Before the beginning of the second panel, Mary Kane, President and CEO of Sister Cities International (SCI), emphasized the importance of relationships and building strategic alliances to advance trade and business partnerships at the local and international level. Kane also described the mission of SCI and its activities and suggested methods for creating a positive climate in which businesses could thrive.
The second panel, entitled “Parliamentarism as a Pillar of Democracy,” opened with remarks by the Hon. Dr. Kanybek Imanaliev, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Jogorku Kenesh. Dr. Imanaliev discussed the importance of parliamentary democracy within the region, including its contribution towards promoting democratic principles in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Hon. Dastan Bekeshev, Deputy of the Jogorku Kenesh, compared the democratic processes of the U.S. and Kyrgyz Republic and stressed the importance of promoting knowledge exchange between parliaments and related institutions.
The Hon. Dale Shultz, Wisconsin state senator, acknowledged the challenges in democratization processes and stressed the value of trust, integrity and dialogue between the legislative branch and the communities it represents. The Hon. Patricia A. Haddad, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, concluded the session by sharing her personal experience on the importance of collaboration with state legislators representing different domestic constituencies. She also highlighted the significance of international collaboration among members of parliament.