Kigali, 8 March 2011

President Kagame has asked parliaments of countries in the region to do more in playing a role fostering peace, security and economic development. Speaking after officially opening the 3rd Conference of Speakers of member countries of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL )and Belgium Parliaments at Parliament buildings today, President Kagame said that in the recent past, Governments have dominated efforts towards conflict resolution and peace building in the Great Lakes Region and it was time parliaments got involved: “ Experience has shown, in fact, that representative parliaments can take up very strategic positions to consolidate peace, security, and economic development, especially where their vision and outlook go beyond their national confines.”

Recognising AMANI, the regional parliamentary forum that strives to enhance the status and the role of Members of Parliament in peace making in the region, President Kagame said that parliaments can do more to advance the cause of peace, security and the socio-economic development of the people of the region.

President Kagame pointed out that parliaments can also strengthen existing institutions in their respective nations that aim to promote conflict resolution and peace building, and cited the Rwanda National Reconciliation Commission and the Gacaca courts where the Rwandan parliament has been actively involved.“In fact, by fighting corruption and ensuring that the country’s resources are used in a transparent manner, Parliament can exercise its oversight and accountability function, both key ingredients for peace and development,” President Kagame said.

The two day conference will dwell on ways to promote the well being of the people of the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries. Participants will discuss progress made so far, challenges and way forward for collaboration towards   maintaining peace and security in CEPGL member states; Ways to improve the economy of CEPGL member states and the role of Parliaments of CEPGL member states in promoting security and economic development in their respective countries.