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We are the first generation which can end extreme poverty in our lifetime. But we cannot get there without parliamentarians.- Dr. Jim Yong Kim

Mozambican and Norwegian MPs celebrate Constitution Day

13-16 May 2014

Parliament of Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique – AWEPA in partnership with the National Assembly of Mozambique and the Embassy of Norway will celebrate the 200 years of the Norwegian Constitution Day, which dates back to 1814, when Norway was declared an independent kingdom. A group of around 200 participants composed of Mozambican and Norwegian MPs, high level officials from the government, the Constitutional Court and the Mozambican Supreme Court, Academics and CSOs will discuss the importance of the Constitution, in particular in relation to the management of natural resources. The Norwegian example will be shared in which it is noted that natural resources should be used on the basis of comprehensive long term considerations whereby this right will be safeguarded for future generations as well.

Mozambique is presented with important opportunities and challenges because of its rich assets in natural resources. Recent announcements about this have created enormous expectations among Mozambicans, who are eager to see their living conditions improve.

Some of the high level participants will include the Norwegian Ambassador, Mozambican Minister of Justice, President of the Mozambican Constitutional Court, Judge Counsellor of the Mozambican Supreme Court and Prof. Albie Sachs, former judge of the South African Constitutional Court.

Various topics will be looked at including:

  • Updates on the draft law on the Revision of the Mozambican Constitution by HE Dr. Eduardo Joaquim Mulémbwè, Chair of the Ad Hoc committee of the Revision of the Constitution and former Speaker of the Mozambican Parliament.
  • The long walk of Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela to constitutional freedom: A comparison of constitutional journeys in Norway, Mozambique and South Africa by Prof. Albie Sachs, former judge of the South African constitutional court.
  • Sovereignty of the people, the separation of powers and human rights in the Constitution of Norway by Dra. Aase Gundersen, International Law and Policy Institute, Norway.
  • The rights of the minorities and the Mozambican constitution by Dr. Tomás Timbane, Chairman of the Mozambican Lawyers Order.

The activity is aimed at:

  • Increasing the awareness on the importance of the constitution towards the well-being of citizens.
  • Increasing awareness of how the constitution can be applied and act as an instrument of sovereignty in different development areas of a country, in particular the management of natural resources.

This activity is implemented within the AWEPA project “Towards Sustainable Natural Resources Management for Inclusive Growth – Parliamentary Capacity Building Project”, funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. This project serves to engage the elected officials at the National, Provincial, and Municipal levels in overseeing the ways and means by which the extractive process is managed in Mozambique. The project is based upon the principle that citizens should be left with a net benefit from the extractive processes underway, that the government must assure such benefits and that extractive industry must be compelled to comply with national and international regulations on this issue.

In this programme AWEPA will introduce training on natural resources for the Municipalities, Provincial Assemblies and National Assembly (MPs and staff). Prior to the implementation of the activities, AWEPA undertook a baseline study to establish the milestone and terms of comparison for mid-term and final evaluation of the project.