Saber Chowdhury elected as President of Inter Parliamentary Union

PNND Co-President Saber Chowdhury was today elected to be the incoming president of the Inter Parliamentary Union. Climate change, the Ebola pandemic, cyber warfare, nuclear disarmament, human rights and ending violence against women and children are key topics for global parliamentary body.

Mr Chowdhury, a former Amnesty International 'Prisoner of Conscience' has advanced these key issues in his national parliament and in international forums. He was instrumental in the adoption and implementation of legislation in Bangladesh on integration of lepers into society, criminalizing custodial torture, and prevention of violence against women and children. He was also instrumental in the adoption of a constitutional amendment to protect the environment and biodiversity for current and future generations. (See Saber Chowdhury candidature for IPU Presidency).

He has taken leadership globally in various parliamentary forums on climate change, sustainable development and peace, including Global Legislators Organising for a Better Environmnent (GLOBE) and the Network of Parliamentarians from Countries most Impacted by Climate Change.[[{"fid":"377","view_mode":"float_right_with_caption","fields":{"format":"float_right_with_caption","field_caption[und][0][value]":"Greg Schneeman and Saber Chowdhury co-chairing IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security. Photo © IPU/Giancarlo Fortunato"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security. Photo © IPU/Giancarlo Fortunato","title":"IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security. Photo © IPU/Giancarlo Fortunato","class":"media-element file-float-right-with-caption"},"link_text":null}]]

Mr Chowdhury defeated three other very able candidates for the position of IPU President - Speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop, Indonesian MP Nurhayati Ali Assegaf and former Speaker of the Maldives Parliament Abdulla Shahid. His election to head this organisation of 166 member parliaments is testament to his experience and leadership skills in the key issues facing the global community.

Mr Chowdhury has held previous leadership positions in IPU including as Chair of the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security. It was through this committee that the issue of nuclear weapons was considered in 2008-2009 and 2013-2014. The resolution adopted by IPU in 2014 was instrumental in giving guidance to parliamentarians to eliminate nuclear deterrence from security doctrines, and to support negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention, or package of agreements to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons globally.

The IPU Assembly also appointed Mr Johannes Raseriti Tau MP (South Africa) as the new Chair of the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security. He replaces Greg Schneemann, former South African parliamentarian who now serves as the PNND Coordinator for Southern Africa.[[{"fid":"479","view_mode":"float_right_with_caption","fields":{"format":"float_right_with_caption","field_caption[und][0][value]":"IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong video promotion for Sep 26"},"type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong video promotion for Sep 26","title":"IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong video promotion for Sep 26","class":"media-element file-float-right-with-caption"},"link_text":null}]]

PNND has worked closely with IPU to eduate and engage parliamentarians around the world in nuclear disarmament. This has included organising seminars and workshops, production of a joint Handbook for Parliamentarians on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, advice and support for the drafting and adopting of the resolutions in 2009 and 2014.

Most recently, PNND cooperated with the IPU, UNFOLD ZERO and the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs to promote September 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (See IPU encourages parliamentarians to join UNFOLD ZERO campaign).

We look forward to continuing and enhancing this cooperation under the leadership of Saber Chowdhury as IPU President, Martin Chungong as IPU Secretary-General  and Johannes Raseriti Tau as chair for the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security.