World Summit of Speakers of Parliament Opens at UN; Pakistan delegation attends

New York, 01 September, 2015

The inaugural session of the World Summit of Speakers of Parliament was held the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters Monday. Pakistan's 14-member multi-party delegation, led by the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Murtaza Javed Abbasi along with Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN attended the Session.

Pakistan delegation will participate in the general debate on: “Placing democracy at the service of peace and sustainable development: Building the world the people want”. Leader of the Delegation, Mr. Murtaza Javed Iqbal will address the Conference on 1 September while the parliamentary delegation will participate in various sessions of the Conference focusing on peace, democracy and development.

During the Conference, the delegation will also highlight the strides made by Pakistan in promoting and strengthening democracy at the national, provincial and local levels.

Forest Whitaker, artist, humanist and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, delivered the keynote address at the conference, which was officially opened by IPU President Saber Chowdhury and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The speakers focused on the role of parliaments in implementation of post 2015 Development Agenda and also highlighted the importance of involving youth in democratic process.

The Speakers Conference is a unique forum for interaction and dialogue among the world parliaments at the highest level. Parliamentary leaders are expected express views on the recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their role in peace and development.

The Conference offers opportunities to world parliamentarians to discuss the importance of parliamentary oversight in democracy and share views on the role of parliaments in translating the Sustainable Development Goals into action. The Conference will adopt a declaration at the end of the meeting.

Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi earlier hosted a working dinner in honour of the delegation on Sunday night at which the members were briefed about issues before the conference as well as the arrangement.

Pakistan’s multi-party parliamentary delegation comprises of Senators Aitzaz Ahsan and Agha Shahbaz Khan Durrani, and Members of the National Assembly Zahid Hamid, Junaid Anwar Chaudhry, Muhammad Shahbaz Babar, Aftab Shaban Mirani, Shahzadi Umerzadi Tiwana and Arshad Khan Leghari.