International boycotts? The Knesset will host its first-ever IPU event, recognizing the stature and prominence of Israel’s parliament. 

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

The Knesset has scored another international achievement and for the first time ever will host an event of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The IPU is a global inter-parliamentary institution established in 1889. It was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. The national parliaments of 178 countries are represented at the IPU.

The event will bring a long list of global leaders to Israel’s parliament, including IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron, the Executive Secretary of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Patricia Espinosa, senior officials of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and UNAIDS, and 57 heads of members of parliament.

Confirmed participants include delegations from Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, Sweden, and Vietnam.

They will participate in a conference on promoting innovation, which will take place next week.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein stated that he was “proud and excited to host for the first time an important conference of this inter-parliamentary organization in which many countries are members.”

Important Milestone for Israel

He explained that the IPU approached the Knesset to head the conference on innovation because “it views Israel as a ‘start-up nation,'” and said he was sure that the visiting dignitaries will “draw inspiration and ideas from the Knesset that will be implemented later in their countries.”

Israel has long been recognized as a global force in innovation. For instance, in July, Israel ranked 11th globally in the United Nations’ Global Innovation Index (GII) and the first in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region, for the sixth consecutive year.

“This is an important milestone for Israel and an important reinforcement for the Knesset and its cooperation with parliaments around the world,” he underscored.

The conference program includes panels with leading Israeli lecturers on a variety of innovation-related topics, as well as a tour of the Peres Center for Peace entitled, “Innovation and People with Disabilities,” a tour of the Shafdan plant in Rishon LeZion, which will demonstrate innovation in the field of water, and of course a tour of Jerusalem.