A special segment of the General Debate of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union marked the 130th anniversary of the IPU as the oldest international parliamentary organization. The Serbian Assembly Speaker said it was an honour to be marking this important historical date today, as we remember the first Conference in Paris when the vision of connecting people of different cultures, languages, religions, customs and habits through parliamentary cooperation was born, sure of the strength of our organization and its crucial role in modern times.
Gojkovic said that from that first Conference in the Paris Hotel Continental in 1889 to the present one in Sava Centre, our parliaments have changed, developed, as have the circumstances in the world.
“Still, however complex they might be, we, parliamentarians, understood our citizens’ wish to cooperate and together respond to challenges. So the idea of parliamentarians William Randal Cremer and Frédéric Passy is still alive today in the debate we lead in this Belgrade week of parliamentary diplomacy”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic said that the world is at a crossroads and we are witnesses to the abuse of rules and tenets of international law, adding that the many challenges our parliaments face in the 21st century are the reason why we must be ready for a self-critical reassessment to ascertain how to improve our work in the best interest of the people we represent.
“That is why advancing democracy is now more than ever the IPU’s most important task. At the same time we have to keep encouraging the national parliaments to seek solutions and answers to the citizens’ problems”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic said that the Serbian Assembly marked this important jubilee for the parliamentary world on 30 June, International Day of Parliamentarism, with the exhibition “1889-2019 Celebrating 130 Years of the Inter-Parliamentary Union”, adding that historical testaments best warn us that it is our to build a world of cooperation, understanding and trust for the generations to come in the next century.
Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko presented the report from the meeting of the IPU “Quintet” in Geneva, 30 June, marking the 130th anniversary of the IPU and attended by the presidents of the most recent and future IPU assemblies.
The heads of the French and UK delegations, IPU founding countries, also spoke in the special segment, reminding the attending of the two parliamentarians whose vision gave rise to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.