Meeting of IPA CIS Council Took Part in Tavricheskiy Palace
27 November 2020
The regular meeting of the governing body of the Assembly – the IPA CIS Council took place in the Tavricheskiy Palace – the IPA CIS headquarters via videoconferencing.
The heads of the parliamentary delegations of the IPA CIS Member Nations participated in the meeting: Speaker of the Milli Mejlis of the Azerbaijan Republic Sahiba Gafarova, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Lena Nazaryan, Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Natalya Kochanova, Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbayev, Chairman of the Committee of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security Mukhtar Yerman, Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic Talant Mamytov, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova Zinaida Greceanii, Chairperson of the IPA CIS Council, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko, First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Ivan Melnikov, Speaker of the Majlisi Milli of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan Rustami Emomali, Speaker of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbaeva, as well as Chairman of the Executive Committee – Executive Secretary of the CIS Sergey Lebedev.
The meeting was chaired by Chairperson of the IPA CIS Council, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko.
She opened the meeting and congratulated the new members of the Council: Sahiba Gafarova, Natalya Kochanova, Maulen Ashimbayev, Talant Mamytov and Rustami Emomali.
Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbayev noted an important role of the Assembly in strengthening of inter-parliamentary cooperation among the countries and its status of a valuable platform for constructive dialogue and engagement at the international level. He commended the personal contribution of Valentina Matvienko in these achievements. On his initiative and unanimous support of the other members of the meeting Valentina Matvienko was re-elected Chairperson of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly.
Then, the Council members discussed and adopted the agenda of the 51st plenary session of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, presented by IPA CIS Council Secretary General Dmitriy Kobitskiy.
The meeting focused on the legislative support of efforts undertaken by the CIS Member Nations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Valentina Matvienko noted that the pandemic remained high on the global agenda and told about the measures taken to combat the spread of the coronavirus infection in the Russian Federation.
Tanzila Narbayeva, Ivan Melnikov and Zinaida Greceanii also told about their experiences in fighting the pandemic and support of the population.
WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge made a keynote report on the issue. He pointed out the magnitude of the challenge faced by the international community and its devastating effect in all areas. He noted the need to coordinate efforts aimed at fighting the infection at national, regional and global levels, stressing the role of the parliamentarians in this process.
Chairman of the IPA CIS Board of Experts on Public Health, Dean of the Department of Dentistry and Medical Technologies of St. Petersburg State University, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yury Shcherbuk focused on the main challenges faced by the public health systems, including insufficient number of infectious hospital beds and supplies, lack of training of doctors and middle medical personnel of non-infectious specialties in the conditions of the pandemic, acute shortage of clinical diagnostic laboratories. He particularly emphasized the issue of indirect victims of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the massive delays of diagnostic of oncological diseases. He called for acknowledging the public health firstly as an area of national security, a sector of strategical state attention needing adequate investments and only secondarily as a commercial sphere.
Stressing the considerable importance of the parliaments and parliamentarians in ensuring global security in public health, the IPA CIS Council adopted the Joint Statement of the Council of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization on the Role of Parliaments in Countering COVID-19.
Furthermore, the meeting also discussed the status and prospects of economic integration and its legal and regulatory support in the Eurasian space. The report was presented by Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich.
Director of the International Institute for Monitoring Democracy Development, Parliamentarianism and Suffrage Protection of Citizens of IPA CIS Member Nations Ivan Mushket informed the Council members on the preparation of monitoring of the elections to the public authorities in the CIS in 2021. He told that four electoral campaigns were planned for the following year: to the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Maulen Ashimbayev, Natalya Kochanova, Talant Mamytov and Zinaida Greceanii commended the IPA CIS monitoring activity and expressed gratitude to the international observers for their participation in the monitoring of the electoral campaigns of 2020.
Talant Mamytov briefed the participants on the events, which took place in Kyrgyzstan in October following the parliamentary elections. The Speaker stressed that day all the processes in the country took the legitimate path, the functioning of the public authorities continued and was aimed at addressing social and economic challenges and improving living standards.
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Rik Daems told about areas of cooperation between the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Rik Daems pointed out the difficult position of parliamentarians during the COVID-19 period resulting from the need to take extraordinary measures staying within the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights. He told about the Toolkit developed by the PACE together with the experts from all 47 parliaments of the Member Nations in order to facilitate the work in the extraordinary circumstances and called upon the CIS colleagues to assist in the distribution of this Toolkit.
Valentina Matvienko noted with appreciation that the cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe continued to develop in this difficult time. She also reminded that the regular conference on countering international terrorism traditionally co-organized by the PACE was scheduled for 2021.
Moreover, the Council member decided to establish the IPA CIS Board of Experts on Science and Education, which would aim at initiating and implementing the perspective plans of the CIS model law-making in this field.
The Council also decided to establish the honorary badge “For Contribution to International Youth Cooperation” and to award a writer and literary critic, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Vladimir Gnilomedov the 2020 IPA CIS Chingiz Aytmatov Prize.
The members of the Council adopted the Draft Provision on Participation of Observers in the Activities of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, approved the Chairs of the IPA CIS Permanent Commissions elected earlier during the commission meetings and discussed plan of work of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly for 2021.