The International Forum “Development of Parliamentarism” took place in Moscow, on 4-5 June 2018 and it was organized upon the initiative of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.
More than 500 international participants, parliamentarians and experts from 96 countries participated in the Forum. Among the participants in the Forum were representatives of the OSCE PA, IPA CIS, the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, the Asian Parliamentary Assembly and other international organizations. At this important event, the PABSEC was represented by Mr. Mikhail Yemelyanov, Chairman of the PABSEC Legal and Political Affairs Committee, the Head of the PABSEC Russian Delegation and Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, PABSEC Secretary General.
At the Official Opening Ceremony of the Forum, on June 4, were presented the welcoming address of Mr. Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, in which he underlined the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and its impact on solving topical international problems, and the message of Mr. Sergei Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
In his speech, Mr. Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma, noted that in a complex international situation, the parliamentary diplomacy has to seek ways for concerted efforts in counteracting new challenges and threats. The participants in the Forum were addressed by: Zulkifli Hasan, Chairman of the People’s Consultative Congress of the Republic of Indonesia; Ahmed Bin Abdallah Al Mahmoud, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Kingdom of Qatar; Edgar Romo Garcia, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the National Congress of the United Mexican States; Abdullah Al Sheikh, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Andrej Danko, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic; Elizabeth Cabezas Guerrero, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Ecuador; Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa; Miyeegomben Enkhbold, Chairman of the Great State Hural of Mongolia; Jorgen Pettersson, Chairman of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference.
The two-day International Forum took place in the format of three sections - (1) “Legislative Support for Development of the World Economy in the 21st Century: Directions, Technologies, Resources”, (2) “Strengthening International Security: The Role of Parliaments”, (3) “Development of National Legislation: Lawmaking for the Benefit of Sovereign Nations, Exchange of Best Practices and International Harmonization”. In the framework of the Forum, the following Round Tables were held: “Russia and the African Union. Prospects for the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation”, “Inter-parliamentary Interaction Between Russia and Latin America. Prospects for Cooperation and Growing-Points”, “Legislative Support for the Work of Mass Media: Security Issues and Freedom of Speech”, “Youth Policies: Parliamentary Dimension”, "International Humanitarian Law: Current Problems and Development Prospects”.
Mr. Mikhail Yemelyanov was moderator of the Round Table “Inter-parliamentary Interaction between Russia and Latin America. Prospects for Cooperation and Growing-Points”. The PABSEC Secretary-General Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, took the floor at Section II -“Strengthening International Security: The Role of Parliaments”. In his speech, Mr. Asaf Hajiyev informed the participants about the security problems faced by the Black Sea Region and the need for joint efforts to address them at parliamentary level, in the Black Sea countries. He particularly noted the issues of cybersecurity and the activities of the PABSEC in this direction.
At the Plenary Session of the Forum “Parliamentarism as an Institute for International Cooperation” on 5 June, the speeches were delivered by Pedro Roque, Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, Lucia Topolansky, Vice-President, Chairman of the Senate of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Thomas Enrique Bittar Navarro, Chairman of the MERCOSUR Parliament, Donatille Mukabalisa, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Rwanda, Tony Raful Tejada, Chairman of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), Ahmed Bin Abdallah Al Mahmoud, Chairman of the Advisory Council of Qatar and Petr Tolstoy, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma.
In the final part of the Forum, “Development of Parliamentarism”, the participants adopted the Final Declaration, which notes the importance of an inclusive equitable cooperation among nations and their alliances, to ensure global sustainable development, international and regional security and stability, establish safe and open global information space and strengthen collective efforts in countering terrorism and other common challenges and threats as well as significance of the UN resolutions. The document also expresses the intention to continue the coordination of the activities of the parliaments on the legislative provision of innovative spheres of the regulation related to the transition to a new technological structure of the economy and the rapid digitization of all spheres of life, to cooperate in the formation of the unified standards for the exchange of information and its protection, as well as the introduction of the digital technologies in the state governance and the social sphere.