Pyidaungsu Hluttaw to join International Parliamentary Union

By Soe Than Lynn
Volume 31, No. 620
March 26 - April 1, 2012

THE Pyidaungsu Hluttaw has agreed to join the International Parliamentary Union in order to build relations with foreign parliaments and get more opportunities to exchange views and experiences, according to lawmakers.

The decision was made on March 16, at the 21st sitting day of the third session of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.

Before asking for the consent of the house, Speaker U Khin Aung Myint told lawmakers: “If Myanmar is a member of IPU, there will be more opportunities to exchange views and experiences and get wider relations with the international community. It will enable us to get assistance to improve the performance of hluttaw representatives.”

The decision follows the recent visit by a delegation from the Geneva-based IPU, including secretary general Anders Johnsson, who met with Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann in Nay Pyi Taw on March 6.

Mr Johnsson extended an invitation to Myanmar to rejoin the union and also requested information on the rights of hluttaw representatives.

“We’d like to give the necessary help to [improve] the process of the hluttaw while it is in the initial period,” he said.

Myanmar became a member of the IPU in 1957 but left in 1963, shortly after the military coup. Speaker U Khin Aung Myint said Myanmar had “kept in touch” with regional parliaments since the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw joined the ASEAN Parliament Conference as a full member in September 2011.

Lawmakers also approved a proposal to create a national parliamentary body to coordinate between the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and the state and region hlutaws.

Meanwhile, U Khin Aung Myint will attend the ASEAN Summit and Leaders of Parliament Conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from March 31 to April 4.

– Translated by Thiri Min Htun