The State of Qatar has completed all preparations and arrangements for the convening of the 140th Ordinary General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and its related meetings, including the General Assembly and the 204th Session of the Governing Council and the IPU's Standing Committees, to be hosted from April 6 to 10.
The theme of the general debate will be "Parliaments as platforms to enhance education for peace, security and the rule of law", considering the importance of education and its effective role in achieving these goals.
The 139th IPU General Assembly announced at its closing session in Geneva in October that it will hold its 140th session and its related meetings in the State of Qatar from 6-10 April 2019.
Qatar's hosting of this global parliamentary event, which is to be attended by parliamentary delegations from 180 countries around the world, has been widely welcomed at the regional and international levels, given the pioneering and influential role of the State in resolving conflicts, crises, and the welfare and stability of States and peoples, as in addition to humanitarian donorship, and the pursuit of dialogue are a way to resolve differences and are the same goals that the IPU seeks to preach, fulfill and achieve.
The choice of Qatar to host the IPU 140th Ordinary General Assembly and its related meetings, confirms the IPU confidence in Qatar under the wise leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and the Shura Council and its ability to organize and host such important global parliamentary event , in light of the circumstances, variables and crises experienced by the world, and the need for parliamentarians to play a special role in finding solutions and mitigate the negative effects and repercussions.
In his speech at the Qatar selection session to host this global parliamentary event, HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud welcomed the participants in the Doha meetings of the heads and delegations of the world parliaments, calling on all of them to participate in it and learn about the great developments and achievements witnessed by the State of Qatar under the leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and the goodness and nobility of the loyal people of Qatar and there love for peace, stability and good for all. He affirmed Qatar's full readiness and confidence in the success of the Doha meetings for the good of countries and peoples.
The intensive contacts and meetings held by HE Speaker of the Shura Council with the various parliaments of the world, the President and members of the IPU, its Executive Committee, geopolitical groups and others concerned played a role in choosing Qatar to host the 140th IPU General Assembly.
Since the announcement of the selection of Qatar to host these meetings last October in Geneva, the Shura Council has continued to work diligently and intensively to prepare these meetings and achieve the desired successes to produce positive results that contribute to supporting and developing joint inter-parliamentary work under exceptional regional and international conditions that require coordination, solidarity and uniting positions and visions and work carefully to find the most effective ways to address and overcome them.
The five-day meetings will discuss a range of issues related to IPU activities, as well as important issues and themes relating to international peace and security issues and the role of parliaments as platforms for promoting education for peace, security and the rule of law. It will also deal with promoting respect for international humanitarian law, a draft resolution on the inadmissibility of the use of mercenaries as a means of undermining peace and human rights violations, and another on the role of fair and free trade and investment in achieving sustainable development goals, in particular with regard to equality Economic, sustainable infrastructure, industrialization, innovation and the role of parliamentarians in achieving these goals.
The Standing Committees meetings will discuss the themes of "democracy in the era of electronic digitization", "the role of trade and investment in achieving sustainable development goals", "empowering people, ensuring universality and equality", "global health coverage by 2030", "role of parliaments in securing the right to health ".
The meetings of the General Assembly and the Governing Council will be accompanied by other meetings of the Chairpersons of the Standing Committees and the Secretaries-General of Parliaments, Forum of Young Parliamentarians, Forum of Women Parliamentarians, and the meeting of heads of geopolitical groups, as well as the meeting of counselors with the secretariat of delegations, the Bureau of the Committee on United Nations Affairs, the meeting of the Committee on Human Rights of parliamentarians, the Committee on Peace and International Security, in addition to other meetings to discuss a number of issues on the agenda items of the general assembly, and a workshop on maternal, newborn and child health and other related events.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud underlined that Qatar's hosting of the IPU meetings would not have been possible without the guidance of HH the Amir, adding that the hosting of such event confirms high-status Qatar occupies under the wise leadership of His Highness at the international and regional levels, the world's confidence in it and its ability to organize such large events and in various fields.
HE Speaker of the Shura Council noted that these meetings will be exceptional and successful in all respects, given Qatar's extensive experience in hosting various regional and international conferences, meetings and events.
HE the Shura Council Speaker said that the confidence of the international parliamentarians in Doha to host 140th IPU General Assembly, which preparations have been fully concluded in cooperation with the IPU and the competent authorities in Qatar, confirms the prominent position that the State of Qatar occupies at various levels, especially as the state promotes peace, and good for humanity, and has been always supporter of everything that would bring international peace and security to the region and the world.
His Excellency added that Qatar is looking forward to high-level participation from national parliaments and even non-members of the IPU in the work of the General Assembly, believing in the importance of collective action at various levels and institutions.
As part of the preparations for the 140th IPU General Assembly in Doha, HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud met on 27 February in Doha with Their Excellency the Ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the state. He assured them of the completion of the necessary arrangements for the convening of the IPU General Assembly, providing all the requirements for its success and enabling it to produce positive results that support the joint parliamentary work and contribute to deepening international cooperation and peace for the good and interests of the peoples of the world.
HE Speaker of the Shura Council welcomed Their Excellency the Presidents of the Parliaments, and the heads and members of the delegations. He stressed the importance of working with them to achieve the objectives of the IPU and to promote friendly relations and cooperation between the parliaments of the world and their peoples.
HE Speaker of the Shura Council also held a meeting on 20 February at the headquarters of the Permanent Delegation of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office at Geneva with ambassadors and delegates from 16 non-IPU countries, inviting them to participate in the meeting of the 140th IPU General Assembly in Qatar, for the importance of this session and the issues and topics to be discussed that will have a positive impact on the countries, peoples and the international parliamentary community.
HE Speaker stressed that the broad presence of both the member states of the IPU and non-member countries will contribute to enriching discussions and constructive dialogues during the meetings and thus produce results and decisions that serve the peoples and countries of the world.
Within these preparations, the Shura Council recently launched the website of the 140th IPU Ordinary General Assembly and the related meetings. The website includes all information related to these meetings, as well as information about the State of Qatar, the Shura Council and the IPU, and a range of public and electronic services related to registration of participation, visas, arrival and departure, and others.
There is no doubt that the very precise and complex circumstances in which the various regions of the world are going through require high-level global participation in the IPU General Assembly in Doha to affirm the role of parliaments in the sincere expression of the hopes and aspirations of peoples.
In her meetings with HE Speaker of the Shura Council in Doha last month and in New York on the sidelines of a parliamentary hearing at United Nations Headquarters, HE President of the IPU Gabriela Cuevas Barron praised Qatar's hosting of the 140th IPU General Assembly and its related meetings, expressing deep satisfaction with the progress of the arrangements for these meetings and the keenness of HE the Speaker of the Shura Council and the Council's officials to provide all the requirements for their success.
In her statement to QNA during her visit to Qatar, she noted that the IPU meetings in Doha confirm the commitment to provide the best for the world in parliamentary work. It also represents an opportunity to share experiences among parliamentarians and learn from each other, and seek solutions to many of the common problems facing the world, she added.
HE President of the IPU stressed that Qatar's hosting of the 140th General Assembly meetings and related meetings is also an opportunity to learn from Qatar's experience of progress, adding that Qatar has an important voice and has a lot to tell the world about. Qatar has demonstrated capabilities in areas such as energy and education, access health care, commitment to helping developing countries and protecting the environment, she noted. She confirmed that the meetings will provide an opportunity to learn from Qatar's experience.
HE IPU President noted the distinguished role played by the Shura Council at the global level and its positive participation under the chairmanship of HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, in the sessions and meetings of the IPU. She said that all this effort led to the selection of the State of Qatar to host the next session in April 2019.
Qatar's hosting of this session will provide an opportunity for parliamentary delegations to take a closer look at the achievements of Qatar in the development, and sustainable development of all sectors that has spread throughout the country thanks to the wise leadership and guidance of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
The IPU seeks to achieve various agenda, including the issues and challenges of security, peace, democracy, and stability, good governance, the rule of law, sustainable development, peoples' well-being, and human rights as well as the fight against poverty, hunger, and ignorance, are inherent values in Qatari society. The state is working to achieve them not only locally, but also regionally and internationally.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council and HE the IPU President sent all the necessary information about the dates and places of the meetings and everything that would facilitate the task of the participants and take care of their reception and residence in accordance with the traditions of good hospitality of Qatar.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council expressed confidence that the attendance and contribution of all those invited to participate in the work of these meetings will have a major impact on the success of this important event and turn it into a platform for meeting parliamentarians from around the world and exchanging views for historic decisions that contributes to the strengthening of international peace and security and the promotion of a path towards a world of understanding, the pursuit of sustainable development and peace for the benefit of all the peoples of the world, as well as the achievement of the noble objectives of the IPU.
On the other hand, HE Chief Executive Officer of the Permanent Committee for Organizing Conferences at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Coordinator of the Organizing Committee, Ambassador Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Fakhro, confirmed in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the completion of the preparations and arrangements for the meetings of the IPU General Assembly in its upcoming session in Doha, in all organizational and logistical aspects and coordination in this regard with the concerned parties to achieve the desired results.
The IPU is an international organization established in 1889 and includes national parliaments from around the world, currently numbering 180 parliamentarians.
The IPU organs, which meet twice a year, are the General Assembly and the Governing Council, which elect the IPU President for a period of three years, the Executive Committee and the Secretariat.
The IPU is composed of several specialized committees, including the Committee on Peace and International Security, which provides its member parliaments with the political framework for effective action on global threats, Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade, which works to improve the lives and well-being of the world's citizens and the planet, Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, which is concerned with the promotion of democracy and the protection of the human rights of all members of society, and Committee on United Nations Affairs, which links parliaments to the activities and objectives of the United Nations, as well as to a number of other specialized committees of the Union.
In its meetings and conferences, the IPU is concerned with the discussion of many issues and topics of interest to the world, such as the strengthening of parliamentary cooperation among Member States, issues of migration, refugees and displacement, issues of dialogue, pluralism, democracy, human rights, international peace and security, sustainable development and trade, and the role of parliaments in achieving global solidarity at the level of States and peoples. In addition, the IPU always underscores the importance of responding to the needs and aspirations of peoples in democracy, good governance, well-being, and development.