Ties between Parliaments in the Commonwealth will be strengthened when Speakers and Presiding officers hold bilateral and multilateral meetings during the upcoming Speaker’s and Presiding officers conference (CSPOC).
Uganda will host the 27th Conference from 03 to 06 January 2024 at the Speke Resort, Munyonyo.
The Chairperson of the Coordination Committee, Hon. Abdu Katuntu (Ind., Bugweri) said that Parliament of Uganda will foster cooperation with other parliaments which will create alliances and in the end strengthen diplomatic ties with those countries.
“So far, 40 Speakers and Presiding Officers from 33 countries have confirmed attendance and apparently profiling the lists for accreditation purposes,” Katuntu said, while presenting a statement on preparations for hosting the conference during plenary sitting on Tuesday, 28 November 2023.
This high level event comes with increased tourism hits, and its attendant dividends for the small, medium and large scale investors across the tourism value chain, according to Katuntu.
“With the delegates, accompanying persons and other officials expected to grace the conference, presents opportunities to create business and entrepreneurial linkages to cement trade relations with the visiting delegations,” he said.
Katuntu said that CSPOC in general, enhances globalization which brings up opportunities for cooperation especially in areas of economics, public affairs, security and general parliamentary diplomacy.
Kampala Central Division MP, Hon. Muhammad Nsereko, said that hosting the conference is a show of confidence on the Speaker, Anita Among, but quickly called for expeditious improvement of the infrastructure.
“If there is anyone worried but also happy about the occasion is a Member of Parliament in Kampala because of the status of our infrastructure at the moment. Let us put on our boots and go an extra mile to see to it that we clean up the roads, maintaining drainage and lighting up the expressway,” he said.
Speaker Among said that it is a good thing that Uganda is hosting the Conference adding that the country is ready.
Government Chief Whip, Hon. Hamson Obua, said that lights are currently being fixed in the expressway, adding that President Museveni has inspected the roads, the airport, accommodation and conference facilities.
“In his own wisdom as part of boosting Kampala Capital City Authority, he directed the Special Forces Command Unit in charge of engineering to work on the roads. We may not be where we would wish to be but we will get there and we shall host all these international conferences successfully,” said Obua.
Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Martin Mugarra, said that Uganda is ranked the sixth best country in hosting meetings, conferences and events in Africa.
“There should be no worry, when it comes to hotels, Uganda Tourism Board which is a member of the organizing committee does classifications of all the hotels in this country and I am sure a list has been availed and the classes are there,” he said.
CSPOC was created in 1969 as an initiative of the then Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Lucien Lamoureux. CSPOC membership is restricted to the Speakers and Presiding Officers of national parliaments of all independent sovereign states of the Commonwealth. It consists of 22 bicameral parliaments and 30 unicameral parliaments.