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Monday, October 16, 2017

Nigeria participates in the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the oldest international parliamentary organisation: it was founded in 1889 and unites parliamentarians from 173 countries and 11 inter-parliamentary organisations. 
President Vladimir Putin addresses participant in 137th IPU Assembly

The President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Mr Saber Chowdhury, has called for a change in the approach to tackling conflicts across the world. Chowdhury made the call at the opening of the 137th IPU assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia.

He said that it was not enough to win wars but was also important to win peace. He reminded participants at the assembly that the importance of peace in seeking solution to world peace was reflected in the United Nations Charter. The president said that the document referred to wars only on 5 occasions and referred to peace 47 times, adding that there was a need to have a change in focus and win the minds of people.

“We have to find out what are the root causes of terrorism and extremism. No one is born a terrorist. Why does someone become a terrorist? We have to look at conflicts that are unresolved over time. We have to look at why the people have been marginalized; we have to understand and listen to the young generation. So we need to reach out, listen and understand. We need to talk less and listen more as parliamentarians. If we can do that, we will fulfill the aspirations of the people.’’
A cross section of IPU 2017 participants from Nigeria, led by the President of the Nigeria Senate (2nd right)

Chowdhury called for all hands to be on deck towards achieving a world free of hunger, fear, justice, and respect for all people regardless of race, gender or sexual orientations. He said “no one is above or below the law. We are here to stand for democracy, justice and for equality. We are all aware that the world that we live in is laced with dangers, perils, opportunities as well as challenges. It is true that the world has made phenomenal progress; more children have enough to eat, fewer mothers die giving birth".

The IPU president charged parliamentarians to rise to the occasion by making their input to global peace felt. He commended the efforts made by the delegates to the 137th assembly of the union and other participants, saying that it was a defining moment in the history of inter-parliamentary relations. According to him, this is the largest ever gathering of the union in terms of level of attendance.

Nigeria’s delegation to the IPU assembly is led by President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki. Saraki is a member of the Governing Board of the IPU, and had started meeting with relevant stakeholders and he is expected in the days, to participate in debates and other activities.
Nigeria's Senator Dino Melaye in company of the Russian President
Dr. Saraki will present a brief on the parliamentary contribution to the 2017 general Nations Climate Change Conference. He will also participate in a debate on engaging the private sector in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially on renewable energy by the IPU Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade. The Conference is scheduled to run from October 14th to the 18th, 2017

The IPU promotes the development of parliamentarism, respect for human rights, inter-ethnic peace building and ensuring international security.

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