The Parliament of Guyana is participating in the 142nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which is being held virtually for the first time, from May 24-27, 2021, under the theme, Overcoming the pandemic today and building a better tomorrow: the role of Parliaments.
With more than 130 national Parliaments, and 700 plus Members of Parliament participating, the Parliament of Guyana’s Delegation is comprised of Hon. Manzoor Nadir, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly, Co-chair of the Parliamentary Conference of the World Trade Organization, and Member of the Governing Council of the IPU; Hon. Mohabir Nandlall, MP, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, and Member of the Governing Council of the IPU; Hon. Dawn Hastings-Williams, MP, Member of the Governing Council of the IPU; Ms. Carlleta Charles, Parliamentary Executive Officer; and Ms. Christina Ramroop, acting Parliamentary Executive Assistant.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union, prior to the commencement of the Assembly, held related meetings of its various bodies. The Parliament of Guyana was elected to the Board of Young Parliamentarians and the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians during their meetings held on May 6 and 11, respectively.
The Governing Council of the IPU met on May 24-25. During the sessions, Members addressed implementation of the Strategy for 2017-2021, the status of the strategic partnership between the IPU and the United Nations, IPU finances, achieving universal membership, activities of committees and other bodies, and future IPU meetings. The Governing Council also elected six members to the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and two members to the Committee on Middle East Questions.
The Plenary Session commenced on May 26 and will conclude on May 27. The Session, moderated by Ms. Claire Doole, a former BBC Correspondent, saw expert presentations by Ms. Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, former Head of the National Health Mission of India; Dr. Jomo Sundaram, former Chief Economist at the United Nations, prominent academic at Columbia University and the International Islamic University in Malaysia; Ms. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and UNDP Administrator, member Co-Chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. The experts focused on the challenge of vaccine accessibility for all and the post-Covid economic recovery.
Six Members, including Hon. Speaker Nadir, posed questions along the vein of the presentations. In particular, the Hon. Speaker asked a question concerning the long period for vaccines from China and Russia being approved by the World Health Organization and their acceptance by other first world countries, noting that such delays would hamper production and availability for poorer nations.
The Plenary is also benefitting from presentations on the theme of the Assembly from more than 60 member countries.
The IPU aims to promote democratic governance, institutions and values, working with parliaments and parliamentarians to articulate and respond to the needs and aspirations of the people regarding peace, democracy, human rights, gender equality, youth empowerment and sustainable development through political dialogue, cooperation and parliamentary action.