying their subscriptions.
Proposing a privileged motion yesterday to MPs, Hon Manni Betts-Priddy of APC explained the importance attached to membership of the Inter Parliamentary Union, which is the international organization of the parliaments of sovereign states. Stating that it enhances world-wide parliamentary dialogue especially as it works for peace and cooperation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative institutions.
Mr Priddy further explained that the IPU fosters contacts, coordination and exchange of experiences among parliaments and parliamentarians of all countries. He went on to state that Sierra Leone parliament lost its membership because of non-payment of its contributions over several years and being aware that the relevant provisions of the statutes of the IPU makes provision for the re-affiliation of a member – it is this reason for which they were asking government to pay the necessary arrears to the governing council of IPU so that Sierra Leone can regain its membership.
Hon Chernor Bah also of APC who seconded the motion called it a shame that Sierra Leone cannot pay the pittance as her contribution at the IPU and also at other unions.
He asked that while the executives were enjoying their own privileges the legislators are being starved of their responsibilities by the executive.
Hon Elizabeth Lavalie of SLPP said when parliament was represented at IPU, they were encouraged and even invited to serve on the advisory board for which she was a member.
She said the union was one that brought together MPs who dialogue on issues like Human Rights, HIV/AIDS and other issues affecting parliaments and member countries.
Parliament also ratified a multilateral Agreement between the government of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on co-ordination of Maritime search and rescue services. The motion was tabled by the Deputy Transport and Aviation Minister Pat Sowe.