Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 80

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Inter-Parliamentary Union

One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Assembly

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, this past April, Senator Oliver, Senator Ataullahjan, Senator Dawson and I had the honour of attending the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, held in Kampala, Uganda. As you know, Uganda is the country of my birth and will always hold a special place in my heart. When Uganda was awarded the honour of hosting this year’s assembly, all Ugandans, residing both in Uganda and abroad, were thrilled that our country would be showcased on the global stage.

I would like to congratulate President Museveni and Speaker Kadaga for hosting parliamentarians representing 159 parliaments from around the world and making this year’s conference such a great success. I know that Canadian delegates, as well as all other delegates, left Uganda with a better understanding of the challenges Uganda faces and the proactive way in which its president and parliamentarians are working to better the lives of Ugandans.

I would like to thank the High Commissioner of Uganda to Canada, His Excellency Mr. George Marino Abola, who worked hard with our delegates by educating us on the challenges and struggles that many Ugandans are currently facing.

Honourable senators, I am sure that all of you would be extremely proud of our honourable colleague Senator Oliver for his great work. Senator Oliver was the head of the delegation and, since 2006, has been the president of the Canadian Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Senator Oliver is also a member of the IPU executive committee, co-chair of the World Trade Organization Parliamentary Conference and a member of the Gender Partnership Group.

Not only did Senator Oliver work tirelessly at the conference, but he also reached out to all of the speakers present at the conference and held many bilateral meetings with the Ugandan ministers.

Senator Oliver, I know I speak for all Canadian delegates who joined you in Uganda when I say that you represented Canadian parliamentarians and Canada extremely well.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Serge Pelletier, who was the Executive Secretary to the Canadian IPU Group. Mr. Pelletier worked hard to ensure Canada was represented well and worked with a smile under very difficult conditions. He and his team did a great job in ensuring that all the delegates were well supported.

I am very pleased to tell you that our honourable colleague, Senator Dawson, was elected in a competitive election to the Advisory Group to the IPU Committee on United Nations Affairs. Congratulations, Senator Dawson.

Honourable senators, I am sure that you have all heard our honourable colleague Senator Ataullahjan speak of her role as a co-rapporteur on maternal health. Over the years, she has worked very hard on this issue and I very am pleased to inform you that she was considered one of the experts on the issue, one to whom the parliamentarians often turned when discussing how we could successfully reach our Millennium Development Goals.

Senator Ataullahjan, who was supported by Ms. Allison Goody, did an excellent job of ensuring that the maternal health issues were brought forward and given the consideration they so desperately require.

Although it will be a long time before Uganda will have another opportunity to host IPU delegates, I am confident that this year’s conference is one that Ugandans will proudly be talking about for many years to come.