IPU Topic - Redistribution Of Power, Not Just Wealth
 Ownership Of The International Agendas
by Mr JH van der Merwe MP
IFP Chief Whip


 

 

National Assembly Cape Town: Thursday, 01 September 2011

 

 

Mr Speaker:

 

Please allow me at the outset to briefly refer to the establishment of the International Parliamentary Union. It was established in 1881. It currently has a membership of 157 parliaments and 9 associate members. The IPU normally meets every year to discuss matters of international importance. It takes resolutions and member Parliaments are then expected to forward those resolutions to their respective countries for implementation.

 

The IPU has since its inception in 1889 been a standard and focal point for international parliamentary dialogue, and a promoter of peace and co-operation between the countries of the world through their respective parliaments.

 

The wording of the IPU theme that we are debating today puts it finger exactly on the main problem facing the IPU.

 

It speaks about "ownership of the international agendas".

 

Behind these very words is hidden the real problem facing the IPU, namely that the resolutions passed every year by the IPU do not effectively find their way into the agendas of the various member Parliaments of the IPU.

 

I think this is where we fail.  We should therefore seriously rethink what we, the South African Parliament, could contribute to effectively pay attention to, and implement IPU resolutions.

 

The topic of this debate: The redistribution of power, not just wealth:

Ownership of International Agendas is important to the current situation within South Africa because the divide between rich and poor is expanding exponentially.

 

At its current rate of expansion South Africa could soon be divided into two main camps, namely the very rich, and the very poor. The middle class will struggle to survive because of poor governance and excessive taxation.

 

As far at the IPU's status is concerned, if we do not effectively take its resolutions seriously, we will allow the IPU to become nothing less than an international talk shop with no teeth. It may eventually only serve as a very nice holiday for Members of Parliament.

 

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, the rich-poor situation is a serious problem. It will require a commitment from all role players and specifically our government to embark upon and embrace a wealth and power redistribution policy in favour of all South Africans and not just those who know how to organise lucrative tenders and government contracts.

 

I thank you.

 

Contact: Mr Koos van der Merwe MP, 082 444 4944.