The first IDU Executive Meeting in 2020 took place on Wednesday, July 29. Despite the COVID-19 travel restrictions that prevented our global centre-right parties from meeting in person, we are delighted that 80 delegates from over 30 countries around took part in the virtual event.
The meeting began with a warm welcome by IDU Chairman, the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, followed by Secretary-General Christian Kattner’s report.
In the past few months, our Global Alliance of the Centre-Right has received numerous membership applications from like-minded parties globally. The IDU Secretariat scoped the parties and gave the Presidency insights on their programs and statutes, as well as on-the-ground feedback from our long-standing IDU partner-foundations. The Executive voted to accept five new members into the IDU and grant them Observer status.
The IDU is pleased to welcome into the fold European Solidarity from Ukraine, the Christian Democrats from Sweden, the National Democratic Party from Nepal, the Republican Party from Albania, and the People’s Democratic Party from Nigeria. For the IDU, the inclusion of these new parties means strengthening our presence in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, Asia and the Balkans, and it constitutes another step forward in the global promotion of our conservative values. These parties will be eligible for full Membership status at the next IDU Summit, scheduled to be held in Spring 2021.
During this high-level exchange, reports were given from UK Conservative Co-Chairman Amanda Milling MP, Lebanese Kataeb Party Leader Samy Gemayel, PRO Argentina Leader Patricia Bullrich, former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and many more.
Of particular interest was the great progress being made by the Conservative government in the UK, particularly following the last turbulent political year. The Party succeeding in breaking through the “red wall” of seats normally held by the Labour Party, which Co-Chairman Milling attributed to the appeal and message of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe reported on the impact of coronavirus on the upcoming elections in his country and explained that the United National Party is hoping to achieve a majority in Parliament. We wish the UNP all the best with the upcoming election.
Former Maldivian President Nasheed led an impressive delegation that indicated their tourism-based economy is suffering greatly from the often-arbitrary travel restrictions being imposed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mario Voigt from CDU Germany, Chairman of the IDU’s Campaign and Elections Committee, reported on its monthly webinars and future activities. As all branches of the IDU family are learning important lessons during the pandemic, IWDU Chairwoman Laura De Esteban and SME Global Chairman Domagoj Milosevic also gave reports on their recent activities.
The IDU Executive passed three important resolutions at its meeting.
Closely monitoring the political situation in Belarus, the IDU has passed a resolution demanding the release of political prisoners and calling for free and fair elections. Democracy and free elections are key IDU principles, and the lack of both in Belarus is condemned by our centre-right alliance.
In Georgia, where high-level ties to Russia are becoming increasingly exposed, opposition participation in the upcoming elections is threatened. The IDU passed a resolution demanding a free election to secure the country’s stability and independence.
Finally, the internal authoritarianism and extermal belligerence of China’s Communist Party government was addressed by the IDU Executive. Together with the Asia-Pacific Democrat Union APDU, the IDU condemned the restrictions on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedom recently enacted by the People’s Republic of China. In concert with the European People’s Party EPP and European Conservatives and Reformists ECR, the IDU also condemned the PRC’s discrimination and repression of Uyghur Muslims, as well as the enforced destruction of their culture.
Even through the difficult circumstances of coronavirus and the resulting global recession, our Global Alliance of the Centre-Right will continue to support its member-parties in their ongoing fight for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The IDU, which was founded during another challenging time in history, the Cold War, will raise its voice louder than ever in promoting its values and beliefs today!