Apr 052012
Some of IPU delegates in attendance

Delegates attending the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly in Uganda have refused to include gay and abortion rights in their final resolutions.

A Ugandan media outlet, UGPulse, is reporting that a number of the 46 countries forming the Democracy and Human Rights Standing Committee of the IPU declined to pass the proposal.

UGPulse also reports that during a meeting by the Third Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights on Wednesday, 10 out of 46 countries, among them New Zealand and Finland tabled proposals to have homosexuality included in the resolutions tabled but this was rejected.

Another proposal to have abortion legalized to save hundreds of women dying due to unsafe abortions within the IPU was also thrown out.

Meanwhile, civil society activists and called an impromptu news conference at Parliament this morning urging the Ugandan MPs attending the IPU to reject calls from Western delegates who want the anti-homosexuality Bill ejected from the Ugandan Parliament.

Addressing the media at Parliament today, the activists led by former Ugandan Ethics and Integrity Minister Miria Matembe, Pastor Stephen Langa and Serere Woman MP, Alice Alaso criticized the move to legalise homosexuality, saying foreign countries are trying to import norms that do not conform to African tradition.

Langa, the Executive Director of Family Life Network, the Ugandan associate of The Family, a US group that sponsored the authoring and tabling of the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 which sought the death penalty for Ugandan gays, said “Many of the developed countries use such international meetings to advocate and campaign for behaviour such as homosexuality under the guise of human rights protection.”

The activists said “Attempts by these countries should be rejected by Ugandan legislators to safe guard the country’s morals.”

The IPU conference began in Kampala on March 31 and runs until April 15.

The IPU is an international organization of national parliaments and was established in 1889. It considers questions of international interest and concern and expresses its views on such issues in order to bring about action by parliaments and parliamentarians.

According to the official website of the 126th summit due in Kampala, IPU also contributes to the defence and promotion of human rights – an essential factor of parliamentary democracy and development.

Kikonyogo Kivumbi