The General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) concluded Wednesday the 146th Assembly of the IPU and its related meetings, held with the participation of the Shura Council in Manama, Bahrain, during the period from March 11-15 under the theme “Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance.” Over five days, the meetings witnessed discussions and sessions of the General Assembly of the IPU, the Governing Council, and various standing and sub-committees, as well as the organization of a number of workshops and accompanying events, and coordination meetings between the various parliamentary groups.
The Shura Council delegation participated in the sessions of the last day of the meetings of the General Assembly of the IPU, including the closing session, which dealt in its discussions with the topics on its agenda, which included the adoption of resolutions, reports of Standing Committees, and the final document.
Among the meeting in which the Shura Council delegation participated were the meetings of the IPU standing committee on Democracy and Human Rights, in which HE Shura Council Member Mohammed Bin Mahdi Al Ahbabi participated. The committee discussed the parliamentarian momentum to combat misleading information and hateful and discriminatory content in cyberspace. It also dealt with the issue of trafficking in orphanages and the role of parliaments in addressing it and limiting the harms of trafficking in this category.
The sessions of the standing committee on Peace and International Security were held under the chairmanship of HE Shura Council Member and President of the Committee Mohammed bin Mahdi Al Ahbabi, where the committee approved its summary report on its activities adopted at the previous session of the General Assembly of the IPU held in Rwanda in 2022.
Within its agenda, the committee also discussed cyber attacks and crimes and their resulting novel threats to global security and adopted a decision regarding it. The committee also discussed the preparations for the upcoming General Assemblies by representing proposals for the topics and items that the committee could consider.
As President of the Committee, by the end of the committee meetings, Al Ahbabi presented a report to the plenary session, in which he briefed it on the unremitting efforts made to study the decision on cyber attacks, in light of the increasing reliance on digital technologies, and the measures that must be taken to grant protection to citizens via the Internet.
He indicated that the members’ discussions included issues of the need to exchange information about cyber crimes through parliaments, strengthening the protection of citizens, especially the most vulnerable, and vital civil infrastructures, as well as expressing differences of opinion on concepts and terminology that should be used.
He emphasized that the topic of cyber attacks and crimes was of great importance to all members. The report concluded that the results of the discussions and negotiations are a balanced decision that highlights the role of parliaments in expanding protection for citizens in cyberspace, and also stresses that cyber crime may pose a serious threat to democratic processes and calls for the need for international cooperation to address cyber crime, as well as to protect peace, security, stability, and global economy, while preserving the basic principles of human rights, including freedom of expression.
Within the framework of the Shura Council’s active participation in the meetings of the 146th session of the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, HE Member of the Council Nasser bin Mohsin Bukshaisha participated in the meetings of the Committee on United Nations Affairs, which reviewed its new ways and methods of work, which aim to increase the committee’s focus on a number of issues. Major reform issues in the United Nations and using its sessions as opportunities to mobilize parliamentarians to bring about change in the United Nations.
The committee discussed the achievement of gender equality in the United Nations General Assembly, and also reviewed the results of the 2022 Inter-Parliamentary Union survey of about 40 parliaments participating in the voluntary national reviews of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and also presented the 2023 survey, which It includes 42 parliaments.
With the participation of HE Eng. Ahmed bin Hitmi Al Hitmi, member of the Council, the Permanent Committee for Sustainable Development of the Inter-Parliamentary Union discussed the parliamentary efforts required to achieve environmental sustainability. The Committee discussed a resolution on parliamentary efforts to achieve a negative carbon balance in forests, and after reviewing the proposed draft resolution and the explanatory note prepared by the rapporteurs, it was adopted.
In his intervention in one of the sessions, His Excellency highlighted the efforts of the State of Qatar to reduce carbon emissions according to clear plans crystallized in the Qatar National Strategy for Environment and Climate Change.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement held its second conference, with the participation of HE Eng. Ahmed bin Hitmi Al-Hitmi, where the report of the President of the Network was reviewed, in addition to discussing a draft decision regarding the establishment of the Parliamentary Support Group of the Parliamentary Network for the initiatives put forward by the Presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement to support the global recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, a draft resolution on granting observer status to international parliamentary organizations, and a draft resolution on amendments to the statutes of the Non-Aligned Movement’s working methods.
His Excellency Omair bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, a member of the Shura Council, participated in the Young Parliamentarians Forum, which dealt with assessing the participation of youth at the national and international levels in parliaments and the latest developments in this regard. The successes achieved were also reviewed, along with the challenges that hinder youth work to draw conclusions and make recommendations regarding them.
In the same context, HE Secretary-General of the Shura Council Dr. Ahmed bin Nasser Al Fadala, participated in a series of meetings of the Assembly of Secretaries-General of National Parliaments of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which were held daily within the agenda of the 146th General Assembly of the Union. Several issues related to the work of the General Secretariat in the Union were discussed. Parliaments and legislative assemblies, presenting the practices of a number of countries, and discussing best practices for digital parliaments.
On the sidelines of the work of the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, HE Secretary-General of the Shura Council met with HE President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Duarte Pacheco. During the meeting, they discussed parliamentary cooperation relations between the Shura Council and the Parliamentary Union and ways to enhance them, in addition to reviewing a number of topics on The agenda of the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the exchange of views on it.
Source: Qatar News Agency