Wednesday, 27 maj 2021
ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT XHAFERI AT THE 142nd IPU ASSEMBLY ON THE TOPIC: “OVERCOMING THE PANDEMIC TODAY AND BUILDING A BETTER TOMORROW: THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENTS”
Dear President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,
Mr. Duarte Pacheco,
Dear Secretary General of the IPU,
Mr. Martin Chungong,
Presidents of Parliaments,Ladies and gentlemen,I am glad to be able to greet you all today, even in this virtual way which I hope will soon become a past we shall unwillingly recall. I do not think this is a bad way, but I think of all the inconveniences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The painful events and the forever lost human lives, the collapse of the health systems, the effects on the economic systems of the countries of the world, the impact on family budgets and of course, the psychological traumas and scars which may not be so visible now, but, certainly, in the near future, will show the irreparable damage to the always established way of life, work and socializing, to the growth and development of young generations, and of course to the speed of recovery form the impacts.
The world as we knew it, the world before the pandemic – with all its shortcomings, inequalities, disproportionate development, disproportionate access to basic human needs and rights, poverty, treatment of women, children and the vulnerable – manifested its downsides all the more in this time of pandemic. Have we learned a lesson, have we managed to remain humane and sensitive to every single individual, to every country? I'm not sure, on the contrary, I think now it was felt even stronger what it means to be small, powerless and outside the big families. Being part of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is a great opportunity for us to articulate the difficulties together with all our colleagues, to share experiences, draw good examples and apply them at home. Establishing consistent bilateral and multilateral relations of cooperation and dialogue is the most appropriate and assured way to build a common strategy for dealing with the current and any future pandemic or global catastrophe that might threaten the world we know and love. We realized one thing, and in the most difficult way – the health of our citizens is first and foremost, and thus there must be no bargaining; and access to vaccines and health services is a universal right, as is education. The inclusion of every human being, with access to basic rights and freedoms is essential, with parliaments being the key institutions in which democracy and respect for human rights are born and nourished, and people's trust thereto is restored. Focusing on the safety and well-being of all, by investing in gender-equal societies that ensure there are no marginalized, disadvantaged, underpaid, there is no unfair competition in the labor market, and equal pay for equal work is everyone's responsibility. As is caring for the air, water, and all of Earth's natural resources. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are our common goals towards balanced recovery and development even in the farthest corner of the planet.
That is why it is important for the Republic of North Macedonia to be part of the big family of the United Nations, part of the IPU, part of the big European family, and of all initiatives aimed at uniting our efforts for doing collective good for all.
Ladies and gentlemen, Let me wish you successful work and thank you for your attention!