Inter-parliamentarian communication and cooperation with civil society
International Initiative of Parliamentarians for Peace
Intervention of H.E. Alfred Moisiu, President of Albania (2002-2007), at the launching of the International Initiative of Parliamentarians for Peace in Albania.
Honorable Dr. Katzumi Otzuka,
Honorable Mrs Schoepges,
Honorable Mr. Jack Corley,
Honorable Mr. Jacques Marion,
Honorable MPs and former MPs of the Albanian and Kosovar Parliaments,
Dear Ambassadors for Peace, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s a special pleasure that we have gathered today here in Tirana to inaugurate the International Initiative of Parliamentarians for Peace in Albania. This initiative was initiated last year and I had the opportunity to participate in its establishment meeting on the European level, which was held last September at the British Parliament in London. I have to say that this was for me one of the highest level activities organized by UPF.
The Universal Peace Federation is not a political organization, and still it has worked and continues to work hard on the international and national levels to establish bridges of cooperation and relationships between the legislative bodies and civil society, since this cooperation is very important to consolidate democracy and finally serve the citizens of a country.
Indeed, parliamentarians should be specifically qualified to serve as advocates of peace and human development. Hence, as representatives of the people, they stand as mediators between the government and civil society.
The MPs represent the people’s will, because they are elected by them to represent them, and for this reason they should be the people’s servants. However, as wittinesses to this very prolonged transition period in Albania, the reality is very disappointing. The citizens have lost hope and unfortunately continue to feel this way towards their elected representatives. Is this normal?
As an old folk saying goes: “With the dried grass burns also the fresh grass”, which is why conscientious people and those MPs with personal integrity, and especially those who are Ambassadors for Peace, should not allow the value of an MP, i.e. the VALUE that the people invested in them when they were chosen to represent them in the parliament, be defiled, mistreated or belittled. Rather, those MPs with integrity should work diligently to push through the draft legislation and apply the values of good governance, including transparency, accountability, collegiality and public service.
From this perspective, I would like to underline some of the basic qualities of a responsible parliament that seriously wishes the best for its citizens and its country:
- MPs should maintain continuous communication with the citizens they represent, know the main issues that concern them, dialogue with them, even if they cannot solve them, and should not do these things only at election time.
- Inter-parliamentarian dialogue is essential in democracy. The denigration and defamation of other MPs, whether they are in the same or an opposing party, is not befitting of public servants with such a high level of responsibility.
- MPs should put the national interest before their personal, familial, partisan or even local interests.
The International Initiative of Parlamentarians for Peace represents an effort to enable a network of parliamentarians to work together in a cooperative way for the sake of peace and human development. This initiative should be applied first hand at the national level and then be extended to the regional level and beyond.
Two months ago, the Universal Peace Federation inaugurated the Balkan Initiative of Parliamentarians for Peace in the Parliament of Kosova. With its inauguration here in Tirana and soon in other countries of the Balkans, I hope that the establishment of a network of MPs in the Balkans based on shared universal values and reciprocal benefits will lead to the solution of many issues that are pending in our troubled region.
In conclusion, I want to thank you for your participation and attention, and wish all of you a fruitful conference.
Author: H.E. Alfred Moisiu
President of Albania (2002-2007)
President Moisiu, after graduating from the Moscow Academy of Military Engineering in 1958, served in high positions at the Ministry of Defence and received in 1979 his PhD in Military Science. He served twice as Vice Minister of Defence, in 1981 and 1991. After establishing the Albanian North Atlantic Association in 1994, he guided the reform of the Albanian Armed Forces and Albania’s integration into NATO. In 2002 he was elected President of Albania by consensus of the ruling and opposition parties. During his presidency, he was active in solving internal political conflicts and strove to develop regional peace initiatives.