Sotto named chairman of IPU assembly in Switzerland, Rwanda

SENATE President Vicente  “Tito” Sotto III will chair the Asia-Pacific Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Switzerland and Rwanda next year.

Sotto, who headed the Philippine delegation in the recent 141st IPU assembly  in Belgrade, Serbia from October 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            

The142nd Assembly will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from April 16 to 20, 2020 while the 143rd Assembly, in Kigali, Rwanda from October 11 to 15, 2020.

The Asia-Pacific Group, one of the six geo-political groups in the IPU, is composed of 36 member-states. Other groups are the African (52), Arab (21), Eurasia (9), Latin America and the Carribean (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 on Thursday 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 ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and 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.