On December 10, 2018, the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation gathered more than 200 representatives of parliaments, diplomatic missions, and international organizations from over 50 countries for the International Conference "The Role of Parliaments in Today's World" on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Federation Council and the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

The event was aimed at strengthening the inter-parliamentary cooperation between Russia and other countries that are willing to work together for the peace and stability in the world.

Making her address at the opening ceremony, Hon. Valentina Matvienko, the Chairwoman of the Federation Council of Russia, stated that communication between the parliamentarians becomes increasingly important in view of the crises in the world politics. Especially today, "when the democratic expression of the people's will more and more comes under the pressure, which is often imposed from the outside," — stressed Hon. Valentina Matvienko. "We are convinced, that the democratic institutions today need to be protected, among other things, from external interference — and this is one of the major tasks of our big parliamentary family," — she said.

Hon. Thandi Modise, the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces of South Africa, Hon. Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Hon. Grigory Karasin, a State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia also delivered speeches during the opening ceremony of the conference.

Mr. Dulmith Waruna, First Secretary, and Ms. Nirosha Herath, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Sri Lanka, took part in the conference at the invitation forwarded by the Federation Council to H. E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation.

In the course of the conference, Mr. Dulmith Waruna was interviewed by a TV anchor of the official television channel of the Federation Council.

In his interview for the Russian media, Mr. Waruna underscored the importance of such events, as the one organized by the Federation Council of Russia, and the increasing role of parliamentary diplomacy in today's world.
The conference was followed by a reception for the participants of the conference, hosted by Hon. Valentina Matvienko.