On 26th and 27th of June 2018, the 25th Anniversary General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.) was held Athens with subject: “Parliamentary Democracy and Christian Values: 25 years Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.)”. Approximately 100 members of parliaments, official representatives of 25 parliaments, 10 parliamentary groups and individual parliamentary personalities participated at the General Assembly.
The General Assembly was hosted at the Senate Hall of the Hellenic Parliament, where the I.A.O. Secretariat is seated. The Inaugural ceremony was realized at the Byzantium Museum on Monday, 25 June. The opening was declared by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos. The Hellenic Government was represented by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ioannis Amanatidis. The President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Nikolaos Voutsis, His Beatitude Ieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece and the Deputy Chairperson of the Russian State Duma, Ms Irina Yarovaya, representative of the Chairman of the Russian State Duma, Mr. Volodin Vyacheslav participated at the Inaugural Ceremony.
In addition, greeting messages of His All Holiness The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, His Beatitude Theodoros, Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, His Holiness The Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia were read by their representatives. Moreover, greeting addresses were presented by the Assistant Secretary General of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) Mr. Ali Ashgar Mohammadi Sijani and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Mediterranean (PAM), Mr. Pedro Roque.
During the opening ceremony, speeches were presented by the I.A.O. Secretary General, Mr. Andreas Michailidis and the President of the I.A.O. General Assembly Mr. Sergey Popov. Commendation (presentation of plaque) was made by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos to the outgoing President of the I.A.O. General Assembly Mr. Sergey Popov.
Additionally, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, Inaugurated the I.A.O. Icon painting Exhibition with subject: “The Resurrection of Christ” at the Byzantine Museum, an exhibition consisted of works from the Icon painting Contest the I.A.O organized, in which approximately 63 iconographers from all over the world participated. Elections of the I.A.O. organs were held and a declaration document was adopted during the works of the I.A.O. General Assembly.
Following the conclusion of the works of the General Assembly, participants had the opportunity to visit areas of activity of the Archdiocese of Athens and the Holy Convent of Metamorphosis Sotiros (Agios Porphyrios). Moreover, they attended the Great Vespers on the occasion of St. Paul’s, Apostle of Nations celebration at the Acropolis (Hill of Pnyx).