Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla, who is leading an Indian Parliamentary Delegation (IPD) to the 141st Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Belgrade (Serbia) addressed the Assembly on the theme ‘Strengthening International Law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms and the contribution of Regional Cooperation’.
Addressing the delegates, Om Birla said that a well-defined international order is imperative for a just, peaceful and prosperous world. He emphasised that this required laying down norms and standards acceptable to the entire international community.
Observing that the Comity of States is willing to share a common platform as it is aware of inter-dependence of nations, Om Birla said that the emphasis is being laid on the rule of law in a wide range of areas in order to promote transparency in mutual relations. This principle is being followed in the areas of trade, investment and intellectual property; transport and communication; use of global commons such as seas and oceans, environment, climate change etc. Besides, the Rule of Law is being upheld in the areas of Environment and Climate Change etc.
Om Birla stated that there are still some areas where we have not been able to develop international rule of law to our collective disadvantage. He said that terrorism is one such alarming concern. Hence, effective international collaboration is required to tackle terrorism.
He also said that law making on this issue continues to falter in view of narrow geopolitical interests. Ironically, often States hide behind legal concepts designed for different contexts to stop progress on this vital issue.
Lok Sabha Speaker said that India strongly believes that cooperative and effective multilateralism is the only answer to the range of inter-connected challenges that we face in our inter-dependent world.
Expressing the view that the foreign policy has been the domain of the Executive, Om Birla said that unless Parliament enacts the enabling legislation, the obligations arising from international treaties, conventions and agreements do not gain a place in the statute book. He emphasised that the Parliament has a responsibility to play a constructive role in passing the necessary legislations to give effect to international commitments.
Lok Sabha Speaker further said that IPU, as the world organization of Parliaments, has become the “focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue” on key issues confronting the globe and it has been working for peace and cooperation among nations and for the firm establishment of democratic institutions. He observed that the issues taken up for comprehensive deliberation in IPU Assemblies are vital learning experiences for parliamentarians.
Besides the agenda set by the IPU is pursued by national Parliaments to create an informed public opinion. He also expressed the view that IPU would continue to contribute significantly towards promoting democracy, good governance, peace and progress to meet the emerging global challenges of the 21st Century.