On 19-20 August 2020, Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, PABSEC Secretary General, and Mr. Daniel Dulca, PABSEC Deputy Secretary General, attended the virtual Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
The event was organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), in close cooperation with the Parliament of Austria and the United Nations, under the overall theme Parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and sustainable development for the people and planet.
The meeting was attended by more than 100 Speakers of Member Parliaments of the IPU and other Parliaments of the UN Member States, not represented at the IPU.
Opening remarks were delivered by Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the IPU, Mr. Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the Austrian National Council, Mr. Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, and Mr. Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General.
The conference’s programme included a plenary debate, two special events on health, climate and economy and countering terrorism and violent extremism, the presentation of reports on gender equality, youth participation in politics, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and a series of panels on the following themes: Stepping up parliamentary action: The climate change emergency; Human mobility in pursuit of a better life: Challenges, opportunities and solutions; Improving governance by bridging the gap between parliaments and the people; Forging inclusive and sustainable economies that deliver well-being and justice for all; Countering terrorism and violent extremism: The perspective of victims.
The speakers welcomed the opportunity offered by the IPU to contribute to a global parliamentary perspective on the future. They stressed that global challenges having no borders could only be addressed by collective solutions, as no country could deal with them on its own, and that all countries had to stand united as much as possible in the multilateral fora, including through enhanced inter-parliamentary cooperation.
All participants focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the responsibility incumbent upon governments and parliaments in achieving effective management of the current health, economic, social and humanitarian crisis, and sustainable recovery. They underlined that the devastating nature of the COVID-19 pandemic had called for international solidarity requiring multilateral cooperation, as a natural response to an emergency of such magnitude.
In her intervention on this subject, Ms. Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology, University of Oxford spoke about the current research concerning the findings of a vaccine against this aggressive virus, also mentioning the future expectations in this domain.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of a Declaration reflecting the Speakers’ commitment to support multilateralism and enhance the role of parliaments in addressing today’s global challenges.