Presiding Officers from the Parliaments of Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia (MIKTA) have gathered in Hobart for a meeting on Open Parliaments.
President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Stephen Parry, spoke warmly of his experience with MIKTA.
“I gained enormous value out of the first MIKTA dialogue for parliaments, in South Korea,” Senator Parry said.
“It is an unusual grouping of countries, but we have a lot of similarities. We are passionate about our democratic processes. We are in the top G20 countries, our economies align quite well and we share similar values.”
MIKTA was founded in 2013 as a new mechanism for cross-regional partnership. Its member states account for a population of 530 million people, and over $5.8 trillion of gross national product.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Speaker of the House of Representatives the Hon Tony Smith MP highlighted the importance of MIKTA.
“While MIKTA is young, it is our job to make sure it thrives, grows and strengthens in the years ahead,” Mr Smith said.
The Speakers met in Hobart to consult on the topic of ‘Open Parliament for Open Government’, with the topic generating a broad-ranging discussion on the challenges, solutions and benefits of maintaining open parliaments.
Senator Parry and Mr Smith were joined in Hobart by Senator Ana Gabriela Guevara Espinoza, from Mexico’s Senate of the Republic, Deputy Alejandra Noemí Reynoso Sánchez, from Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, His Excellency Dr Ade Komarudin, Speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives, Mr Sye-kyun Chung, Speaker of the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly, and His Excellency Mr İsmail Kahraman, Speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly.
At the meeting, the Speakers drew on their varied historical experience to consider responses to the common challenges they experience in promoting open parliaments, while protecting the security of visitors and all who work within parliaments. The Speakers also highlighted the opportunities for adaption and integration of new technologies to improve citizen access and participation.
The Hobart event was MIKTA’s second Speakers’ Consultation, with the first held in Seoul, in the Republic of Korea, last year. Next year’s event will be held in Ankara, Turkey.