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IPU and Uruguay sign agreement to open future regional office

On the eve of its 134-year anniversary and the International Day of Parliamentarism, the IPU and Uruguay have signed an agreement with the objective of opening a regional IPU office in Montevideo.

The future office will be a pilot project designed to deepen the IPU’s engagement with parliaments in the Latin American and Caribbean region by encouraging inter-parliamentary cooperation and helping the IPU to implement its global strategy.

The agreement between the IPU and the Uruguayan Government was signed on the sidelines of a meeting of the IPU Executive Committee in Lisbon, Portugal. The agreement was signed by Álvaro Malmierca, Uruguayan Ambassador to Portugal, and Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General.

The office will help enhance the engagement of IPU Member Parliaments, 24 of which are in the Latin America and Caribbean region, in following up on IPU resolutions, campaigns and initiatives as well as encouraging more regional participation in the IPU’s multiple events and programmes for parliamentarians.

Beatriz Argimón President of the General Assembly and the Senate, and Vice-President of Uruguay, said: “This is an important moment for Uruguay and for the IPU. For the first time, there will be a regional office, in the Latin American and Caribbean region. My country has been on a long journey to defend democracy, human rights and the rule of law to become the full democracy that we are proud of today. This gives us a strong foundation for the future IPU office through which parliamentarians will be able to meet to strengthen democracies and parliaments – not only in the region but beyond.”

Duarte Pacheco, IPU President, said: “I salute this agreement to open a new regional office in Uruguay on the eve of the anniversary of our foundation and the International Day of Parliamentarism. This marks an exciting chapter in the IPU’s growth and shows the truly global nature of our parliamentary family.”

Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General, said: “This agreement, which I am happy to sign today on behalf of the IPU, lays the groundwork for a future regional office. It is a significant milestone in the IPU’s 134-year history, which we celebrate this week. What started in 1889 as a group of parliamentarians from nine countries has now grown into the global organization of national parliaments, dedicated to promoting peace, democracy and sustainable development. Our presence in Latin America and the Caribbean will be greatly fortified thanks to this future office in Uruguay.”

The future office will become the IPU’s third field office, in addition to the two IPU Permanent Observer Offices to the United Nations in New York, USA, and Vienna, Austria.

Uruguay’s bicameral parliament rejoined the IPU in 1985 after the return of democracy to the country. It had also been a member from 1930 to 1935.

IPU Secretariat, Geneva