Senate President David Mark
By Onwuka Nzeshi
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has endorsed international military efforts to flush out armed rebel groups in northern Mali and regain control of the occupied territory.
In an emergency resolution adopted at the closing session of its 127th Assembly in Quebec City, Canada, the IPU threw its weight upon ongoing efforts by the United Nations, France and the European Union to help Mali recover the large territories occupied by armed rebels and terrorist groups.
In a resolution tagged “Quebec City Declaration”, IPU urged Mali’s armed forces to fully cooperate with international forces when they are deployed. It also urged the Malian transitional government to hold free and fair elections once the current precarious security situation in the country has been brought to an end.
The IPU Assembly comprises about 1,400 parliamentarians drawn from 125 countries including Nigeria. The 127th Assembly hosted by the Canadian Parliament featured debates on Mali, women’s political empowerment and the protection of diversity in the global community.
The IPU strongly condemned the killings, abuses and serious human rights violations against civilians, particularly women and children by the rebels.
The parliamentarians also condemned the wanton pillaging and destruction of several cultural, religious and world heritage sites in Mali, insisting that the time had come for the international community to take action.
These resolutions were adopted following debates on the theme of the session - Citizenship, Identity, Linguistic and Cultural Diversity.
The resolution called on parliaments across the world to do all they can to protect diversity as a global value.