A speech by The Queen at the Parliament Building in Kampala

Published

It gives me great pleasure to address this House today in recognition of the importance of parliamentary democracy to the Commonwealth as a whole.

Your Excellency President Museveni and Mrs Museveni, Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen

Prince Philip and I have many fond memories of our last visit together to Uganda. In the years since, your country has made considerable advances in spite of periods of adversity. I expect that what has helped sustain modern Uganda is the attribute that was so evident in 1954, and again today, in the generous manner we have been welcomed: the great warmth and friendliness of its people. We are delighted to be here once more.

It gives me great pleasure to address this House today in recognition of the importance of parliamentary democracy to the Commonwealth as a whole. For Uganda, the deliberations and decisions of this House, together with your respect for the rule of law, have had and will continue to have an essential bearing on the country's success in addressing many serious challenges. The United Kingdom is actively committed to supporting Uganda's efforts to deepen its democracy.

Many in the United Kingdom have been moved by the plight of the people of northern Uganda who have been suffering from the devastating conflict there. The Ugandan Government's efforts to resolve this conflict peacefully are therefore especially welcome. Uganda's regional role is also widely appreciated. In particular, the contribution made to peacekeeping operations in Somalia has been a tribute to the courage and professionalism of Uganda's armed forces.

I am also pleased that the educational and cultural ties between our two countries are now stronger than ever before. Through its collaborative school projects, the British Council is bringing together more than one million children across Africa and the United Kingdom. Indeed, I very much look forward to visiting later this week one of the Ugandan schools participating in the 'Connecting Classrooms' programme which does so much to increase our knowledge and understanding of each other's societies among young people.

In the years since Prince Philip and I were last here, one change in particular has come to scar Uganda and, indeed, much of Africa. The scourge of HIV infection and AIDS has touched the lives of so many of Uganda's people. It is difficult sometimes, when the sorrow associated with this disease is so profound, to avoid a sense of despair. And yet there are growing numbers of people and organisations whose work gives cause for real hope. Today I visited the Mildmay Centre which sets a remarkable example in the provision of care and relief for those who are ill as well as in educating people about how to protect themselves and their families. The role of centres such as this, which the Government of Uganda has done so much to encourage, will be central to achieving our common aim of controlling this cruel disease. The continued and enlightened support of all those in authority, including this House, will play an essential part in supporting these efforts.

One hundred years ago, Sir Winston Churchill, who much later became my first Prime Minister, made a celebrated visit to Uganda which he was moved to describe as 'the Pearl of Africa'. In common with other visitors to this country over the years, he had been struck by how Uganda has been truly gifted by nature. Sir Winston had visited Munyonyo, then just 'a jetty and a few sheds', where, most fittingly, the present British Prime Minister will join his fellow Commonwealth Heads of Government this weekend.

Whether the individual links are long-standing or more recent, the United Kingdom remains a committed friend of Uganda. Prince Philip and I have reason to recall our own associations over the years with the greatest affection and extend to you all our good wishes for the years to come.

Related content

A speech by The Queen at the German State Banquet, 2015

Since 1945 the United Kingdom has determined to number among Germany's very strongest friends in Europe.

24 June 2015
Press release 17 May 2015

Further details of the State Visit to Germany

Read more

The Queen's Commonwealth Day Message, 2015

One simple lesson from history is that when people come together to talk, to exchange ideas and to develop common goals, wonderful things can happen.

09 March 2015
Press release March 2015

Mexico State Visit Programme

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Mexico State Banquet, 2015

When the dynamism and creativity of our two countries are combined, whether that be in business, science, education, sport or culture, the results are extraordinary.

03 March 2015
Press release 01 January 2015

Germany State Visit Announcement

Read more
Press release 25 November 2014

The Queen's message to the Commonwealth Science Conference

Read more
Press release 14 November 2014

Mexico State Visit announced

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Singapore State Banquet, 2014

Mr. President, your visit is an opportunity to celebrate the links between our two countries, developed over almost two centuries.

21 October 2014
Press release October 2014

Singapore State Visit Programme

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the French State Banquet, 2014

I recall my own happiness, discovering this beautiful country for myself and for the first time, and developing my own great affection for the French people.

06 June 2014

A speech by The Queen at the Irish State Banquet, 2014

We will remember our past, but we shall no longer allow our past to ensnare our future. This is the greatest gift we can give to succeeding generations.

08 April 2014
Press release April 2014

Irish State Visit Programme

Read more
Press release 27 March 2014

Singapore State Visit announced

Read more
Press release 03 February 2014

Announcement of State Visit to France

Read more
Press release 17 November 2013

Ireland State Visit announced

Read more
Press release 05 November 2013

Korean State Visit Programme

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Korean State Banquet, 2013

Our people have had a close friendship ever since the first British diplomatic mission was established in Korea 130 years ago.

05 November 2013
Press release April 2013

United Arab Emirates State Visit Programme

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Emirati State Lunch, 2013

Your visit this week is a chance to celebrate the depth of our partnership – a partnership that continues to grow and strengthen.

30 April 2013

A speech by The Queen at the Commonwealth Reception, 2013

I hope the carefully chosen words of the Charter will reinvigorate efforts, already begun, to make the Commonwealth fit and agile for the years ahead.

11 March 2013

Commonwealth Day message 2013

let us bear in mind the great opportunity that is offered by the Commonwealth – of joining with others, stronger together, for the common good.

11 March 2013
Press release 06 February 2013

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit Rome

Read more
Press release 20 December 2012

Christmas Broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth

Read more
Press release November 2012

Kuwait State Visit Programme

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Kuwaiti State Banquet, 2012

Our relationship runs deep, and the United Kingdom is proud to have played its part in Kuwait’s recent history.

27 November 2012
Press release October 2012

Indonesian State Visit Programme

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Indonesian State Banquet, 2012

Your visit is an opportunity for us to develop all aspects of our relationship, from trade and investment to areas such as climate change and education.

31 October 2012
Press release 25 September 2012

Incoming State Visit by The Amir of the State of Kuwait

Read more
Press release 07 September 2012

Incoming State Visit by The President of Indonesia announced

Read more
Press release 12 August 2012

The Queen's Olympic Message

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Olympic Heads of Government Reception, 2012

I hope that you will enjoy your time in the United Kingdom, and I am sure that you will find a warm reception awaiting you, your athletes and the visiting spectators.

27 July 2012
Press release 05 June 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Message

Read more
Press release 05 June 2012

Text of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Message

Read more

The Queen's Commonwealth Day Message, 2012

The Commonwealth offers a pathway for this greater understanding and the opportunity to expand upon our shared experiences in a wider world.

12 March 2012
Press release 14 December 2011

Regional and overseas visits to mark the Diamond Jubilee

Read more
Press release November 2011

Turkish State Visit Programme

Read more

A speech by The Queen at the Turkish State Banquet, 2011

We have come through a great deal together to develop what is, today, a very modern partnership.

22 November 2011

A speech by The Queen to open Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, 2011

This city is known for its optimism; this state is known for its opportunity and potential; and, this country is known for its warmth, openness and generosity.

28 October 2011
Press release October 2011

Visit to Australia Programme

Read more
Press release 23 September 2011

Dates announced for The Queen's visit to Australia

Read more
Press release May 2011

US State Visit Programme

Read more