At this point, we can state with certainty that IPA CIS will fulfil all its plans in 2021 – Valentina Matvienko

Chair of the IPA CIS Council and Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko held the 53rd plenary meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

Federation Council Speaker and Chair of the IPA CIS Valentina Matvienko has held the 53rd plenary session of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States in St Petersburg.

According to Valentina Matvienko, in 2021, the IPA CIS, its standing commissions and expert councils carried out all activities in accordance with the approved plan. The IPA bodies met on time, and the newly created Expert Council for Science and Education met for the first time. “Their lawmaking efforts have resulted in 17 model documents presented to the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. The total number of model legislative acts and other regulatory documents prepared by the IPA CIS will reach 611.”

The Federation Council Speaker mentioned several high-profile international events organised by IPA CIS. Among them, Valentina Matvienko named the Parliamentary Conference on Countering International Terrorism in the Pandemic Context, the 9th Nevsky International Ecological Congress, the Children of the Commonwealth International Cultural and Educational Forum of the CIS, and the 3rd Eurasian Women's Forum.

“These events, both past events and those included in the 2022 Work Plan, became the subject of discussion at the IPA CIS Council meeting,” Valentina Matvienko added before informing the plenary session participants of a detailed resolution adopted by the heads of the delegations and concerning the decisions of the CIS Heads of State Council and the CIS Heads of Government Council. The document was presented by the Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee – CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev.

The Federation Council Speaker also announced that the IPA CIS Council approved a plan of events dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Assembly. “I hope that all the parliaments will be active in the implementation of these initiatives,” she said.

“The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly’s work over the past period has been productive, and included exciting events. Although this year is not over yet, we can state with certainty at this point that IPA CIS will fulfil all its plans in 2021,” Valentina Matvienko concluded.

Sahiba Gafarova, Speaker of the Milli Mejlis of Azerbaijan, noted that inter-parliamentary cooperation at the Assembly remained an effective mechanism of partnership between the CIS countries. “The importance of parliamentary diplomacy continues to grow today,” she said. Sahiba Gafarova pointed to the Assembly’s solid experience in monitoring electoral processes in the CIS, as well as in organising major international events, including the Eurasian Women's Forum and the Nevsky International Ecological Congress.

Sahiba Gafarova reminded the audience that Azerbaijan will chair the Youth Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS next year. “I am confident that the Assembly will continue to contribute to the development of our cooperation through young parliamentarians.”

Speaker of the Senate of Parliament of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbayev believes the CIS has played a historic role in structuring the post-Soviet landscape and preserving the cultural and civilisational unity of the post-Soviet countries. “Therefore, it is important to support and expand this organisation. Thanks to creating the IPA CIS, the parliaments of the participating states have been able to develop constructive multilateral cooperation.”

Maulen Ashimbayev invited the heads of CIS parliaments to a ceremonial session of the IPA CIS Council to mark the 30th anniversary of the Assembly, which will be held in Almaty in March 2022. “Kazakhstan and the IPA CIS Secretariat will make every effort to hold this significant event at a high level, in terms of both content and organisation,” he said.

Speaker of the Parliament of Moldova Igor Grosu noted that the potential of the CIS provided an opportunity for the further expansion and deepening of partnership between its countries. “Moldova has adopted a consistent approach in relation to the CIS. We believe the Commonwealth is a platform for strengthening trade, economic and industry cooperation and developing long-term mutually beneficial economic ties, and more.”

Chair of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbayeva stressed the importance of the IPA CIS approving model laws. “This once again confirms the relevance of active and fruitful interaction among parliaments within the IPA CIS, to develop proposals for the writing and harmonising of the laws of the participating states, and to promote interparliamentary cooperation.” In her remarks, Tanzila Narbayeva spoke at length about the regulation of labour migration during the pandemic.

She also made a proposal to hold the next Children of the Commonwealth forum in Uzbekistan in 2023.

On behalf of the President of Uzbekistan, Tanzila Narbayeva presented Valentina Matvienko with the Dustlik (Friendship) Order. “The Federation Council Speaker has been awarded this order for her vigorous efforts and personal contribution to the strengthening of friendship, strategic partnership and alliance between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation, for providing all-round support for the development of parliamentary ties, and for assistance in the implementation of programmes and projects of Uzbek-Russian multifaceted cooperation, including those aimed at unlocking the potential of region-to-region interaction and bilateral cultural and humanitarian exchanges,” she said. Valentina Matvienko thanked the President of Uzbekistan for such a high appraisal of her work.

Speaker of the Mejlis of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gulshat Mammedova spoke about the improvement of her country's national legislation on the basis of universally recognised norms of international law. “We also use the legislative framework provided by the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly when drafting laws in Turkmenistan.” Gulshat Mammedova conveyed the Turkmen parliamentarians’ interest in greater cooperation in order to develop effective model laws, which will contribute to the implementation of sustainable development goals and respond to modern challenges.

Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Deputy Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Askar Shakirov thanked the participating states for the comprehensive support for a Kazakhstan representative in the election to the OSCE PA leadership. He stressed that all the IPA CIS member states also participate in the OSCE. “Both organisations provide platforms for dialogue on a wide range of matters, actively promoting the parliamentary dimension as the most important component of their activities.”

Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova informed those present about the refugee situation on the Belarusian-Polish border.

Speaker of the Majlisi Milli of the Majlisi Oli of Tajikistan Rustami Emomali joined the plenary session via videoconference.

WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, Chief of Mission of the International Organisation for Migration in Moscow Abdusattor Esoyev, and Chairman of the IPA CIS Permanent Commission on Social Policy and Human Rights Nizami Safarov spoke about legislative support for labour migration during the pandemic.

Several reports on model laws were delivered during the plenary session, including on equal access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection in the CIS countries; on organ donation, and on the legal status of areas affected by radioactive contamination.

The members of the IPA CIS also discussed the Concept of Sustainable Development for the CIS Member States and its legislative framework.

Governor of St Petersburg Alexander Beglov greeted the participants. He noted that the model laws adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly worked for the benefit of citizens, and helped develop the economy and cultural ties between the CIS countries.