On 23-27 March, the Ukrainian delegation headed by the First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko paid a working visit to the Swiss Confederation.

The programme of the visit primarily included participation of delegates in the 148th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

On the sidelines of the Assembly, the Ukrainian delegation held more than 30 meetings with parliamentarians from around the world. In particular, Ukrainian MPs carried out powerful advocacy work, urging delegations to participate in the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland, facilitate the return of Ukrainian children deported by russia, recognise the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide against the Ukrainian people, continue to provide Ukraine with weapons, ammunition and equipment to fight the russian aggressor, facilitate the demining of Ukrainian territory, and join the implementation of the Peace Formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

Oleksandr Korniienko, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, spoke during the debates at the 148th IPU Assembly. In his speech, he focused on the massive missile attacks by the russian federation, russia's violations of international law, and the importance of implementing the Peace Formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

The First Vice-Speaker, among other things, stressed that a just, comprehensive and lasting peace is possible only through collective will and collective action. “We are confident that the international parliamentary community can make a significant contribution to achieving the goals of the Peace Formula. Only through joint efforts and pressure on russia in all possible international formats can we achieve our ultimate goal – the establishment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in Ukraine based on the UN Charter,” stressed Oleksandr Korniienko, calling on the members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to join the Ukrainian Peace Formula and the Global Peace Summit.

There are four standing committees within the Interparliamentary Union. They play a special role, which is defined in Article 13 of the IPU Statute. In particular, each committee has a specific area and topic of activity: peace and international security, sustainable development, democracy and human rights, and United Nations affairs. The main part of their work is the preparation and adoption of various IPU resolutions.

As part of their work in the committees, Ukrainian delegates also made a number of successful speeches.

The IPU Committee on Sustainable Development and the work of Ukrainian delegates

As part of the work of the Ukrainian delegation on the sidelines of the 148th IPU Assembly, Lesia Vasylenko, the member of the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management, co-rapporteur of the resolution on “Partnerships for Climate Action: Promoting access to affordable green energy and ensuring innovation, responsibility and equity”.

Together with Artur Herasymov, the member of the Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy, Lesia Vasylenko strongly advocated for the inclusion of the concept of ecocide in the resolution.

In this way, the Ukrainian MPs called on parliaments to hold accountable those responsible for climate damage and to consider climate change-related damages within the framework of compensation mechanisms arising from international wrongful acts.

Thanks to the hard work of the Ukrainian delegation, this terminology remained stable and was not diluted by the influence of states such as russia.

Another success of the Ukrainian delegation was the approval of the topic from Ukraine for the next resolution in the Committee. In particular, Artur Herasymov managed to conduct successful advocacy work and garner support for the proposal of the following resolution – “Parliamentary strategies to mitigate the protracted impact of conflict, including armed conflict, on sustainable development”. The proposal was submitted by the Swedish delegation, and a colleague from the Polish delegation was elected as the rapporteur.

The Committee on UN Affairs and the work of Ukrainian delegates

As part of his work at the Committee on UN Affairs, Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi, the member of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy, raised the issue of helping global humanitarian organisations to assist countries that have suffered irreparable consequences from the actions of the aggressor country.

In particular, the russian federation's aggression has caused losses in the food industry of Ukraine amounting to more than $20 billion. “If Ukraine had not developed the necessary means and started destroying the enemy's military fleet, the food crisis in the world would have been much worse,” said Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi.

The Committee also discussed how international law and courts can help reduce the use of military force in conflict resolution.

Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi expressed the unpleasant truth that there is a dangerous situation with the UN's inability to stop aggression and international crimes. “We see how one nuclear country, the russian federation, commits acts of aggression universally recognised by the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice, while other states are afraid to act effectively and in a timely manner,” he said, adding that russia, in violation of the UN Charter, usurped and took a seat in the UN Security Council instead of all the former soviet republics.

“The UN needs a mechanism for a joint response by countries that can effectively paralyse the aggressor's war machine and provide all the necessary military support for a non-nuclear response. The aggressor country should automatically lose the right to veto such decisions in the UN Security Council,” Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi stressed in his speech.

The Peace and International Security Committee and the work of Ukrainian delegates

On the first day of the working visit, Oleksandr Merezhko, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation, addressed the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, urging the IPU to adopt resolutions to punish the aggressor. “It is impossible to build bridges for peace and understanding at the 148th IPU Assembly if we are not all together with Ukraine,” he stressed.

In addition, Oleksandr Merezhko stressed that the text of the draft resolution to be adopted by the IPU Assembly cannot be adopted without addressing the issue of aggression. “Weapons in the hands of the aggressor state, which uses them to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure, are a crime under international law, while the use of the same weapons by the victim of aggression for defence, protection of civilians, is absolutely justified, he said, citing the example of the aggressor state of russia, which a number of parliaments have already recognised as a terrorist neo-nazi regime, using drones to kill civilians on a daily basis. At the same time, another terrorist regime, iran, provides russia with drones, thus being an accomplice in the genocide against Ukrainians. “We must address this issue in our resolution, we must not turn a blind eye to the use of weapons, in particular, autonomous weapons systems, by terrorist regimes, such as the genocidal russian empire,” said Oleksandr Merezhko. 

After the speech of the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation, Oleksandr Merezhko, the russian delegation "protested".

The Committee on Democracy and Human Rights and the work of Ukrainian delegates

As part of his work on the sidelines of the 148th IPU Assembly, Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi, the member of the Anti-Corruption Policy Committee, also joined the Democracy Committee, where he spoke about Ukraine's capabilities in the fight against fake news on the Internet and the destructive role of authoritarian regimes in using artificial intelligence to destabilise society.

“The end result of using artificial intelligence now still depends on the intention of the person programming and using this technology. The technological process will become a threat to humanity, just as nuclear weapons became a threat in the hands of totalitarian regimes,” the Ukrainian MP said. At the same time, he noted that it is now necessary to work to prevent russia and other malicious regimes from using new technologies to spread aggression and social polarisation on all continents.

In addition, Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi said that companies in Ukraine are actively developing products based on artificial intelligence: “Ukrainians have already demonstrated the ability to quickly master new technologies and open up opportunities in them that no one has ever imagined before. While russia is exporting disinformation, Ukraine is becoming an exporter of technologies to fight for reality and truth.”

The Ukrainian delegation also includes members of the Ukrainian Parliament: the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation Oleksandr Merezhko, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation Arsenii Pushkarenko, the member of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation Olha Rudenko, the member of the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management Lesia Vasylenko, the member of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi, the member of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy Oleksandr Sanchenko, and the member of the Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy Artur Herasymov.

For reference. The Inter-Parliamentary Union is a global organisation of national parliaments.

It was founded more than 130 years ago as the world's first multilateral political organisation to encourage cooperation and dialogue among all countries. Today, the IPU has 180 national member parliaments and 15 regional parliamentary bodies.

The IPU promotes democracy and helps parliaments develop into stronger, younger, greener, more gender-balanced and innovative institutions. It also protects the rights of human beings – parliamentarians – through a special committee made up of MPs from around the world.

Return to posts

Printable version

More posts by topic

“Top news”

18 July 2024 21:22
18 July 2024 17:46
17 July 2024 19:15
17 July 2024 16:50
16 July 2024 18:00
15 July 2024 14:15
15 July 2024 09:10
12 July 2024 18:00
12 July 2024 17:00
11 July 2024 14:00