The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic took part in the "Quintet" of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) leadership, the first in the history of this oldest and biggest international parliamentary organization, the summit of IPU officials, heads of the parliaments that presided over the IPU and Serbia as future host.
Gojkovic said that this is an important historical moment for the Inter-Parliamentary Union – the first ever "Quintet" on International Day of Parliamentarism and the 130th anniversary of the IPU, the oldest international parliamentary organization, as reminder of the first meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference in Paris 1889.
Gojkovic said that Serbia is proud to be hosting the coming 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade, 13-17 October of this jubilee year, and invited the parliamentarians to the event.
Gojkovic said that as the head of the parliament that is to host the coming assembly she will be focusing on how the assembly in Belgrade can contribute to the development of parliamentarism and IPU’s future activity, adding that this will be an excellent opportunity to hear different views on the topic of the general debate – Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms and the contribution of regional cooperation.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker said that this is a topic that needs to be discussed now when the world is at a crossroads and we bear witness to violations of the tenets of international law including its very basics such as respecting the territorial integrity and political independence of states, refraining from the use of force without the approval of the UN Security Council, non-involvement in the internal affairs of states and the governments’ duty to protect human rights and freedoms.
Gojkovic said it is important to pinpoint the parliamentary mechanisms that can help and prevent the violation of certain tenets of international law.
“I am sure the Belgrade Declaration will be a crucial parliamentary contribution to the challenges troubling the world at large”, Gojkovic said.
Gojkovic said she hoped the 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade would be provide the opportunity for the organization to come closer to universal membership and that she is pleased by the announcements that the Assembly in Belgrade would be an excellent opportunity to bring the number of IPU members to an even 180.
Gojkovic added that the IPU Assembly in Belgrade will also be focusing on the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and asked the attending to endorse the topic and promote the workshop on it on 15 October 2019.
Gojkovic said that in the course of the assembly the IPU Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights will prepare the draft resolution on “Achieving universal health coverage by 2030: The role of parliaments in ensuring the right to health”, adding that it is vital that the parliaments make sure all people and communities have access to quality, affordable healthcare. The Serbian Assembly Speaker said that there would also be panel discussions on the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women focusing on the parliament’s role in adopting the legislative framework for gender equality. Gojkovic said that a series of events on the margins of the assembly are also being prepared - social events, cultural programme for the opening ceremony and ceremony for the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, and the heads of the delegations will also have a reception at the National Museum.
In addition to the Serbian Assembly Speaker, the "Quintet" was also be attended by the Chairperson of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko, President of the 137th IPU Assembly in St. Petersburg, Speaker of the Shura Council of Qatar Ahmad Bin Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, President of the 140th IPU Assembly in Doha, IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron and IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong.
On the eve of the "Quintet", the Serbian Assembly Speaker met with IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron and IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong to discuss the cooperation with the organization and the coming Assembly in Belgrade.