Katjavivi emphasises need to sustain democracy

Martin Endjala

Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi has cautioned that peace and stability should not be taken for granted as its attainment did not come overnight.

The said this as Namibia joins the world to commemorate International Day of Democracy, which is observed annually on September 15, as adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2007.

The significance of this day is to honour the values that democracy upholds and to draw attention to how important it is for all UN Charter signatories to maintain democracy in their countries.

The day is being commemorated under the theme, “The Universal Declaration of Democracy’’ of which Katjavivi stated that is ‘’serves as a reminder of how far countries have come and how much work still needs to be done in order for democracy to be sustained’’.

Katjavivi is of the view that the democratic declaration is still applicable, but it needs to be modified to keep up with the new world order, which is accompanied by technical and climatic challenges, as well as youth demands of their share in decision making and unrest and violence in some parts of the world.

Besides all these challenges Parliaments are committed to redouble their efforts to strengthen culture of democracy around the world.

“The past two years have shown how fast things can change and reminded various governments the reason to invest in infrastructures like health, ICT, security and safety for the welfare of its citizens,” the Speaker pointed out.

He urged Namibians to take pride in safeguarding and sustaining the hard-won independence and democracy.

“We live in a Democratic State and we must strive towards a Namibian House inspired by the participation of all citizens from all spheres of life in the law-making processes,” Katjavivi said. In light of this, the Speaker is calling on all Namibians to actively participate in both political and civic processes towards the observance of this important day.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the SADC Parliament-Forum Beomo Sekgoma said that on this day, the SADC-PF reminisces its core values and guiding principles which speak to the significance of the democratic framework of robust stepping stone for accountability, transparency and the existence of the rule of law.

The Forum subscribes to the modern view of a democracy which represents the “will of the people”, and also encompasses respect for human rights for all and the protection of minorities and marginalised groups, Sekgoma said.

Sekgoma further revealed that the Forum is pursuing several initiatives in 2022 to ensure that democracy prevails in Southern Africa, including by participating in Election Observation Missions

(EOMs) to ensure that election processes are regular, free and fair.

In the last eight months, the Forum adopted two Model Laws, notably the SADC Model Law on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management (PFM), both of which promote parliamentary activism to advance democratic principles and the rule of law around these themes. Today, the Forum further celebrates the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance which is a landmark regional instrument that encapsulates the coveted democratic principles which must be pursued with consistency by signatory Members, and which will undoubtedly elevate the region to the aspirations of the Sustainable Agenda 2030 and Africa Agenda 2063.

By Observer