Parliamentary Diplomacy : Democratic Amplifications For Cameroon

Through experience-sharing in various fora, legislators improve their control of government action and the representation of the people.

Parliamentary diplomacy as simply explained, refers to international activities undertaken by parliamentarians in order to increase mutual understanding between countries, assist each other in improving the control of governments and the representation of a people and to increase the democratic legitimacy of inter-governmental institutions. The National Assembly and Senate of Cameroon to that effect collaborate with other Parliaments in order to enhance its democratic process. The National Assembly alone, for example, belongs to 11 inter-parliamentary organs in the sub region, region and internationally. Some of them include the Inter-Parliamentary Union, African Parliamentary Union (APU), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa) CPA, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (international), Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, Pan-African Parliament, CEMAC Parliament, and the Parliamentary Union of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (O.C.I.). In some of these Parliamentary Associations, Cameroon is represented at the executive and other decision-making bodies. Cameroon currently occupies the position of Chairperson of the CPA, with Hon. Mary Meboka, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, being the said personality. Again, the Senior Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Hilarion Etong is Vice President of the CEMAC Parliament.   
Given that parliamentary diplomacy has some advantages such as increased flexibility in establishing contacts with various local stakeholders, as well as communicating with fewer constraints and on more sensitive issues, Cameroon uses her presence in these international bodies for the said purpose. Parliamentary diplomacy is also a mechanism of cooperation,...



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