Valentina Matvienko: The CIS Interparliamentary Assembly was held during this difficult period

The Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member Nations held a plenary meeting in St Petersburg.

The 51st plenary meeting of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (IPA CIS), held in Tavrichesky (Tauride) Palace, St Petersburg, was attended by the speakers and members of parliament of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The meeting was presided over by Chair of the IPA CIS Council and Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko.

Valentina Matvienko noted that this year the IPA CIS agencies worked under the approved plan.

“In light of the restrictions introduced in our countries, we were unable to hold our regular full meeting last spring. In the first half of the year, only four permanent commissions, the Expert Advisory Board at the IPA CIS Permanent Commission on Legal Issues and the Joint Commission held meetings. However, the assembly resumed normal operations by the autumn. We have held the meetings of all 10 permanent commissions, and the other IPA CIS working bodies have met in accordance with their schedules,” Valentina Matvienko pointed out.

According to the Federation Council Speaker, work in model law-making, which proceeded to plan, produced 27 documents, which had been presented for the consideration of the Interparliamentary Assembly. Approval would increase the number of model laws and other legal documents of the member nations to 594.

Valentina Matvienko noted that this year the CIS nations celebrated the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. Despite the objective difficulties, the assembly has held many of the planned celebration events.

“The IPA CIS Council has adopted an address to the CIS nations and the international community, in which the heads of our parliaments expressed their deep gratitude for the courage and heroism of the defenders of the Motherland, pointed out the unacceptability of deliberate attempts to distort the causes of World War II and to revise its results, and called for resisting the reinstituting of Nazi ideology and manifestations of aggressive nationalism, and for supporting the initiative to recognise the victory over Nazism in WWII as global heritage,” the Federation Council Speaker said.

Valentina Matvienko mentioned the great impact produced by the Memory Lines international media project launched by the CIS Youth Interparliamentary Assembly to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory. It comprises a series of poetic video messages in which MPs, prominent actors, TV anchors, athletes, musicians and young people read their countries’ verses about the Great Patriotic War.

“The idea has been taken up by other residents of the CIS nations, people from different age groups who posted videos in which they read frontline poetry in social networks. The project has introduced a vast audience to the verses of the CIS countries’ national poets and famous contemporaries,” she noted.

The Speaker pointed out the success of the Memory of the Heart project prepared by the Mir Interstate Broadcasting Company, in which people, including MPs from the IPA CIS nations and their relatives who fought in the 1941–1945 war, told their war stories and showed their families’ wartime relics.

Valentina Matvienko informed the participants that the IPA CIS Newsletter, to be published at the end of the year, would be devoted to the IPA CIS events held to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory.

Throughout this jubilee year, the IPA delegations have visited the war memorials dedicated to the Great Victory in their home countries and have attended the celebrations scheduled by the various national programmes. The events held by the specialised IPA commissions included meetings between IPA CIS delegations and members of search parties.

“Regrettably, we had to abandon some of the planned events because of the coronavirus pandemic. The global spread of the coronavirus has had a negative impact on absolutely all areas of life and every country around the world,” the Federation Council Speaker pointed out.

Nevertheless, the IPA CIS continued working even in this difficult period, Valentina Matvienko noted. She thanked her colleagues for their coordinated and productive interaction.

The heads of IPA CIS delegations delivered speeches at the meeting and discussed the model laws.

Member of the IPA CIS Permanent Commission on Practices of State-Building and Local Government and member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Oleg Tsepkin reported on the model Law on Parliamentary Oversight.

“The institute of parliamentary oversight is an intrinsic part of a democratic state based on the rule of law and an essential component of the modern system of the separation of powers. The system of parliamentary oversight in the CIS nations depends on the specific features of the separation of powers and therefore differs in terms of essence and in the forms of the legal regulation of this institute,” the Senator noted.

According to Oleg Tsepkin, the drafting of this model law was included in the analysis of the CIS nations’ legislations and also the practices of foreign states.

“The draft law takes into account the various practices of legal regulation and application of parliamentary oversight,” Oleg Tsepkin pointed out.

Chair of the IPA CIS Permanent Commission on Science and Education and Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture Lilia Gumerova spoke about the Coordinated Glossary of Education Terms.

She said that the glossary takes into account the CIS nations’ vocabulary of laws on education and the specific features of the terms used in modern education systems. Its general provisions are based on the common history of the member nations’ education systems and also their contribution to the global process of modernising education aimed at creating personified education routes and conditions for the free development of every individual.

“The glossary will help coordinate our approaches to education and maintain the integrity of education in the CIS region,” Lilia Gumerova pointed out.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev and Secretary General – Head of the IPA CIS Council Secretariat Dmitry Kobitsky.