Sotto to chair IPU Asia-Pacific Group

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Sotto to chair IPU Asia-Pacific Group

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) – October 21, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III will chair the Asia-Pacific Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Switzerland and Rwanda next year.

 Sotto, who headed the Philippine delegation in the just-concluded 141st IPU Assembly held in Belgrade, Serbia from Oct. 13 to 17, will replace Pakistani lawmaker Asad Qaiser.

Chairmanships in the six geo-political groups in the IPU are being done in alphabetical order and would serve the post for one year, or for two assemblies.

The geopolitical groups discuss issues of common concern to be taken up at the assembly and try to reach a consensus and a common position.

The 142nd Assembly will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from April 16 to 20, 2020 while the 143rd Assembly, in Kigali, Rwanda from Oct. 11 to 15, 2020.

 The Asia-Pacific Group, one of the six geopolitical groups in the IPU, is composed of 36 member states. Other groups are the African (52), Arab (21), Eurasia (nine), Latin America and the Caribbean (24) and the so-called “Twelve Plus” (41).

According to its website, the groups prepare and coordinate positions on key issues on the agenda at each assembly, review vacancies in the committees and groups, consult among their members and propose candidates. 

 Sotto last week presided over the ASEAN+3 meeting, which is part of the Asia-Pacific Group, to select the nominees who would replace the outgoing parliamentarians during the 141st Assembly of the IPU.

The Asean+3 is composed of Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, plus Japan, China and Korea.

The ASEAN+3 meeting was expected to elect two members in the executive committee to replace representatives from Iran and Vietnam; two members in the preparatory Committee of the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament; and a member in the Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law.