*140th IPU Assembly to be held in Doha from April 6-10
*Parliamentarians from 160 countries confirm participation
The upcoming 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Doha will see the largest participation of delegates in the history of its meetings outside the main headquarters in Genève, Switzerland.
The 140th IPU Assembly will be held in Doha from April 6-10.
HE the Speaker of the Advisory Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud on Tuesday said the number of confirmed participants so far has reached 2,271 from more than 160 countries. Among them are 80 heads of different world parliaments. He said this excellent participation reflects the confidence of the world's parliament leaders in what they described as the 'smart diplomacy of Qatar', under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
HE al-Mahmoud said Qatar is a peace-loving country and it wishes the good of all with the various international initiatives it has launched for education. Accordingly, the main theme of the Doha event 'Parliaments as platforms to enhance education for peace, security and the rule of law' was selected in coordination with IPU Chairman and its General Secretariat. It reflects the strong will of the country in promoting education and the rule of law as the main drivers of peace and development in the world.
Regarding the participation of the countries of the blockade (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt), he said invitations have been sent out but only Egypt has confirmed its participation with an official delegation. He reiterated the standpoint of His Highness the Amir that Qatar is willing to take any initiative to resolve the GCC crisis, provided the country's sovereignty and independence are respected.
The Federal Assembly of Russia (Duma) has confirmed its participation with the attendance of its chairman , which reflects the deep ties between Qatar and Russia, he said. Besides, there will be considerable participation from the parliaments of Latin America.
HE al-Mahmoud explained that the event will include both closed and open meetings with various groups, categorised according to the region such as the Latin American Group, the Asian Group, the Arab Group, the African and European Group, among other interrelated groups. Besides the main agenda and schedule of the assembly, the suggested topics will be discussed by these groups. For instance, the Arab Group will discuss the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State, the issue of the Golan Heights, and other pressing issues for the Arab world including the protection of human rights in different areas such as Yemen and Libya. After the discussion of these issues, a report, comprising the outcomes, will be sent to the United Nations.
HE the Speaker said the main target of IPU is to maintain human dignity and protect human rights, and the event being held in Qatar reflects the strong position of Qatar in this area and the efforts exerted by the country to promote education, peace and development in different parts of the world. For instance, Qatar has recently donated $20mn to the African Union to help African refugees in Libya go back to their countries and create jobs and better opportunities for them there, so they can settle in better living conditions.
Qatar has also launched various global education initiatives including "Educate A Child" and "Education Above All", in addition to creating millions of jobs for the Arab youth in their own countries.
"The role of parliamentary diplomacy has become very significant in world politics and parliamentarians play a big role in forming policies in their countries," he said.