CIS Interparliamentary Assembly turns 30
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This unique institution has reportedly made a significant contribution to the improvement of legislation, the development of democracy and civil society.
One of the most important tasks of the organization is the convergence and harmonization of the legislation of the CIS states. To date, the Assembly has adopted more than 600 model laws and other documents. Most of them are used by parliaments in shaping the legal framework of their countries.
Inaugurating the session, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, Chairperson of the Council of CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, noted that shared history, close cultures and common values of the peoples of the participating countries have contributed to the fact that “since the establishment of the Assembly, a special atmosphere of respect and equality, spirit of partnership and good neighborliness has reigned at its site.”
She noted that the observation of elections and referendums is an important area of the Assembly’s work. “The mechanism established by the IPA in this area has become part of the system of international monitoring of electoral processes. Observers from the IPA CIS conducted more than 140 visits. Moreover, the first such experience was obtained here in 1994 at the parliamentary elections of Kazakhstan,” Valentina Matviyenko added.
Summing up the results of thirty years of the IPA CIS activity, Maulen Ashimbayev, the Chairperson of the Senate (Kazakhstan’s upper house of parliament), said, “Today we can say with good reason that over the years, the Assembly has become an effective institution of multilateral cooperation in the post-Soviet space.”
In his statement delivered at the session, Rustam Emomali, the head of Tajikistan’s lower chamber (Majlisi Milli) of parliament, focused on international activities of the IPA CIS.
“From year to year, its authority in the international arena is growing, its ties with other international and regional inter-parliamentary structures are being strengthened,” Emomali said.
“Our Assembly is approaching its 30th anniversary with a solid baggage of positive results,” Emomali stressed, expressing confidence that “accumulated rich experience allows the organization maintaining its importance as an effective platform for multilateral cooperation.”
The next session of the IPA CIS Council will be held this autumn in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The IPA CIS is a parliamentary assembly for delegations from the national parliaments of the member countries of the CIS. The IPA CIS was established on March 27, 1992 in Almaty (Kazakhstan) under the terms of the Agreement signed by Heads of founding parliaments. On May 26, 1995, CIS leaders signed the Convention on the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States] eventually ratified by nine CIS parliaments. The overarching mission is law-making and alignment of national laws in the CIS. The IPA is housed in the Tauride Palace in a historical landmark of Saint Petersburg.
The IPA CIS acts as the consultative parliamentary body of the CIS established to discuss problems of parliamentary cooperation. Its activity concentrates on the development of the model legislation, which could then be implemented by the Member States on the voluntary basis, and serve as a tool of dissemination of the best practices across the CIS. The Assembly is involved in the development of integration processes in the CIS. The IPA CIS regularly hosts specialized conferences, seminars and symposiums, which provide a platform for debate of the governmental and non-governmental actors. Another mission of the IPA CIS is election monitoring.