HE the Advisory Council Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud was unanimously elected as president of the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and its accompanying meetings by the union's governing council.

The council's meeting, which was held on Sunday, saw the attendance of IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron, IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong, and parliament speakers.

The participants approved adding the parliament of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the membership of the IPU for the first time.

The meeting began with a minute's silence for the Tutsi victims of violence in Rwanda, especially as on Sunday marked the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in the African country.

They also adopted the agenda and the briefing minutes for the Geneva session that took place last October.

Afterwards, the Advisory Council Speaker was elected to preside over the current assembly.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Jomo Sanga Thomas noted that IPU represents an important platform for the world's parliaments, were they can discuss enhancing co-operation with each other.

He pledged that the House of Assembly will remain committed to good communication and co-operation with all delegation, and will help promote the values of democracy and human rights around the world.

He also praised the level of organisation and hosting from Qatari officials, as well as the huge support for joining the IPU.

The meeting reviewed the conditions of parliaments in a number of countries experiencing unrest and discussed mechanisms to deal with these abuses to ensure the provision of technical support and co-operation.

They also discussed placing a road map to hold free and fair elections, and resolve outstanding issues that will help put an end to violations against parliamentarians in these countries.

Some of the countries mentioned were Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Thailand, Yemen, Burundi, Cambodia, Maldives, Nicaragua, Palestine, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Venezuela.

The meeting also discussed developments in Algeria and its impact on parliamentary conditions there, highlighting that the Algerian parliament Speaker could not attend the assembly due to those developments.

The council agreed to monitor developments and communicate with all parties involved to help parliaments carry out their role through co-operation, consultations, and technical support.