The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Correspondent
SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT Advocate Jacob Mudenda has congratulated Uruguayan president Luis Lacalle Pou for successfully hosting the Second Summit of the Committees of the Future, which sought to evaluate mechanisms for the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the constitutional mandates of parliaments.
The summit, which ran from September 25-27, was held in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The meeting between Adv Mudenda and president Pou was organised by president of Uruguay’s senate, Ms Beatriz Argimón.
Adv Mudenda also commended the host president for his well-received official opening address, which contextualised the role of AI in strengthening democratic institutions.
In his address, president Pou underlined the centrality of AI in various sectors of the digital world.
He challenged parliamentarians to take a positive approach towards AI usage as well as reinforcing its evolution.
Adv Mudenda also congratulated the Uruguayan leader on the official opening of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) regional office in Montevideo.
Establishment of the strategic IPU regional office for the South American parliaments was first mooted 15 years ago.
Another regional office is set to open in Cairo, Egypt, to service parliaments from Africa and Arab countries.
In his address at the commissioning of the office, IPU president Duarte Pacheco congratulated Uruguay for leading the way.
He indicated that he was looking forward to the opening of the Egyptian office.
Adv Mudenda also attended a working lunch under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which ran under the theme “Uses of the Future in Parliaments: Building a Tool for Action”.
The workshop was attended by delegates from different countries in an effort to exchange ideas on the application of AI in parliamentary processes.
Adv Mudenda exhorted parliaments to embrace future technologies.
He added that parliaments should ensure that its members and staff are not left behind in the AI revolution.
Adv Mudenda advised on the need to ensure that there is accelerated capacity building for MPs and staff through anticipatory research so as to upskill all
the demographic groups in the AI ecosystem.
Parliaments were also urged to learn from their counterparts in Uruguay and Finland, who have taken the lead in designing paradigms for AI use within their parliaments.
In addition, Adv Mudenda called for an appropriate legal framework to guide parliamentary committees of the future on how to manage the AI phenomenon as a tool for accelerated socio-economic development.
He conveyed gratitude to UNDP for its continued support to the Parliament of Zimbabwe and appealed for more support, especially within the purview of AI usage.