The 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union had its Inaugural Ceremony today. Belgrade will be host to 80 parliament speakers and 60 deputy speakers, heading more than 2000 delegates from around the world, from 13 to 17 October.
National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic and UN Office Geneva Director-General Tatyana Valovaya spoke at the Inaugural Ceremony, UN Secretary Antonio Guterres addressed the attending by a video note and the delegates were also greeted by IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron. President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic declared the 141st IPU Assembly open.
At the 141st IPU Assembly Inaugural Ceremony, Serbian Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic greeted the delegations from 150 countries from around the world, promising that the open, cosmopolitan Belgrade will captivate their hearts.
“We have gathered here to strengthen the old and build new bridges of cooperation. We are here in the land of Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andric who said that bridges “are places where a man came up against an obstacle and did not stop before it, but overcame it and bridged it best he could, according to his understanding, taste and circumstances”. It is up to us today to, on behalf of the people we represent, encourage our governments to build, not destroy bridges of cooperation.”
Gojkovic said that in complex times, parliamentary diplomacy is vital and when traditional diplomatic mechanisms fall short it is the only means of support of international dialogue.
Gojkovic said that Serbia has been committed to the values and objectives of the Inter-Parliamentary Union for 128 years now, since the Kingdom of Serbia joined the community of parliaments in 1891.
Gojkovic said that it is no accident that the Pirot rug motif, the symbol of our tradition for five centuries, has been chosen as the visual identity of the Belgrade IPU Assembly.
“Folk tales say that it maintains harmony in the family and spreads positive energy. This motif is all about the art of conversation that ends in agreement”.