By: Kebba AF Touray
Halifa Sallah, the National Assembly Member for SerreKunda has told Lawmakers that Parliamentary Diplomacy is a reality.
Sallah said this on Tuesday during the debate at the National Assembly on the report of the National Assembly delegation to the 14th session of the Organization of Islamic Conference.
Halifa said diplomacy is getting more and more dynamic as it moves from state to state towards state to people and people to people; that parliamentary diplomacy is a reality and it is being acknowledged more and more; that thus the need to empower Members of the Gambian parliament by attaching them to such parliamentary institutions; that from their report, they have gathered information on the functions of these institutions, which the ordinary people really do not know. “I will urge that this process continues so that we know precisely why we are part of such organizations. This report makes it very clear that we are part of 54 state representatives of other parliaments, interacting through their parliament,” he said.
He however said that it is important to look at the challenges that the Islamic Conference Countries are confronted with including the denial of sovereignty of Palestinians and their right to self-determination and an independent homeland; that these are the major agenda for these 54 countries, as well as the problems of migration.
On the issue of terrorism and the hopelessness of refugees and their right to return to their homeland, Sallah said it is important that they take up these issues and devise means of addressing them, noting that these factors are challenges to the PUIC.
“There is no doubt that no human being at birth becomes a terrorist. What type of socialization is injected in a human being to the point that at the age of 13, 14, 16 and onwards, will put an explosive belt and explode to destroy the very people that he considers to be of the same religion and requiring protection, love and compassion,’’ Sallah posited. He said the Organization of Islamic Conference is established to preserve and promote the lofty Islamic value of peace, compassion, tolerance, equality, justice and human dignity.
“They talk about respect, safeguards and defending national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all member states,” he said.
He said they also talk about universal values; that they must concentrate in promoting international peace and security, understanding and dialogue amongst civilizations, cultures and religions; promote and encourage friendly relations, good neighborliness, mutual respect and cooperation.