Valentina Matvienko: The CIS steps up its consolidating role as the world undergoes a global transition

The Federation Council Speaker spoke at the 54th plenary session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Samarkand.

Federation Council Speaker and CIS IPA Council Chairperson Valentina Matvienko has presided over the 54th plenary session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of CIS member states in Samarkand.

The Federation Council Speaker noted that the Republic of Uzbekistan joined the IPA CIS Convention four years ago. She noted the Uzbek legislators’ strong engagement in the assembly’s activities and expressed gratitude for convening and holding its first session outside of St Petersburg where it has its headquarters. “I hope that holding IPA meetings in various CIS countries will become a good tradition,” she pointed out.

Valentina Matvienko went on to say that this year marks the Interparliamentary Assembly’s 30th anniversary. “A formal IPA Council meeting dedicated to the anniversary came as the central celebratory event hosted by the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Almaty, the city where our organisation was founded.”

Touching on model lawmaking, Valentina Matvienko noted that 40 documents were submitted for the autumn session: “Once they are approved, the total number of model legislative acts and other regulations drafted by the IPA CIS will exceed 650.”

The Federation Council Speaker also covered congress activities. The Fourth St Petersburg International Labour Forum, the CIS Youth Interparliamentary Forum, “Young parliamentarians: A look into the future of the Commonwealth,” dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the IPA CIS and the 10th anniversary of the Youth Interparliamentary Assembly, were held with great success. A new project, an international forum titled “Commonwealth of Fashion” designed to promote textile industry and cooperation in this area, took place for the first time. According to Ms Matvienko, the colourful international cultural and educational forum, “Children of the Commonwealth,” took place on Issyk-Kul Lake. In 2023, it will be held in the Tashkent region.

According to Valentina Matvienko, the CIS Convention on Democratic Election Standards: An Open Space for International Cooperation International Conference, was among the most notable events.

The Federation Council Speaker reported on the outcome of the IPA CIS Council meeting. She said that instituting the Expert Advisory Board on Ecology and Environmental Management under IPA CIS was an important decision by the Council. “This is another step towards expanding the assembly’s expert capabilities which will help ensure the high quality of model documents under development and improve legislative activities overall.”

Valentina Matvienko stressed that over the years the IPA CIS has on multiple occasions proved its effectiveness and importance, as well as willingness and ability to quickly respond to geopolitical changes and to adapt to emerging realities without compromising the pace, scale or quality of work. “Today, amid the global transition of the world order, the assembly’s consolidating role within the vast expanses of the Commonwealth is greater than ever.”

On behalf of President Vladimir Putin, the Federation Council Speaker presented Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbayeva with the Order of Friendship, which is a Russian Federation state award. “This high award comes as a well-deserved assessment of your tireless and honest work and recognition of your personal contribution to strengthening Russian-Uzbek cooperation. Your efforts to expand inter-parliamentary cooperation are among the factors contributing to it success,” Valentina Matvienko said.

According to Tanzila Narbayeva, amid mounting tensions and strategic uncertainty, an unprecedented absence of dialogue and trust, and growing uncertainty in international relations, parliamentary diplomacy can play a significant role in improving mutual trust and deepening mutual understanding between states, as well as establishing multi-tier communication on a broad agenda. “Parliaments must assume greater institutional responsibility. One of our goals as parliamentarians is to promote cooperation between countries and further improve the well-being of our peoples.” Tanzila Narbayeva expressed confidence that the multi-format CIS IPA platform will continue to contribute to developing effective solutions to priority issues of mutually beneficial and constructive cooperation.

Chairman of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan Nuriddin Ismoilov noted that the IPA has an important place within the Commonwealth system.

Chairperson of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan Sagiba Gafarova said the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly was one of the CIS’s important and meaningful institutions. She stressed that the assembly’s activities are making a significant contribution to promoting bilateral and multilateral inter-parliamentary cooperation.

President of the National Assembly of Armenia Alen Simonyan stated that the meeting was taking place amid complicated geopolitical processes.

Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Natalia Kochanova noted that the importance of cooperation between the CIS member states has increased many times over under the current circumstances. Interparliamentary cooperation within the post-Soviet space must be stepped up in order to provide an adequate response to the challenges of our time, she believes. “The further strengthening of the IPA CIS and other partnership associations, as well as the joint and well-coordinated work of parliamentarians will be instrumental in developing civilised approaches to addressing pressing international and regional issues.”

Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbaev added that over its 30 years of work, the assembly has proved its effectiveness and relevance. “The IPA CIS is an internationally recognised institution promoting multilateral cooperation and inter-parliamentary ties.”

Speaker of the Mejlis of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gulshat Mammedova pointed out that inter-parliamentary relations play an increasingly important role in harmonising legislation and exchanging legislative experience. “Thanks to the far-sighted initiatives put forward by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, interest in the Parliament of Turkmenistan’s activities is growing. Our parliamentarians are participating in greater numbers of events, thereby promoting relations between the countries.”

In his video address, President of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) Guillermo Daniel Ortega Reyes noted the importance of expanding multilateral cooperation. “We are open to friendly relations and cooperation with the parliaments of the CIS countries.” He added that PARLACEN had applied for membership as an observer in the IPA CIS Council.

Speaking at a plenary session, member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Oleg Tsepkin presented a model law “On International Observation of Elections and Referendums” which sets out, in particular, the international observers’ legal status, the procedure for issuing invitations and accreditations and their rights, obligations and restrictions, as well as activities to carry out international observation activity.

Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture and Chair of the IPA CIS Permanent Commission on Science and Education Lilia Gumerova spoke about the revised edition of the model Information Code for the CIS member states, presented the model law “On commercialising intellectual property rights in the sphere of science and technology” and recommendations “On measures to identify and systematically support talented children and youth,” as well as recommendations for organising educational work with parents and parent associations. According to Ms Gumerova, given today’s challenges, it is impossible to deal with the technological development of the Commonwealth without updating and developing lawmaking in the sphere of science and intellectual activity.

Speaking on the recommendations on the regulating the digital transition in the field of education, Lilia Gumerova emphasised that digital technologies cannot replace teachers or in-person communication. “In terms of information support when working with talented children, it was proposed to create an information and educational website for the Commonwealth countries, to form national registries of scholarships, awards and grants, and organise the monitoring of the effectiveness of measures to support talented children and youth. Our cooperation helps bring young people closer together and educate them based on a common history, values and affinitive multinational cultures,” she said.

Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee for Budget and Financial Markets Andrei Yepishin presented a package of eight additional sections of the recommendations on developing and employing public-private partnership mechanisms in the CIS countries. This includes dispute resolution, methods for developing and using the payment mechanism, the development of national programmes and incentives to boost the appeal of public-private partnership projects.

Member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Alexander Bashkin spoke about the model law “On Insurance Activities.” The document sets out insurance standards that guarantee freedom and public order in the insurance business.

Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on the Rules of Procedure and Parliamentary Governance Alexander Savin spoke about the model law “On State and Municipal Services.” According to the senator, the document is of great importance in the efforts to improve interaction, including in areas such as migration policy, region-to-region ties and information cooperation.

Secretary General of the IPA CIS Council Dmitry Kobitsky provided an update on model lawmaking plans within the CIS for 2023–2025.

Speaking at the plenary session, Valentina Matvienko presented the Chingiz Aitmatov IPA CIS Award to Rector of Alisher Navoi Tashkent State University of Uzbek Language and Literature, Doctor of Philology, Professor Shukhrat Sirojiddinov.

The IPA CIS awards were presented to the parliamentarians from the CIS countries as well.