Estonian delegation attending IPU assembly in Bahrain

  • 2023-03-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Members of the Estonian delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) are participating in the work of 146th assembly of the IPU, where the debate focuses on promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies and fighting intolerance.

Head of the delegation of the Riigikogu Toomas Kivimagi said in his speech at the IPU assembly on Monday that protecting peace and democratic values as well as the sovereignty of countries was the greatest challenge to the world, parliamentary spokespeople said.

Speaking of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, he pointed out that the countries of the world had to show more resolve because an aggressor's victory in a war would inspire other authoritarian regimes to use the same means as well.

In his speech, Kivimagi also addressed China.

"Once Russia understands that it can no longer count on China's tacit support together with its implications, this may indeed become the factor that will bring Russia back to earth," he said. Kivimagi emphasized that the values underpinning the rules-based world order -- freedom, democracy, human rights, and equality -- were at stake.

On Monday, the Estonian delegation to the IPU met with Ahmed bin Salman Al Musallam, speaker of the Council of Representatives of Bahrain, and Abdulnabi Salman Ahmed, first deputy speaker of the Council of Representatives. Launching of the parliamentary cooperation between Estonia and Bahrain, forming of mutual parliamentary friendship groups and the visit of an Estonian business delegation to Bahrain during the second half of the year were discussed at the meeting. Kivimagi underlined that in order for the war to end, Ukraine needed the support of all countries, including Bahrain. Al Musallam fully supported achieving peace in Ukraine, recalling the suffering when Bahrain itself was at war.

On Tuesday, the Estonian delegation together with the representatives of Latvia and Lithuania will meet with the Swedish delegation to discuss at the initiative of Sweden the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, Russia's aggression in Ukraine and issues relating to NATO.

The assembly plans to adopt resolutions on cyberattacks and cybercrimes as the new risks to global security, and on parliamentary efforts in achieving negative carbon balances of forests. Extraordinary debate will focus on humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine. The proposal for resolution was presented with the support of the 12+ group, which also includes Estonia.

The assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is held in Manama, Bahrain, on March 11 to 15. Estonia is represented by the president of the Estonian IPU group, Toomas Kivimagi, and vice-presidents Helle-Moonika Helme, Helmen Kutt, and Marika Tuus-Laul. Hundreds of MPs from around 110 parliaments are meeting at the assembly. The Ambassador of Estonia Jaan Reinhold will also attend the assembly.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union is the oldest and largest global organization of national parliaments. It was founded in 1889 and has 178 member states from the entire world. Liberia, whose membership was interrupted in 2011, is re-joining the IPU as its 179th member. Estonia was a member of the Union between 1921-1940 and restored its membership after regaining independence in 1991.