Namibia-Finland parliamentary relations to strengthen: Katjavivi

26 Jan 2018 08:50am
Windhoek, 26 JAN (NAMPA) –The Finnish Parliament and Namibia’s National Assembly discussed key issues of mutual interest during a week long engagement.
They range from parliamentary cooperation, poverty reduction and how to combat gender based violence (GBV).
Speaking at a joint media conference in Windhoek on Thursday, Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi said they discussed issues of common interest “concerning women emancipation and empowerment”.
Additionally, the strengthening of youth parliament also featured in the high level talks.
Katjavivi emphasised the importance of the youth parliament saying it gives young people confidence to debate issues of national interest and create better parliamentarians for the future.
More so, the enhancement of information communication technology (ICT) in parliamentary work was discussed.
“This is the concept of e-parliament. Basically ii is to move towards a paperless parliament,” he said.
This could probably see Namibia parliamentary staff attached to the Finnish Parliament.
Another issue that was addressed was GBV.
A stakeholder meeting initiated by the two parliaments will be held in due course to craft a framework to combat GBV.
Among the possible solutions suggested to mitigate GBV is for the judiciary to reconsider granting bail to aggravated GBV offenders.
In addition, there is a need for a special breed of clinical psychologists who can detect early warning signs, monitor and evaluate GBV cases because “it seems the escalation of GBV has a direct correlation to cases of bipolar disorder within the society”, Katjivivi said.
Sharing similar sentiments, Speaker of the Parliament of Finland, Maria Lohela heaped praise on Katjavivi for speaking out publicly about GBV.
She said Namibia had the necessary legal instruments in place to combat GBV, which needs refinement.
“We will find newer models of cooperation were we share our tips practically and for you to prepare your own instruments or make them better. You have instruments, but it’s always a question of how to make them better and better,” she said.
Katjivivi hosted his Finnish counterpart, Lohela and her delegation. Lohela’s visit to Namibia came as a follow-up to Katjivivi’s visit to Finland in October 2017.