IPU to break several records in St. Petersburg
The 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will take place in St. Petersburg on October 14-18 on the decision of the IPU, which unites the parliaments of most countries of the world. The Assembly will be held in the Tauride Palace, the cradle of Russian parliamentarism, where the permanently functioning elected parliament was the first in the history of the Russian state. Now it is the headquarters of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian parliament's upper chamber, the IPU Vice-President Konstantin Kosachev, said that the decision to hold the Assembly in St. Petersburg was initially severely challenged and blocked by the Ukrainian delegation: "Ukraine's policy to boycott Russia, to block our initiatives was in absolute minority, it was supported by only 5 countries from 173 countries represented in the IPU, and now after a year, nobody supports this position of Ukraine. Registration of participants will continue until October 3, but 152 national delegations out of 173 have already expressed their intention to participate in the work of the Assembly. This is an absolute record."
Kosachev explained that the IPU Assemblies are held twice a year - once in Geneva, the second time - somewhere else, and the Geneva assemblies are always more representative, more participants attend it for purely logistical reasons. "The largest number of delegations, which attended the assemblies in the history of the IPU was 147 at the Geneva session. The IPU outgoing sessions are usually attended by 120-130 delegations. And at least 152 national delegations are expected to attend the St. Petersburg Assembly. And this figure will increase."
"The second, no less important figure is quality. The maximum number of speakers who personally participated in the work of IPU Assemblies is 51. As of today, 99 speakers have expressed a desire to participate in the 137th Assembly, including from France, Germany and other European countries," Kosachev said.
The St. Petersburg Assembly is expected to expand the IPU composition, the number of its members will increase to 176. Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, as well as Vanuatu intend to join the IPU.
The Assembly will be held under the slogan: 'Promoting cultural pluralism and peace through interreligious and interethnic dialogue'. "It is Russia that can serve as a good example in the modern world of how interethnic and interconfessional contradictions are being resolved, how the coexistence and complementarity of different cultures, traditions, religions allows the country to move forward and develop it further. And we are ready to share this unique Russian experience with the world around us. The theme of cultural pluralism is absolutely natural for St. Petersburg. We will hold our Assembly in the cultural capital of Russia and are confident that St. Petersburg will create the necessary mood for the relevant discussions," Konstantin Kosachev said.