By Uche Anichukwu, Special Adviser (Media) to Deputy President of the Senate.
The International Parliament for Tolerance and Peace, IPTP, was at the weekend inaugurated in the Maltese capital, Valetta, to promote cooperation and exchange of ideas and experiences on many national and international issues facing international peace.
The first procedueral session of the Parliament, which took place at the Maltese Parliament, witnessed the emergence of Hon. Taulant Balla of the Parliament of Albania as the pioneer President, while the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was elected the Chairman of the Committee on Legal and Legislative Matters.
Addressing the inaugural session, the President of the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace (GCTP), parent body of IPTP, Hon. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Jarwan, described the Parliament as a unique appraoch to promoting global peace.
He stressed that in a world faced by terrorism, extremism, violence, religious, ethnic, sectarian and racial strife, the role of parliamentarians was no longer limited to delivering the voice of their constituencies on a national level only, but also at the international level to promote tolerance and peace.
He stressed that IPTP was borne out of the determination of the Global Council Tolerance and Peace to establish an international parliament that will be motivated only by the will and enthusiasm of its members to serve the cause of tolerance and peace while also respecting the principles of international democratic relations and committed to the rules and principles of international law.
“Today, humanity is under threat of religious extremism, racial intolerance and intellectual violence, because the values of tolerance and acceptance of the other spread by the major heavenly religions have deteriorated, leading to a disturbance in world peace and security.
“In the face of all these challenges, a new way of dealing with them had to be found, this is where the idea of creating a new international body that promoted a culture of tolerance and acceptance of the other came from.
“The participation of this number of members of national, regional and international parliaments demonstrates our agreement and our collective recognition of our common need for this kind of inter-parliamentary cooperation in leading a new global culture and channeling public energies towards tolerance and peace.
“With this meeting, we write history for a more peaceful and tolerant future”, Al-Jarwan added.
On his part, Senator Ekweremadu described the specialised Parliament as “an ingenious approach to the search for a new global order of tolerance and peace”.
The event, which enjoyed the presence of 54 heads and representatives of national and regional parliaments from around the world, also established five Executive Committees on Legal and Legislative Affairs, International Relations, Youth and Women, Peace Instilling and Sustainable Development.