The CIS IPA has stood the test of time to emerge as an effective interparliamentary cooperation mechanism – Valentina Matvienko

Federation Council Speaker and CIS IPA Council Chairperson has delivered her remarks at the expanded meeting of the CIS Council of the Heads of State, held in Astana.

Federation Council Speaker and Chairperson of the Interparliamentary Assembly of member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States Council Valentina Matvienko addressed the expanded meeting of the CIS Heads of State Council in Astana.

The Federation Council Speaker talked about the role the CIS IPA plays in developing the Commonwealth of Independent States, reminding the participants that this entity marks its 30th anniversary in 2022. “There is now no doubt whatsoever that the heads of state who decided to establish the CIS IPA took a wise decision. The Assembly has stood the test of time to emerge as an effective interparliamentary cooperation mechanism” she said.

According to Ms Matvienko, the CIS parliamentarians form a strong team capable of dealing with crises situations the world is facing today. “The Assembly evolved into an effective framework for devising model laws and monitoring elections,” she pointed out.

The Speaker went on to commend CIS parliamentarians for bringing closer, harmonising, and improving norms and regulations for improving the lives of their citizens and promoting cooperation between CIS countries in various areas. “We adopted over 600 model documents, codes, and laws. CIS countries have implemented almost 80 percent of these norms into national law, be it fully or partially,” she noted.

Ms Matvienko said that the Assembly views parliamentary follow-up to the decisions taken by national leaders as its priority. “The Assembly took part in carrying out over 20 programmes approved at the highest level, and developed projects paving the way to 30 conventions and documents adopted by the CIS,” the Speaker said.

Talking about the CIS IPA achievements, she mentioned that the Western world lost its monopoly on monitoring and assessing elections in various countries. Ms Matvienko reminded the participants that the CIS IPA has a special entity within its structure for supporting electoral processes, as well as a convention setting forth universal election assessment criteria. “They cut short all political speculation and double standards. CIS IPA observers have always been guided by the principles of honesty and fairness during monitoring missions,” she pointed out. Since 1994, CIS IPA observers have carried out about 150 missions.

Ms Matvienko informed the audience that the Assembly would focus on supporting electoral laws during its upcoming plenary session in Samarkand.

Speaking about interparliamentary ties with third countries and international organisations, the Federation Council Speaker said that that CIS IPA has signed over 70 cooperation agreements to this effect. “This makes our agenda inclusive and positive, while the initiatives we promote, such as to establish the International Day of Parliamentarism, enjoy robust support,” she added.

Ms Matvienko also mentioned major events sponsored by the CIS IPA and involving representatives from many third countries, including international security conferences, the Nevsky Ecological Forum, and the Eurasian Women’s Forum.

The Federation Council Speaker continued her remarks with the topic of youth engagement in the Assembly’s work. “The Youth Interparliamentary Assembly, and regular sessions of the Children of the Commonwealth forum, as well as conferences, student Olympics and parliamentary workshops have all been effective outreach formats. They all serve a common cause, which consists of reinforcing friendship, and helping young people in our countries fulfil their potential,” she pointed out.

In addition, Ms Matvienko suggested gradually expanding the geography of Memory Train cultural and educational project starting 2023, and to have a train with pupils from all CIS countries by 2025. This year, the upper chambers of Russian and Belarusian parliaments organised the project. “This initiative rhymes with the proposal to proclaim 2025 in the CIS as the year of the 80th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War – Year of Peace and Unity in Fighting Nazism,” the Federation Council Speaker said.

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