Cameroon: Inauguration of IAPP
By Kamran Nchia, UPF Cameroon
The launching of the Cameroon chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) took place on Wednesday the 28th of March 2018 in the Cameroonian Parliament in the presence of 150 people amongst which were 4 Vice Presidents of the National Assembly,1 Vice President of the Senate,1 Senator , 57 parliamentarians, the South African High commissioner to Cameroon, 1 Chadian Diplomat , 3 current government Ministers, 4 department of national security, 8 university professors,6 clergy, 14 Journalists, 24 VIPs of different qualities, 24 others Ambassadors for Peace and UPF staff members.
The launching was held at the hemicycle of the National Assembly where the ordinary and extraordinary parliamentary sessions are held twice yearly. This indicates the level of esteem the Cameroon Parliament has for IAPP.
The Conference was held under the theme: “Parliamentary Action Day for Peace and Conflict Resolution and launching of International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace- Cameroon Chapter.” It was organised in partnership with the National Assembly of Cameroon and presided over by the Rt. Honourable speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Cavaye Yegue Djibril who was represented by the Senior Vice President of the National Assembly and member of the Committee on Constitutional Laws, Hon Etong Ndzok Hilarion at the last minute because the speaker was prevented from arriving Yaoundé in time for the launching due to a delay in his flight schedule. It was co-chaired by the Quester of Parliament, Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian who has participated in IAPP events since its launching in Korea, Burkina Faso and Senegal, and Hon. Kamsoulou Abba Kabir, who participated at the African Summit 2018 in Senegal
The ceremony began at 11:30 a.m. with the arrival of the Rt. Hon. Speaker and an opening speech by the executive President for IAPP Cameroon Chapter, Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian. He gave a background into the creation and inauguration of IAPP and its various launchings in different parts of the world, in Senegal and now in Cameroon. He asked parliamentarians to wake up and take actions to foster peace and assume responsibility to solve the current crisis in the nation. He asked everyone to adopt the culture and language of peace everywhere they went and with whoever they met. After that, True Mother’s keynote address during the global inauguration of IAPP was read by the President of WFWP Cameroon, Mrs. Akele Consoler. It was received with applause from the audience.
Next was the word from the representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs who spoke on “Peace and Stability”. He explained the efforts made by his ministry to promote social cohesion.
The Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family, H.E Professor Marie-Therèse Abena Ondoua who spoke on “Family, Peace Building and Reconciliation”. She expressed her desire to work in collaboration with the organisers of the IAPP in fulfilling her ministerial duties and urged representatives of IAPP to extend their activities to remote areas of the nation where peace is threatened. Next was the minister of environment who spoke on “Climate change threats to Peace”.
After this, a speech was presented by the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly declaring the launching of IAPP – Cameroon Chapter. He said this launching follows the African Summit in Dakar, Senegal presided over by President Macky Sall and IAPP Founder Mother Moon. He said the Cameroon National Assembly was represented and participated in various sessions where universal values were shared and it is in this light that IAPP is being launched in Cameroon today. He emphasized that peace is not only indispensable but imperative especially as our nation is going through three major crises. He asked parliamentarians to mobilize all their resources towards building and maintaining peace in their constituencies. The speaker called on parliamentarians and all who were present to express their desire for peace in the nation by signing the Yaoundé declaration to which they positively responded.
This was immediately followed by the reading and signing of the Yaoundé Declaration. The declaration was read by Rev. Edwin Plekhanov who was introduced by the co-chair as UPF’s Permanent Representative in Cameroon. After this, there was the nomination of Ambassadors for Peace. The certificates were presented to the Senior Vice President, 12 parliamentarians, 2 senators, 2 ministers, 3 clergies and 2 civil leaders who have been actively promoting peace during the past years. The executive president of IAPP, Hon. Awudu Mbaya explained that these awards are not a qualification but an encouragement to push them to do more and inspire others to do the same so that the message of peace can reach every corner of the society in words and actions. The morning session concluded at 14:00 p.m. with a group photo and cocktail.
The afternoon working session began at 15:00 p.m. and was co-chaired by the Speaker and the IAPP executive president. The session began with an exposé on “Causes and Resolutions of Conflicts” presented by Rev. Mbu Manchang Pius representing UPF Cameroon. He explained the various sources of conflict in the society and linked them to the root of conflict which begins in the family and explained that the resolution of conflicts must start in the families of all those present and then spread to the society and nation. This was followed by a presentation by the KONRAD association, an NGO working on environment and climate change and a presentation by the Delegate General for National Security. The exposé of Rev. Mbu Manchang Pius served as the orientation for the rest of the working session. After this, there was a 21 minutes video presentation of the MBCNET Video on the African Summit which inspired the audience and many were asking “When is Mother Moon coming to Cameroon?”
After this the floor was opened to questions and answers to and from the different presenters and also contributions from the different quality of people present in the audience. There was a general feeling and request from the different interventions calling on IAPP members to serve as a mediator between the government and the citizens especially in the current Anglophone crises which they openly put on the table and discussed. Many parliamentarians tasked IAPP with organizing an all-inclusive dialogue between the government and the different Anglophone groups who are in a deadlock conflict.
After this, the co-chair asked those who were present to adopt the proposed resolutions which were present in the package given to each of them. There was a unanimous reply from the audience that they have already signed the resolutions and need not to review them but to take action. The Rt. Hon. Speaker then gave the closing remarks and closed the session.
The Hon. Awudu was interview by all main stream medias and this was shown as the headline news over the National radio and television.
As Rev. Edwin Plekhanov said in the interview given to some medias, “this is the beginning of a Peace Project in Cameroon”. He urged parliamentarians to join the Peace movement to bring everlasting peace in Cameroon and in the world. He announced to the media the launching of IAPD, ICAPP, YSP which are upcoming.
A working project was then set between IAPP as a UPF Project and the Cameroon Parliament.