Over 1,700 parliamentarians from around the globe, including the Speaker of Ghana’s parliament, Alban Bagbin, were present on Saturday, March 11, 2023, as the Kingdom kick-started the proceedings of the IPU conference at the plush Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB) in Sakhir.
This year’s conference, under the theme, “Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance”, was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa.
On behalf of the King of Bahrain, His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, he inaugurated the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and related meetings being held for the first time in Bahrain and taking place from March 11, 2023, to March 15, 2023.
In his inaugural address, Shaikh Khalid reaffirmed Bahrain’s commitment to join efforts and improve global security, stability and peace. He also noted Bahrain’s history in laying democratic systems that today reflect crucial pillars of the Kingdom’s comprehensive development.
He said the conference reflects the unflinching high level of confidence the international community has in Bahrain’s ability to host such high-profile diplomatic events.
Other dignitaries who graced the event include the IPU President Duarte Pacheco, IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong, Speaker of Ghana’s parliament Alban Bagbin, Majority and Minority Leaders Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Dr Cassiel Ato Forson respectively.
First Deputy Minority Whip Ahmed Ibrahim and Second Deputy Majority Whip Habib Iddrisu are also in attendance.
Female MPs from Asokwa and Ketu South, Patricia Appiagyei and Abla Dzifa Gomashie, complete the list of Ghanaian parliamentarians attending the event in Bahrain.
Speaker Bagbin is expected to address the General Assembly during the 146th IPU conference.
This year, the IPU membership will increase to 179 with the readmission of Liberia, a founding member of the IPU in 1889 whose membership lapsed in 2011.