The 141st Assembly of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU) opened at the Sava Centre in Belgrade. The Assembly will be held until 17 October.
The event will gather 2,000 participants from approximately 150 countries.
The meeting was inaugurated by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and was attended by IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron and Geneva Office General Tatiana Valovaya.
Vucic said that Serbia is a free and sovereign country that pursues its own policy and wants to cultivate friendship with everyone.
The IPU President welcomed all present and emphasised that it is a great honour to address the opening of the 141st Assembly of the Interparliamentary Union.
After 20 years, this is the first time that the IPU Assembly is held outside Geneva. For the past 56 years, Belgrade has been through turbulent times since it first hosted the Assembly, she said.
National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic welcomed the guests and stated that delegations from 149 parliaments are present tonight.
The Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva stressed that the UN attaches great importance to cooperation with the Interparliamentary Union.
Prime Minister of the Republic Ana Brnabic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Mladen Sarcevic, Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs Zoran Djordjevic attended the opening of the IPU Assembly.
The central theme of the IPU Assembly session is “The Role and Mechanisms of Parliament in Strengthening International Law and the Contribution of Regional Cooperation”.
Participants will discuss gender equality, youth empowerment, the defence of MPs’ human rights and universal health care.
Serbia became one of the first members of the IPU in 1891, shortly after the founding of that international organisation in 1889.
The IPU is a global organisation of national parliaments, founded 130 years ago as the first multinational political organisation in the world to foster cooperation and dialogue between countries.