The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia will host the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Belgrade, from 13 to 17 October, to be attended by delegations from 150 countries, as well as 80 parliament speakers, one of the IPU’s records.
The Serbian capital will host more than 2000 parliamentarians and delegates from around the world, among them 60 deputy speakers and UN and civil society partners.
The central theme of the Assembly, to be held in Sava Centre, is Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional cooperation, and the session will end with the adoption of the Belgrade Declaration. The parliamentarians, of whom 30% are women and 17% young MPs, will be discussing gender equality, empowering youth, human rights of parliamentarians and universal health coverage.
The Belgrade Assembly also marks the 130th anniversary of the oldest and biggest international parliamentary organization, today boasting 179 national member parliaments and 12 regional parliamentary bodies.
The 141st Assembly will also mark a number of jubilees: 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, when the regional UNICEF ambassador will also be promoted, 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions and the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The Assembly launching ceremony in Sava Centre on Sunday, 13 October at 7.30 pm will be broadcast live by RTS, with the general debate starting on Monday, 14 October, when Serbian Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic will be elected 141st IPU Assembly Chair.
The IPU Belgrade Assembly will facilitate dozens of parliamentary bilateral meetings to encourage greater regional cooperation and understanding between its member parliaments. Serbian Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic will also have a series of bilateral meetings with the attending parliament speakers.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker will have a press conference with IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron and IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong before the launching ceremony on 13 October at 1 pm and on the last day of the Assembly, 17 October, at 1 pm, in the press centre in Sava Centre.
Belgrade will have the honour to host an IPU session full 56 years after it had hosted the 52nd Assembly in 1963. This is also the first IPU Assembly held in a European country outside of Geneva in 20 years, seeing how the last one was in Germany in 1999.
The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union confirmed Serbia as the host of the 141st Assembly on 17 October 2018 in Geneva, which is a big coup for parliamentary diplomacy and testament to the active work of the Serbian parliamentary delegation to IPU, headed by National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic.
Serbia was one of the first members of the IPU, joining in 1891, shortly after the organization was founded in 1889.