NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and delegates attend the IPU-137 (Source: VNA)

Saint Petersburg (VNA) - National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has led a high-ranking NA delegation of Vietnam to attend the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-137) that officially opened in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on October 14.

The event, themed “Promoting cultural pluralism and peace through inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue”, was attended by about 2,000 delegates, including more than 80 parliamentary leaders from IPU member nations.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is an honour for Russia to host the 137th assembly of the IPU, the world’s oldest international parliamentary cooperation organisation, with a rich agenda, including discussions on protection of human rights and freedoms, the fight against terrorism, global sustainable development, and the role of women and young people in politics and the economy.

President Putin suggested the IPU nations promote a peaceful, creative and balanced agenda, to reduce strife, prevent the emergence of new separating opinions, including ethnic and religious ones, jointly move towards shaping a fairer and more solid architecture of international relations.

For his part, IPU President Saber Chowdhury called on parliamentarians to seek measures for current issues, and discuss a new agenda, promoting cultural pluralism and peace through inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue.

Chairwoman of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko highlighted the importance of the IPU-137 agenda, noting that the assembly will consider issuing a resolution on marking the 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Democracy, reflecting its position in the current democracy systems, promoting and ensuring democratic principles.

Within the framework of IPU-137 and related meetings from October 14-15, the delegates will hold a general debate on “promotion of cultural pluralism and peace through inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue”; ratify resolutions and reports of the standing committees, the final documents of the general debate, and adopt the theme of the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights for IPU 139.

The participants will also elect a new IPU President for the 2017-2021 tenure and additional members of the executive committee, and discuss the IPU’s strategy for the period, among others.-VNA