IPU Assembly Recognizes Fifth Parliament’s Diplomatic Excellence

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In a resounding address delivered at the 148th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva on Sunday, March 24, 2024, Rt. Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu, Speaker of the Sierra Leone Parliament, lauded the remarkable achievements of Sierra Leone’s Fifth Parliament from 2018 to 2023, earning recognition for exemplary parliamentary diplomacy.

Operating within the complexities of a hung parliament, where no single political entity held a decisive majority, Sierra Leone’s lawmakers faced unprecedented challenges in steering effective governance and legislative progress. However, rather than succumbing to partisan divisions and legislative stalemates, the Fifth Parliament embraced a spirit of constructive dialogue and cooperation, transcending political barriers to advance the nation’s agenda.

Under the theme “Parliamentary Diplomacy: Building Bridges for Peace and Understanding,” this year’s IPU Assembly engaged in high-level discussions on global strategies addressing the “Crisis of Multilateralism: the Root Causes and Possible Solutions,” ultimately resulting in the adoption of a significant political declaration.

Speaker Bundu highlighted the notable legislative accomplishments during the tenure of the Fifth Parliament, which included the enactment of 75 bills into law, approval of 66 constitutional and statutory instruments, ratification of 60 treaties and conventions, and submission of 120 committee reports. These milestones, characterized by their progressive nature, underscored the effectiveness of parliamentary diplomacy in tackling complex issues and driving positive change.

Emphasizing the crucial role of dialogue and collaboration in overcoming adversity, reconciling post-war wounds, and shaping a future marked by principles of peace and inclusivity, Speaker Bundu urged international counterparts to draw inspiration from Sierra Leone’s parliamentary experience. He called for a reaffirmation of commitment to fostering understanding, bridging divides, and embracing diversity as a source of strength.

As delegates convened at the IPU Assembly, Sierra Leone’s Fifth Parliament emerged as a shining example of the transformative power of parliamentary diplomacy, earning accolades for its unwavering dedication to national unity and reconciliation.

Speaker Bundu’s impassioned address resonated deeply with attendees, highlighting the significance of parliamentary diplomacy in building bridges, nurturing mutual respect, and advancing the collective well-being of nations worldwide.

It’s noteworthy that Speaker Bundu had previously served as Campaign Manager in the election of the current President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

In his remarks, Speaker Bundu expressed delight at participating in the 148th Assembly of the IPU in Geneva, stressing the importance of strengthening parliamentary diplomacy and mutual understanding for parliamentary stability.

He extended best wishes to the President of the Assembly and the President of the IPU, expressing confidence in their representation of Africa with distinction.

Reflecting on Sierra Leone’s parliamentary journey, Speaker Bundu recounted the unique experience of the Fifth Parliament, which navigated the challenges of a hung parliament with strategic dialogue and consultation, ultimately achieving historic legislative milestones despite initial doubts.

He urged international cooperation in fostering peace and understanding, invoking the words of Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it is done.”


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