Bangladesh Parliament extends a very warm welcome to all the Hon'ble Speakers, Deputy Speakers, Members of Parliament and distinguished Delegates to Bangladesh at the upcoming 136 Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference scheduled to be held on April 1 - 5, 2017 in Dhaka. Bangladesh Parliament, a member of IPU since 1972, has been an active partner in promoting democratic values across the globe. Bangladesh is honoured to be elected as the President of IPU. It is indeed a special pleasure for Bangladesh Parliament to host the prestigious Conference.

Parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh nurtures the values of rule of law, fundamental freedoms and human rights. It upholds the pledge to build an equitable and inclusive society free from poverty and exploitation-- where economic, social and political justice will be ensured for all -- as embedded in our Constitution -- the dream of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The Tenth Parliament, under the 'visionary leadership' of the Leader of the House and Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is engaged in ensuring poverty eradication, food security, gender equality and attainment of sustainable development goals (SDGs) to bring about substantive changes in the lives of the people.

The surge of globalization presents us with critical challenges. It is time to adopt new ideas, innovative strategies and instill fresh perspectives. The 2017 IPU Conference in Bangladesh will provide a unique opportunity to all Hon'ble Members of Parliaments all over the globe to have valuable interactions in pursuing common goals, enriching through comparative analysis of parliamentary practice and procedures and thereby contribute in strengthening democratic process. It will provide the scope to identify the emerging challenges, find solutions to encounter the same and chart out the way forward.

Let us embrace this opportune moment, turn it to our advantage, allowing the voices of the people from all corners of the globe to resonate and dominate the discourse of democracy. It is my firm conviction that it is through our concerted efforts that we can make a positive difference in realization of the common aspirations of the people. I earnestly believe that the upcoming Conference will be a milestone in promoting our collective endeavour to bring about "a better tomorrow for all."

I wish all Delegates an enjoyable stay in Dhaka and a productive and successful Conference. Looking forward to welcoming the distinguished Delegates to Bangladesh --"Sonar Bangla"-- the Golden Bengal.

Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP

Speaker

Bangladesh Parliament