The 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly is one of the most authoritative and influential international parliamentary organizations. The Union has 173 member states, and 11 inter-parliamentary associations are associate members of the Union. Russia (St. Petersburg) has hosted the assembly for the first time. The main issues discussed in St. Petersburg were renewable energy, health care, drug development, nuclear disarmament, recyclable materials. As President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Saber Chowdhury mentioned: “We actively take part in the UN work. But the UN represents the executive branch, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union represents national parliaments of the world. We compliment executive bodies. Here, in St. Petersburg, nearly the whole world is represented. The parliamentarians of the countries taking part in the IPU represent 6.5 billion people”.
Chairperson of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matviyenko thanked national delegations for their support of the proposal to hold the meeting in Russia. “We perceive this as an expression of interest in Russia and respect for our country, as acknowledgement of the role of Russia in the world and its parliamentarism merit,” — she said. She also mentioned the large experience of St. Petersburg in holding major international meetings.
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