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2 Nov 2020

Belarus’ National Assembly ready for dialogue with foreign colleagues

Belarus’ National Assembly ready for dialogue with foreign colleagues
Sergei Rachkov

MINSK, 2 November (BelTA) - The National Assembly of Belarus is ready for a constructive dialogue with foreign colleagues, Chairman of the International Affairs and National Security Commission of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Sergei Rachkov told the media on 2 November. He took part in a video conference of the governing council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, BelTA has learned.

“The Inter-Parliamentary Union is the oldest inter-parliamentary organization established in the late 19th century. It consists of 179 parliaments, including the National Assembly of Belarus. We have always attached great importance to work in this organization. We consider it to be the most important platform for exchange of opinions, experience and expertise. We actively participate in all the Inter-Parliamentary Union's events, from its Assembly to conferences and seminars. We support the policy of the IPU leadership to improve the efficiency of the organization,” Sergei Rachkov said.

According to the senator, along with such important topics as the involvement of youth in government decision-making and gender equality, this year's agenda includes the fight against the spread of COVID-19. “We updated the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the situation in Belarus, shared our experience. I believe that we have done a lot to counteract this infection,” he said.

Alongside with the work on inter-parliamentary platforms, Belarus has been actively developing bilateral cooperation with foreign parliaments. “We have four inter-parliamentary committees and 72 working groups on cooperation with foreign parliaments. In recent days the heads of inter-parliamentary commissions and working groups have addressed their foreign colleagues to provide objective information on Belarus. We emphasized the external impact on the processes taking place in the country, on interference in internal affairs. We called upon our colleagues to receive information from objective sources and stressed that we are always ready to provide this objective information. We are ready for constructive, professional interaction on these issues. Today the National Assembly of Belarus: the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic are engaged in solving the pressing issues that concern Belarus and use for this purpose all possible instruments, including parliamentary diplomacy,” he said.

The 206th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Council is underway on 1-4 November. The meeting on 2 November was attended by delegates from 118 national parliaments. The central issue on the agenda of the meeting was the election of the new president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. As part of the four-day event, delegates will also hear to Gabriela Cuevas Barron's report on her three-year activity as President of the IPU, consider the financial report for the previous year, approve the budget for next year and discuss the IPU activities for the next two years.

“This is an extraordinary session. The work began yesterday with the first round of elections of the Inter-Parliamentary Union president. Currently there are four candidates - from Canada, Portugal, Pakistan and Uzbekistan – running for this post. The results will be known today. If necessary, the second round of elections will be held,” added Maria Vasilevich, member of the Standing Committee on Human Rights, National Relations and Mass Media of the House of Representatives. “The Inter-Parliamentary Union is an important platform for discussing issues of international level, expressing different positions and opinions. Since 1995 Belarus has had the right to participate in the discussion, to present its position, to accept the views of MPs of other countries. Amid the overall globalization, it is important and relevant to stay in touch, even in the current epidemiological situation,” she added.

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