The Speaker’s role has been changing in a globalised world. Under Meira Kumar this has gained an impetus, which will get magnified as issues like the battle against terror become more pronounced in the post-Osama phase.
In the two years since she became Speaker, Kumar visited over 20 countries flagging issues like India’s fight against terror, its call for a permanent UNSC seat, its ability to ward off recession and its success with the Parliamentary democracy.
A former diplomat, Kumar’s latest effort will take her to a 10-day visit starting May 13 to Vietnam for a bilateral and for multilateral deliberations at the G-20 meet in Korea. She will be the lead speaker there and issues like peace, fight against terror, economies’ revival and shared growth would figure prominently in the meet.
The Speaker’s office, says Kumar, “has become an effective channel of diplomacy.” While conventional diplomacy involved the MEA and embassies, developments in the last two decades have increased the connectivity between countries.
“Because of the enlarged status of multi-lateral bodies, the scope for parliamentary diplomacy has increased,’’ said Kumar. whose call for collective action in fighting terror sharpened the anti-terror resolution the World Speakers Conference adopted in Geneva last year.
Even the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association now cover issues like Parliament’s role in tackling terror and protecting the environment.
Taking the lead, Kumar has ensured that the six-storey structure coming up in the annexe is ‘eco friendly’ and reduces the burden on Pratliament heritage structure.