New Delhi: For the first time, the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its counterpart in a foreign country, Rwanda, for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu became the first Rajya Sabha chairman to sign such an agreement when he inked the MoU with the visiting President of the Senate of the Republic of Rwanda, Bernard Makuza.
The MoU, with six articles of cooperation, seeks to promote inter-parliamentary dialogue, capacity building of the parliamentary staff, organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff-attachment programmes, workshops and exchanges.
The two sides also agreed to collaborate in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies in furtherance of the relations between the two countries.
Naidu and Makuza discussed issues of bilateral interest and opportunities for cooperation for mutual benefit. Naidu complimented the people and Parliament of Rwanda for having 60 per cent women legislators.
He also complimented Rwanda for being elected as the Chair of the African Union in January and successfully hosting the Assembly of the African Union in capital Kigali in March that resulted in the signing of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement.
Makuza explained the special role of the Senate of Rwanda in monitoring and punishing those responsible for the genocide policy in the country that had resulted in the killing of about 10 lakh people and also in overseeing the implementation of the social justice programmes.
A three-senator delegation from Rwanda, led by Makuza, is the first such team exclusively from the Upper House of any country to visit India.
The other two senators in the delegation are Gertrude Kazarwa, Deputy Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Political Affairs and Good Governance, and Therese Kagoyire Vishagara, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security.
The delegation is on a three-day visit to India that concludes on Wednesday.