The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament began earlier today (Thursday 19/08/20) convened online from Vienna, Austria.
His Excellency, the Honourable Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau attended the meeting online from Parliament at 12 am to 4am this morning due to the time difference.
The two-day Conference is organised by the IPU in partnership with the Parliament of Austria and the United Nations. Over 250 Speakers of Parliament were invited to join other parliamentarians, experts, and United Nations representatives to mobilise the international parliamentary community to take action together on the crises facing people and planet.
The theme of the conference is “Parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and sustainable development for the people and planet,” which focuses on multilateralism in COVID-19 context.
Day 1 began with opening remarks by the IPU President Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron and Mr Wolfgang Sobotka President of the Austrian National Council.
UN Secretary-General Mr Antonio Guterres also gave his opening remarks, reiterating that it was imperative that legislatures (parliaments) fight for human rights, health, and the climate.
Speakers and experts at the first session spoke about parliamentary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as themes that included parliamentary actions on climate change, parliamentary commitments to the empowerment of women and girls, and the strengthening of youth participation in politics and parliaments.
There was also a panel discussion on ‘human mobility in pursuit of a better life’ focusing on the rights of refugees, international migrants and stateless persons.
IPU reports on: gender equality and empowerment of women and girls; youth participation in politics and parliaments; and decade of action to achieve the 2020 Agenda for Sustainable Development were also presented to participants.
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.
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