His Excellency the Honourable Speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau early this morning attended a virtual session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Governing Council with MPs Hon. Lynda Tabuya and Hon. Dr. Salik Govind.
The IPU Governing Council will convene a virtual extraordinary session (206th session) on 1 – 4 November 2020 to discuss and take decisions on pressing issues relating to the functioning of the organisation – including the adoption of the IPU budget and programme of work for 2021 and the election of the IPU President. More than 350 delegates and secretariat are expected to convene for this important meeting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the Council to hold a virtual extraordinary session to ensure these important matters are dealt with.
The early morning session today (12 – 3am Fiji Time) was a hearing for Governing Council members to hear from four candidates who are vying for the position of president of the global organisation of national parliaments. The four candidates are Members of Parliament from Pakistan, Portugal, Uzbekistan and Canada. This was an opportunity for the candidates to make brief presentations on their candidacy and allow members to pose questions to them.
The Honourable Speaker, Hon. Tabuya and Hon. Dr. Govind are the three voting members representing the Fijian Parliament at this year’s IPU Governing Council meeting.
Earlier on Tuesday night (20/10/20) the delegates participated in a remote mock election aimed at familiarising them with the use of the electronic voting platform facilitated by the IPU.
The election of the IPU president will begin on 1 November, Day One of the Governing Council’s virtual session which is being facilitated from its head office in Geneva. The remote election is being overseen and audited by an independent body – the United Nations International Computing Center (UNICC).
The IPU is the global inter-parliamentary forum established in 1889 initially for individual parliamentarians but has evolved into an international organisation of the parliaments of sovereign states. Today its membership is made of up the national parliaments of 178 countries and with 12 regional parliamentary assemblies. The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.