President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has urged nations across the world to renew commitment and resolve to create stable political environments in which peace will thrive and end the incessant wars ravaging parts of the globe.
Senator Mark told lawmakers from 164 nations at the on-going 130th Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) conference holding in Geneva, Switzerland today, to adhere to the democratic principles of rule of law, transparency, accountability and representative government.
He reminded the IPU of the need to reflect on the role of the parliament in addressing the multitude of challenges across the World’s conflict zones and fashion a blue print towards ending them.
According to Mark “Recent political crisis in Eastern Europe and the Sub-Saharan Region are a stark reminder that we must remain ever vigilant as we strive to achieve peaceful co-existence between and within nations.
“That is why transnational platforms like the IPU must continuously seek to evolve pragmatic strategies that are capable of mitigating threats to democracy and peace.”
With particular reference to Nigeria, Senator Mark pointed out that “we face our own peculiar challenges to Democracy. That is why the main concern of the National Assembly has been the challenge to sustain democracy as a culture, acceptable and workable for the majority of our people, which takes into account the multiplicity of different ethnicities, tribes and cultures that co-exist in Nigeria.
The situation he noted, “involves managing internal tendencies, problems and issues that challenge democratic principles. This is a matter of national importance and the Nigerian parliament is leaving no stone unturned in enacting enabling laws that require the comprehensive and committed contribution of all groups and interests.
“This, to a great extent, necessitated the on-going process of the amendment of our Constitution.”
He added that ” some of the major problems currently confronting developing and emerging democracies, include but not limited to: political and electioneering conflicts, socio-economic agitations, ethno-religious crises, ethnic militias, boundary disputes, criminality and organized crimes.
“These problems individually and collectively, constitute threats to the peace, security and development of countries; they produce excruciating impact on the economy, health, education, women and children. Invariably, they have implications for the continuity and survival of the nation’s nascent democracy.
“This is the more reason why we need to explore how democracy can itself be deliberately constructed as a positive response to these issues.
“The linkage of the IPU’s mandate in the contemporary global era, remains as relevant today, as it was, at inception and it should continue to embody the earnest resolve to propagate democracy and peaceful co-existence through constructive engagements with governments and civil societies.”
This he argued entails the task of not only promoting peaceful political order but also creating the enabling socio-economic and political conditions for its sustenance.
The Senate President renewed the commitment of Nigeria to the sustenance of global peace and democracy through the propagation of people-centered legislation and oversight.
He told his colleagues: ” we have currently before the National Assembly, bills on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and child’s right act to take care of stranded and displaced children during civil strife.”