“Before we start our discussion, I would like to express my gratitude to our colleagues from Tajikistan. First of all, to the Chairman of the Majlisi Milli of the Majlisi Oli of Tajikistan Rustami Emomali.
It would also be right to express gratitude to the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon. That was his initiative to hold a meeting of the Council of the Parliamentary Assembly here today.
When it comes to development of the parliamentary dimension, we should note attention of the heads of our states to this format. They are doing a lot to develop this format and support us.
Within the framework of inter-parliamentary cooperation, we have done a lot to provide legislative support for decisions taken by the heads of states, including reviewed issues related to harmonization of the legislation of our countries.
Colleagues, our today's meeting is very important, as Tajikistan bears the biggest burden in countering terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking. That is especially important in the time of withdrawal of the US and other troops from Afghanistan, which is bordering Tajikistan. We will discuss this issue at our meeting of the Council today.
The issues of coordinating actions of the CSTO member states in countering common threats are parts of our today’s agenda. It is very intense.
The Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Tajikistan Rustami Emomali will inform us about the priorities of Tajikistan's chairmanship in the CSTO in 2021, including at the parliamentary level.
As I have already said, the issue of the implementation of model legislative acts adopted by the CSTO PA into national legislations is also included in our agenda.
The quality of joint work that would help to address threats in the area of responsibility of the Organization mostly depends on the creation of a common legal security space. Approximation and harmonization of national legislations are our priority issues.
We will also discuss today the results of the session of the CSTO Collective Security Council and the decisions that would help to counter common challenges. Let me remind you that the Declaration signed by the presidents of the CSTO member states following the previous session, stressed necessity to enhance cooperation to protect health and well-being of citizens in the pandemic conditions and in the face of other threats.
Colleagues, in this regard, it would be right to include the issue of legislative support for sanitary and epidemiological safety in the agenda of the next meeting. We should continue to monitor this issue. We should instruct the relevant commissions to include this issue in the Programme for the Approximation and Harmonization of Legislation for 2021–2025 in the agenda of the next meeting of the CSTO PA Council. That would help to implement the decision made by the heads of our states within the framework of the parliamentary dimension.
Our medical doctors worked in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. The Russian Sputnik V vaccine is supplied to almost 50 countries of the world. The CSTO member states have a priority.
We need to discuss this issue, especially as that issue was raised by our Tajik colleagues. Therefore, it would be right to exchange views.
It is important for us to continue approximation of legislations not only in the spheres of defense and countering terrorism, but also in the field of digital security, protection of the electoral rights of citizens.
The CSTO member states had recently witnessed attempts of foreign interference in internal affairs. Perhaps you will also express your point of view on this issue today.
In January 2021, parliamentary elections were held in the Republic of Kazakhstan and presidential elections in the Kyrgyz Republic. In April, a nationwide vote was held on the draft law ”On the Constitution“ in Kyrgyzstan. On June 20, members of the National Assembly were elected in the Republic of Armenia.
There is a proposal to discuss the results of the work of groups of the CSTO PA international observers at today’s meeting.
We should note the fact that the Parliamentary Assembly is enhancing observers participation in Organization’s member states, and we have something to share, discuss the results of monitoring the recent election campaigns.
We can see that a number of foreign observers who came to the elections in the member states of the Collective Security Organization often make biased assessments, so it would be right if we stated our point of view and adhere to common standards in issues related to democracy. We should discuss these standards with you to avoid different interpretations. And if we accept the standards, we should follow them.
But if take the situation in the United States of America as an example, we should not follow that example. The US authorities set the standards for other states, but do what they want in their own state. They are implementing some new approaches in organizing and holding elections, which nobody supports, moreover, there are only doubts about these new approaches.
And it would be right if the state which is not able to implement the standards of democracy should not impose its vision on other states. Their authorities should start with themselves.
And, of course, we have something to say and it would be right to discuss those issues as well.
Taking into account the effectiveness of observation missions in the CSTO member states, we should continue to use them in the future.
Colleagues, it will be really important to discuss issues related to information resources, which are now used by some states in their own interests. The IT companies are international, so it is necessary to exchange views to prevent such situations. We should also discuss that IT companies should act in accordance with the national legislation of each country. This is a topical issue on the agenda.
Colleagues! The harmonization of approaches on the issues related to protection of historical memory will contribute to the formation of a unified legal framework. Thus, we propose to develop model acts that that will increase accountability for comparing USSR and Nazi Germany, rehabilitation of Nazism, defamation of veterans of the Great Patriotic War, offences against their honor and dignity.
It is inadmissible to insult those who defended our Motherland. Our states should do everything to preserve the truth about the Great Victory of the Soviet multinational people.
We have already discussed this issue with many speakers of the parliaments of the CSTO member states. It is obvious that we should take such decisions. Therefore, it would be right to take concrete decisions and adopt the relevant laws in our national legislation.
Colleagues! It is important for the CSTO PA to expand the horizons of cooperation. Today we will discuss the improvement of the institution of the Assembly’s observers. The parliaments of Serbia and Afghanistan have been observers for several years.
It is also proposed to consider the issue of creating a new institution of partnership of the CSTO PA. Partner states will be able to take part in an advisory capacity, participate in preparation of documents and development of collective decisions. Such institution of partnership will help to increase the efficiency and openness of the Assembly. Moreover, more and more states are interested in cooperation within the framework of the CSTO PA.
In this regard, the status of observers and partners of the CSTO would provide additional opportunities for enhancing inter-parliamentary cooperation with those states and international organizations committed to our principles. We should strengthen coordination within the CSTO PA to more effectively promote and protect its agenda at international platforms.
Colleagues! Today we also should discuss several financial and organizational issues, including the date and place of the next meeting of the Council and the 14th plenary meeting of the CSTO PA ”.