CIS Parliaments Celebrate Twenty Years of Cooperation

Mar 27. MFA

CIS Parliaments Celebrate Twenty Years of CooperationThe Parliaments of the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States have adopted new tasks for joint work in the future as a result of a meeting of the Council of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (IPA) held in Almaty on March 27.

The IPA meeting was dedicated to the twentieth anniversary since its creation. The event convened the heads of the parliaments of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine, as well as representatives of international parliamentary organizations.

On the eve of the meeting, the hosts, Chairman of the Senate Kairat Mami and Chairman of the Majilis Nurlan Nigmatulin, held a series of bilateral meetings with their foreign counterparts, where they discussed a wide range of issues of inter-parliamentary cooperation. Heads of parliaments also highlighted the importance of successful integration processes in the CIS.

According to Kairat Mami, the Almaty declaration on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 1991 laid the foundation for good neighbourly relations in the post-Soviet area, while the creation of the parliamentary structure in 1992 formed the legislative base for such cooperation.

Speaking at the meeting, Nurlan Nigmatulin said that in 20 years the IPA has become a factor of development, stability, and integration among the CIS countries. He named counteracting modern challenges and stabilizating the situation in Afghanistan as main areas of work of the Assembly, noting that Kazakhstan has allocated US$ 50 million in educational grants for Afghan students to study at Kazakhstan’s universities.

Nigmatulin also spoke of the importance of promoting innovative activities and developing efficient and environmentally friendly industries in the CIS. He said in the future meetings of the Council of IPA Council could also be held in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana.

At the meeting, chairperson of the Council of IPA and of the Russian Federation Council of the Federal Assembly Valentina Matvienko said that in two decades the Assembly has established partnerships with more than 50 international organizations, including the United Nations and the OSCE.

The Assembly’s active engagement has helped putting an end to military confrontations in Nagornyi Karabakh, Georgia and Abkhazia. She also said the Assembly has already prepared a model law “On Combating Terrorism,” to serve the basis for an agreement on cooperation of the CIS countries.

Development of model laws, in particular, on protection of interests of the CIS countries in the field of intellectual property were widely discussed during the meeting. According to Matvienko, national legislations of the member states in this field match in general, however, the level of their practical use remains extremely low.

Conference participants also discussed international observation of election. “We need to continue to persistently pursue the development and adoption of universal, uniform, and mandatory rules within the OSCE on international monitoring of elections and referendums,” Matvienko said.

During the meeting, speakers noted the Assembly is working on the creation of an Inter-Parliamentary Youth Assembly in the CIS, which will further enhance friendly relations and cooperation in the area.