Youth Parliaments Forge Ties in CIS

ASTANA – The first meeting of the Youth Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States was held on March 29 in St. Petersburg, Russia.The assembly served as a platform, where young people from the 12 CIS nations introduced positions and presented opinions on issues concerning them.

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Chingiz Lepsibayev (l), first deputy chairman of the Sodruzhestvo international youth public organisation, Khelel Bakirov (c), permanent representative of EYP in CIS, and Almas Turtayev (r), member of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan.

The meeting marked a major advance on the international scene for youth movements in Kazakhstan. Starting last year, the nation’s youth movement has played an increasing role in CIS youth activities.

In April 2012, in Baku the capital of Azerbaijan, Shakhmardan Baimanov became a deputy chairman of the international youth public organization, theSilk Way. He is also head of the Youth Policy Department of the Akmola region. In July 2012, in Moscow Chingiz Lepsibayev was elected as a first deputy chairman of the Sodruzhestvo international youth public organisation. Lepsibayev is also head of the directorate of international programmes of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan, an association of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The international inter-parliamentary youth movement was founded in 1987, when the European Youth Parliament (EYP) was created in France. The first Youth Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was held in 1999.

The next step came when a Youth Assembly was held on Oct. 5-7, 2012 in Strasbourg, one of the three capital cities of the 27-nation European Union. Representatives from Kazakhstan participated as observers.

The Russian-German Youth Parliament is a joint project of the International Youth Exchanges Foundation in Moscow and the German-Russian Youth Exchange Foundation in Hamburg. The first Russian-German Youth Parliament was held Oct. 7-11, 2006 in Germany.

The first Euro-Mediterranean Youth Parliament was held from May 26 to June 3, 2007 in Berlin when Germany chaired the European Union. It was founded on the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany and was organised by the European Youth Parliament, the Heinz Schwarzkopf Foundation and the Goethe Institute with the support of the European Commission, the Anna Lindh Foundation and the European Youth Forum.

The CIS Youth Inter-Parliamentary Assembly was launched in 2008. In Russia, a working group was launched by the Youth Parliamentary Assembly under the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament.

In 2009, young people in Kyrgyzstan created a parliamentary youth movement to work with the wider CIS movement.

In 2011-2012, workshops for young parliamentarians and youth leaders were held at the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Kazakhstan delegation took an active part.

On May 18-20, 2012, the founding documents of the CIS Youth Inter-Parliamentary Assembly were approved at a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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