The joint meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons was successfully held in Nicosia, Cyprus, 7 – 8 December 2008. Parliamentary delegations from the following parliaments – members of the I.A.O participated in the meeting: Russian Federation, Greece, Cyprus, Ukraine and Bulgaria.
The I.A.O. members had the opportunity to meet with H.E. the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Demetris Christofias. The I.A.O. members briefed the President on I.A.O. activities. On his part, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, informed the delegation on the latest developments on the Cypriot issue.
In addition, they realized meetings with His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus, The President of the House of Representatives Mr. Marios Garoyian, His Grace Nikiforos, Bishop of Kykko – Tillyria, as well as local authorities’ representatives.
During the meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons held in Nicosia, 7 and 8 December 2008, the following decisions were reached:
Α. MEETING OF THE I.A.O. INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT AND COMMITTEE CHAIRPERONS, MARCH 2009
Following an invitation by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Georgi Pirinski, the next meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria (March 2009). As suggested by the aforementioned President, along with the I.A.O. meeting, a scientific conference will be held on the lifework of Sts Cyril and Methodius and the contemporary dimensions of their ideas. Proposals on the organizational issues of the Conference will be prepared by the I.A.O. advisors Dr. Kostas Mygdalis and prof. Valery Alexeev. In addition, the proposal of the Vergina Experimental Workshop was approved to place under the auspices of the I.A.O. the E. Varlamis work Exhibition “Mount Athos” , which is currently presented in Thessaloniki.
Β. 16TH I.A.O. GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The venue of the 16th I.A.O. General Assembly on June 2009 will be decided upon during the next International Secretariat meeting in March, based on the submitted proposals. So far, proposals by Mr. Theodore Ssekikubo, MP for Kampala / Uganda, as well as, other proposals made by members of the International Secretariat for Minsk, Odessa, Sevastopol’s, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Serbia, Russia have been made, provided that appropriate processes are followed.
– The General Assembly’s main subject will be considered and discussed by the end of February 2009.
C. COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTAL AND NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
- Participation of a delegation to the conference in Bethlehem, 11 – 14 February 2009, organized by the International Institute for the Orthodox Peoples’ Unity with subject: «The role of traditional religions in finding peaceful solutions and answers against the challenges of global religious threats and conflicts».
- Cooperation with the Council of Europe. Contact with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and participation of a delegation to Council of Europe’s General Assembly in Strasbourg, 26 – 30 January 2009, where the I.A.O.’s interest for cooperation will be expressed. In addition, contact for cooperation will be made with the President of the Committee on Culture as well as the EPP working group «Christianity and Islam».
- Participation to the General Assemblies of the International Organizations where I.A.O. has the status of ‘observer’: PABSEC, IPU, C.I.S.
D. ACTIVITIES OF THE I.A.O. COMMITTEES
- Forwarding a letter to all Parliament-members to the I.A.O. for their participation to the I.A.O. activities and personal contacts with the Presidents of Parliaments for I.A.O.’s highlighting and advancement.
- The I.A.O. Committee on Mass Media (Chairman Mr. Symeon Kedikoglou) will draft proposals on the I.A.O’s highlighting and advancement by the end of January 2009. The proposals will be discussed during the meeting of the International Secretariat on March 2009.
- Forwarding a letter to all I.A.O. Committee Chairpersons for submitting proposals on the Committee activities until the next meeting of the International Secretariat in March 2009.
- Enlargement of the I.A.O.: Identification of the orthodox members of Parliaments from all Federal and State Parliaments in Europe and America and organization of visits of I.A.O. representatives, wherever deemed necessary.
- The Chairman of the I.A.O. Committee on International Policy Mr. Konstantin Zatoulin, MP proposed and the International Secretariat approved the organization of a conference in May 2009 in Greece, preferably on the island of Crete or another island, with subject the ‘International economic crisis and the efforts of I.A.O.’s member-states for joint action towards a solution’.
- The Secretary General Mr. Aristotelis A. Pavlidis, proposed and the International Secretariat approved the organization of a meeting or conference on Bioethics in fall 2009 in joint cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe / Committee on Culture, with which he will personally make the necessary arrangements in his capacity as the head of the Hellenic delegation.
- I.A.O. representation to Fora involved in interreligious dialogue e.g. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, European Parliament, Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) – follow up to previous communication.
Ε. I.A.O. PUBLICATIONS
Publication of the 15th General Assembly minutes.