The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) is an interparliamentary body, set up upon the initiative of the Hellenic Parliament.
Here factsheet with information concerning the character of the IAO and relevant data: the philosophy, objectives, its rules and the turning point of the organization.
Background of the I.A.O.
The fundamental basis of the I.A.O. is expressed in the Manifesto of Participants of the Conference convened by the Hellenic Parliament in Halkidiki, Greece, on the subject: ‘Orthodoxy in the New European Reality’. According to this, Orthodoxy in its social, historical and spiritual sense constitutes a common historical cultural tradition and religious expression for approximately half of the population of Europe.
In a context of historical changes in progress throughout Europe (the fall of the communist regimes in Central Eastern Europe, the Maastricht Treaty in Western Europe) personalities
from Europe, who participated in the 1993 Conference held by the Hellenic Parliament, detected the need for the presence of Orthodoxy, as a common cultural expression of a large number of European citizens, in the shaping of contemporary Europe. Thus, the joint cultural reference of Orthodoxy was sought through the I.A.O., with the participation of Orthodox in faith deputies from: Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Federation of Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia and Ukraine, as well as, groups of Members of Parliaments from: Australia, Asia, Africa and the U.S.A.
The verification that the majority of political and social problems, the European continent is facing, are actually problems of the whole world, the need to seek interpretations and answers based on the people’s common cultural tradition, the appearance of new technologies, the phenomenon of globalization of the economy, led the I.A.O. to the decision to surpass the borders of the European continent and contact parliamentarians throughout the world, Christian Orthodox in faith, with the aim of joining our common cultural aspect, that of religion, as the meeting point in the participation of structuring a contemporary complex reality.
To this end and according to article 2, paragraph b. of the Founding Act, parliamentary delegations or groups of Members of Parliaments from other European countries or respectively from non-European countries, are able to participate in the General Assembly. In the General Assembly of 2001 groups of Members of Parliament from Australia, Asia, Africa and the U.S.A. participated and was decided the European Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (E.I.A.O.) to be called from then on Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.).
During the I.A.O. General Assembly in Kiev, Ukraine, in June 2004, it was decided to seek ways of cooperation with the Parliamentary Union of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference Member States (P.U.I.C.).
Following correspondence exchanged between the two parliamentary organizations, a meeting was held in Athens on March 22, 2005 where a draft co-operation agreement was initialed by the Secretary General of each contracting organization.