Participation of the PABSEC International Secretariat to the virtual debate “COVID-19 and democracy: Can parliaments come to the rescue?”, IPU, 15 September 2020
On 15 September 2020, the PABSEC Deputy Secretary General Mr. Miltiadis Makrygiannis attended an informal virtual interactive panel debate for International Day of Democracy, titled “COVID-19 and democracy: Can parliaments come to the rescue?”. The event was organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in partnership with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University.
The debate was opened by Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the IPU while the moderator of the Forum was Mr. Ravi Agrawal, Managing Editor of the Foreign Policy magazine.
Presentations made by Mr. Andreas Norlén, Speaker of the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament), Mr. Craig Calhoun, University Professor at Arizona State University, Ms. Xiye Bastida, Activist and Co-Founder of the Re-Earth Initiative, and Mr. Ghassan Salamé, Founding Dean in Paris School for International Affairs. A video message to the participants by Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was also presented during the meeting. Mr. Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General, and many MPs from several countries also took the floor addressing questions to the panelists.
The speakers exchanged views on the impact of the pandemic on political and democratic processes in the IPU countries. It was noted that the experience of the past six months has shown the need to effectively strengthen the role of parliaments in the system of governance in order to better serve the interests of the people. It was also emphasized that, through their legislative and budgetary powers, parliaments also play a key role in strengthening healthcare systems, ensuring effective recovery, and addressing the looming climate emergency.