Parliamentarians of the Americas and the Caribbean participated in the 19th ParlAmericas Plenary Assembly held in Bogota, Colombia with the support of the Congress of the Republic of Colombia
ParlAmericas commemorated its 19th Plenary Assembly, convening parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean to exchange perspectives and reflections on parliamentary diplomacy.
Throughout the meeting, participants analyzed the relevance of parliamentary diplomacy as an instrument in the context of current global issues and the role of ParlAmericas as the hemispheric entity with a mandate to promote parliamentary participation in the inter-American system. These discussions were prefaced by the keynote address, “Strengthening multilateralism in the Americas and the Caribbean,” delivered by former Vice-President of the Republic of Costa Rica Epsy Campbell.
Parliamentarians reasserted the importance of continuing to work collaboratively, as well as from an intersectional and intercultural perspective, on issues of regional importance, such as gender equality, sustainable development, migration, social justice, transparency and integrity, and the promotion and protection of human rights.
Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of ParlAmericas, emphasized that “by practicing parliamentary diplomacy through ParlAmericas, we reaffirm the value of parliamentary work and endorse the democratic convictions that unite us and upon which the inter-American system has been built.” In turn, Member of the National Assembly Wilma Andrade (Ecuador), Vice-President for South America of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network and moderator of the dialogue session, noted that “multilateralism, regional integration, and globalization demand an increasingly active participation of parliaments in international affairs as trustees of the people’s will.”
During the Plenary Assembly, certain positions on the ParlAmericas Board of Directors were re-elected, with Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay) resuming the presidency and the Honourable Bridgid Annisette-George (Trinidad and Tobago), Speaker of the House of Representatives, resuming the vice-presidency. Sub-regional representatives were also elected: Canada and Mexico for North America; Costa Rica and Nicaragua for Central America; Colombia, Guyana, and Suriname for South America; and Barbados and Jamaica for the Caribbean. In addition, Member of the Chamber of Deputies Daniela Cicardini (Chile) announced that the National Congress of Chile will host the 7 thGathering of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network in 2023.
The 19th Plenary Assembly concluded with closing remarks from the host, Honourable Representative Jezmi Barraza (Colombia), Vice-President for South America of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, who noted, “we have satisfactorily concluded these demanding days.” She also referred to the important debates that had taken place on the care economy: “The gathering was an exercise in participatory governance and a seed was planted in each of us to work on the restructuring of the regulatory public policy frameworks in each of our countries.”