|>>> VERSION FRANÇAISE|
|Chemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland|
(St-Petersurg, 15 and 18 October 2017)
1. Election of the IPU President
At its sitting on 18 October, following one round of voting by secret ballot, the Governing Council elected Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron (Mexico) as its President for a three-year term ending in October 2020.
2. Membership of the IPU
At its sitting on 15 October, the Governing Council approved the requests for affiliation from the Parliaments of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu, with the membership rights of Vanuatu taking effect from 1 January 2018. At its sitting on 18 October, it also granted approval for the requests for affiliation received from the Parliaments of the Marshall Islands and Saint Lucia on the understanding that their membership rights would enter into force as of 1 January 2018. The overall membership of the IPU was thus raised to 178 national parliaments. The Council also approved the request for Associate Member status from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC).
The Council was apprised of the situation of certain parliaments and endorsed relevant recommendations formulated by the Executive Committee with regard to each of them. It also approved the proposal to establish a High-Level Panel on Parliamentary Diplomacy and entrusted the Secretariat with finalizing its working modalities, including its composition and terms of reference, for further consideration by the Executive Committee at the next session.The Council endorsed the recommendation of the Executive Committee to pursue a new approach to the annual reporting exercise by IPU Members whereby a number of parliaments from each geopolitical group would be selected on a rotational basis to share their experience. It also requested the Secretary General to review modalities for retaining the membership of defaulting Members experiencing financial hardship, political turmoil, natural disasters or other extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. The Secretary General would present detailed proposals at the next session of the Council.
3. Financial situation of the IPU
The Governing Council received a report on the financial situation of the IPU as at 31 July 2017 and an updated list of unpaid contributions. As at 13 October 2017, one Member (Yemen) had arrears of two full years and was subject to voting sanctions. Two Members (the Gambia and Honduras) were subject to suspension due to arrears of three or more years. The Executive Committee did not recommend the suspension of those two Members, as efforts were underway to collect the arrears due and retain their membership. The Council endorsed that recommendation and urged the geopolitical groups to encourage their members to pay up their contributions in a timely manner so as to avoid the regrettable situation of arrears.The Council took note that the income and expenditure of the IPU were close to target for the first half of the year and were projected to remain within overall budget until the end of the year.
4. Draft programme and budget for 2018
The Council received the consolidated budget proposal for 2018. Reporting on behalf of the Executive Committee, the Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Finance, Mr. R. del Picchia (France), observed that the proposed budget accurately reflected the IPU Strategy in financial terms. He explained that the budget proposal had been prepared under the supervision of the Sub-Committee on Finance and according to the highest standards of transparency. He highlighted that following several years of decrease in Members’ assessed contributions from 2012 to 2016, the proposed budget introduced an increase of 2 per cent in contributions to respond to some increases in regular costs. He underlined that the budget was balanced and did not require any recourse to the reserves of the Working Capital Fund. However, in order to balance the budget, it had been necessary to make savings by holding both Assemblies in Geneva during 2018. At the same time, the IPU’s full range of activities would be maintained.
The Chair of the Sub-Committee on Finance thanked the UK Parliament for its generous donation to the Parliamentary Solidarity Fund, which had allowed a member of the Parliament of Vanuatu to attend the 137th Assembly. He also explained that future increases in the budget would be difficult to achieve as contributions should remain stable during the two future budget exercises. The Secretary General noted that the next World Conference of Speakers of Parliament was due to take place in 2020 and that additional funds would be required for the Conference and its preparations in 2019.
The Secretary General informed the Council of the efforts to mobilize voluntary funds from external sources. Several long-term funding agreements were soon to be up for renewal. Voluntary funds were important in contributing to the costs of supporting IPU programmes.The Governing Council approved the 2018 budget of CHF 15,871,200. The approved budget and scale of contributions for 2018 are presented on pages 51 and 52 of the Results of the 137th IPU Assembly .
5. Cooperation with the United Nations system
The Council took note of the checklist of activities conducted in cooperation with the United Nations since the previous Assembly held in April 2017 in Dhaka. It approved the establishment of a High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism and entrusted its members with finalizing its working modalities. The IPU President, in consultation with the Secretary General, would strive to ensure gender and geopolitical balance in its composition.The IPU President and Secretary General launched the Second Global Parliamentary Report, a joint IPU-UNDP flagship publication, in the Governing Council on 18 October. The Report focuses on parliamentary oversight and parliament’s power to hold the government to account.
6. Implementation of the IPU Strategy for 2017-2021
The Council took note of a report on recent activities aimed at implementing the Strategy and endorsed the proposed modalities for enhancing youth participation at IPU Assemblies, which would be translated into concrete amendments to the IPU Statutes and Rules and presented at the next Assembly
7. Recent specialized meetings
The Governing Council took note of the results of the Regional Seminar for Young Parliamentarians for the Asia-Pacific region; the Regional Seminar for the Asia-Pacific region on the SDGs; the Parliamentary Meeting at the 70th World Health Assembly; the Regional Conference on violence against women and girls for Central and Eastern Europe; the Regional Seminar on Promoting child nutrition in Western and Central Africa; the Second Roundtable on Water; the Parliamentary Meeting at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development; the Second Interregional Seminar on parliamentary capacity-building and the further implementation of the SDGs; and the Regional Conference of Young Parliamentarians for Africa.
8. Activities of committees and other bodies
At its sitting on 18 October, the Governing Council took note of the reports on the activities of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians; the Committee on Middle East Questions; the Group of Facilitators for Cyprus; the Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law; the Advisory Group on Health; and the Forum of Young Parliamentarians of the IPU.The Council also heard the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and approved 11 decisions submitted by the latter, noting the reservations expressed by the delegations of Cambodia, Israel and an MP from the ruling party in Venezuela.
9. Future inter-parliamentary meetings
The Council granted provisional approval to hold the 140th Assembly in Buenos Aires in April 2019 pending the provision of visa guarantees for all participants by the Argentinian authorities.
10. Elections to the Executive Committee
At its sitting on 18 October, the Governing Council elected the following four members: Mr. D. McGuinty (Canada) and Ms. M. Kiener-Nellen (Switzerland) to serve a four-year term ending in October 2021 and Mr. K.M. Lusaka (Kenya) to complete the term of his predecessor and Ms. H. Haukeland Liadal (Norway) to complete the term of her predecessor, both ending in October 2019.