, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – The Parliaments of Kenya and Serbia have agreed to intensify ties between their respective legislatures, in a move that will see the commencement of collaboration linking their respective Parliamentary Committees, and exchange of ideas between the Parliamentary staff from the two assemblies.
Speaking during the bilateral talks between Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and his Serbian counterpart Maja Gojkovic, the two noted that the ties between the two countries are historically founded on a personal friendship between the two nations’ founding fathers; Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the former Yugoslavia President Josip Broz Tito.
Speaker Muturi, who is on an official visit of the Serbian National Assembly, emphasized that it was now time for the two allies, to create more understanding about each other, their people and their cultures, so as to promote their people-people relations.
On her part, Speaker Gojkovic accentuated that the agreement signed between the legislatures will contribute to the development of cooperation between the parliamentary working bodies, friendship groups and support services.
She observed that her visit to Kenya in February was of historic importance as it was the first of its kind in decades.
“Thanks for investing your personal efforts in the spirit of our MoU to intensify our cooperation. I hope this encourages our governments to heighten these relations”, she said.
The Serbian Speaker particular spelled out her Parliament’s interests for cooperation with Kenya in the areas of sports, culture, development, health, education and environmental conservation, noting the importance of these sectors as catalysts to the achievement of the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 with regard to Sustainable Development Goals.
“Serbia is landlocked, there were lots of lessons drawn from the first-ever “Blue-Economy Conference” held last year in Kenya on how to harness the resources of Serbia’s many lakes and rivers towards her economic transformation,” Gojkovic stated.
Speaker Muturi also took the opportunity to reiterate that Kenya does not support the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija and strongly supports Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
He also outlined Kenya’s commitment to integration, sustainable development, multilateralism and climate change mitigation, and sought for Serbia’s support as the country endeavours to push this agenda in various international fora.
Muturi took this chance to seek Serbia’s support on Kenya’s bid for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for 2021-2022, noting that Kenya’s election to the all-important seat would enhance her leading role within the African region, and boost her strengths in conflict resolution, security and development.
The talks also saw the two Speakers commit the respective legislatures to push the implementation of resolutions on climate change mitigation which was adopted by 195 countries at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21); to this end Muturi noted that the Kenyan Parliament had already enacted the enabling legislation for the resolution’s implementation.
Later on, Speaker Muturi who is on a four-day official tour met with the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić who expressed Serbia’s unequivocal support for Kenya’s bid for a seat at the United Nations Security Council.
Their meeting also deliberated on increasing trade between the two countries as well as collaboration towards universal healthcare.