The International Parliamentarians’ Congress (IPC) exemplifies an evolutionary response to the rapidly changing global context. It embodies the spirit of global cooperation and shared responsibility in addressing pressing international issues. The IPC is on the verge of a significant milestone; laying the foundation of its new headquarters in Islamabad, symbolising its growing influence and standing in the international parliamentary community.
In an era where boundaries are becoming more porous, challenges like ensuring economic stability, maintaining security, and promoting environmental sustainability are no longer confined to individual nations. These are now global concerns that require global solutions. Recognising this, the Pakistan Senate brought into existence the IPC on August 29, 2019; a forum designed to address these challenges by leveraging the collective wisdom and influence of individual parliamentarians from across the globe.
Since its inception, the IPC continues to empower parliamentarians to think and act beyond their national perspectives, enabling them to address global issues with a broader, more inclusive viewpoint. By breaking down geographical and political barriers, the IPC promotes the creation of shared solutions for shared challenges.
Over the years, the IPC has come to embody an increasingly global perspective, its influence expanding to a membership of 194 parliamentarians from 50 countries around the globe. This diverse representation underscores the inclusive nature of the IPC, fostering richness of ideas, experiences, and perspectives.
The IPC’s significant strides in encouraging international dialogue and collaboration have not gone unnoticed. The renowned publication, ‘The Parliamentarian’, the Journal of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association CPA, has lauded the IPC in its 2022 volume, praising its successful efforts in bridging nations and driving meaningful discourse at a global level. This accolade is a testament to the IPC’s efficacy in uniting parliamentarians, fostering dialogue, and catalysing positive change at a global scale.
As the IPC readies itself for the ground breaking of its new headquarters on July 31, 2023, it remains a shining example of global collaboration, a beacon of shared responsibility, and a testament to the power of international cooperation in overcoming shared global challenges. The African Parliamentary Union (APU), Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network (NAM-PN) and Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) also honoured the IPC with the status of ‘International Observer’ underlining the international recognition and respect the IPC has garnered.
Furthermore, the IPC has taken an active role in observing electoral processes globally to foster and ensure democratic principles. Its Election Observation Missions have successfully observed the General Elections in the United Kingdom in December, 2019; the Netherlands Parliamentary Elections in March 2021; the General Elections in Jordan in November 2020; the Colombian Presidential Elections First Round in 2022; the General Elections in Thailand in May 2023; and most recently, observation of the Presidential Elections of Uzbekistan 2023. These efforts further strengthen the IPC’s commitment to global democracy.
In recognition of the IPC’s commitment to road safety, the organisation hosted the successful “Road Safety Conference for Parliamentarians: A Global Perspective” in February 2023. The conference played a pivotal role in raising awareness about road safety and encouraging the development of relevant legislation and policy formulation.
The IPC’s commitment to humanitarian issues was demonstrated by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Committee of Red Cross on 10-June-2022. Both organisations pledged to cooperate in the areas of humanitarian diplomacy and law, food security, health, and climate change. The IPC also signed an MOU at the 12 Plenary Session of TURKPA in Ankara, Turkey. The signing of the MOU was a significant step towards deepening the relationship between the two organizations.
The IPC has also made its presence felt on various international platforms, including the First Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network conference held in Baku-Azerbaijan in 2022. Moreover, its delegation attended the 44th Conference and 78th Session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) at Victoria Falls-Zimbabwe in November 2022.
A testament to its growing international influence is that the IPC has been playing host to a growing number of political leaders from across the globe, underlining the IPC’s crucial role in facilitating diplomatic engagement and policy discourse at the highest levels.
As the IPC gears up for the inauguration of its new headquarters, the groundbreaking ceremony will be attended by the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Mr. Duarte Pacheco. This symbolises the recognition of the IPC by the oldest global parliamentary body in the world.
The IPC thus stands as a global symbol of cooperation, dialogue, and shared responsibility. The journey may be long, but the IPC is fully committed to continue working towards realising the shared objectives of peace, prosperity, and conflict resolution through cooperation and dialogue.