Resolution adopted without a vote* by the 102nd Inter-Parliamentary Conference
(Berlin, 15 October 1999)

The 102nd Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Aware of the recent and continuing monetary and economic turmoil in various regions of the world, and of its economic and social consequences,

Convinced that, in view of the high degree of economic interdependence that the world has reached, parliamentarians should avoid focusing solely on the economic management of their own countries, and should bear in mind all the implications of global standards and draw on all available knowledge, including that of government officials, international institutions, financiers and academic experts, in a constant effort to provide a better environment for the functioning of the world economy,

Noting that political and economic action should place greater emphasis in the future on the long-term goal of sustainable development in order to achieve a fair balance of interests for men and women and for present and future generations,

Further noting that the development of the world economy since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, June 1992) has not been such as to achieve the objectives set in Agenda 21 regarding changes in patterns of resource consumption, modes of production and lifestyles,

Noting the urgent need for all governments to accede to the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change,

Welcoming the growing attention paid to good governance,

  1. Emphasises that, to ensure the necessary conditions for orderly foreign exchange movements, vital work remains to be done, especially in the areas of exchange rate regimes - including the pegging of currencies to baskets comprising currencies of major trading partners, the liberalisation of capital accounts, the introduction of capital controls and the regulation of hedge funds and currency trading;

  2. Calls for the development of appropriate regulatory safeguards for capital markets, which ensure transparency and the application of valuation and disclosure norms, and in general promote the harmonisation and improvement of world accountancy standards;

  3. Urges international financial and monetary institutions to give more thought, when drawing up structural adjustment plans, to the specific characteristics of each country and to strive for a political and social consensus on these reforms;

  4. Also urges that, in areas where recommendations have received broad support, emerging, developing and developed countries implement such recommendations promptly so as to improve global financial stability and, more importantly, promote sustainable development;

  5. Stresses the urgent need for recommendations to be agreed and implemented as a matter of priority by various forums and bodies of the United Nations and of the Inter-Parliamentary Union;

  6. Urges that the recommendations of the UNESCO World Conference on Science (Budapest, 26 June - 1 July 1999) be taken into account in negotiations on trade, development and the environment;

  7. Believes that it is necessary for developing countries to be well represented in the consultations currently under way to reform the international financial architecture;

  8. Calls on the private sector to match actions taken by governments in order to strengthen best practices on a cooperative and equal basis in a variety of areas, including transparency and disclosure of economic, financial, social and environmental information, as this would significantly enhance the resilience of the global financial system, which is considered crucial to growth-enhancing policies;

  9. Also calls on governments and the various international financial institutions to address unresolved issues concerning the regulation of highly leveraged institutions and to seek a solution to the problem of tax havens and off-shore banking;

  10. Further calls on all donor States to increase the proportion of gross national product (GNP) earmarked for official development assistance in order to meet the internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent of GNP;

  11. Urges national parliaments to promote a contingency credit line in the IMF that would be subject to the same social criteria as other credits;

  12. Calls on international financial institutions to agree to country loans only if they have been ratified by the parliament of the recipient country;

  13. Calls for implementation of the agreement concluded by the Group of Seven (G-7) in Cologne to lighten the debt burden and for all creditor countries to contribute to this unprecedented endeavour on the basis of the principle of equity;

  14. Stresses the urgent need for effective mobilisation of additional financial resources for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative from multilateral, bilateral and corporate sources and, in this connection, expects these limited funds to be used exclusively to overcome poverty and promote widespread sustainable development in the countries concerned;

  15. Invites the Inter-Parliamentary Council to create appropriate mechanisms to follow up the resolutions on the problem of external debt which were adopted at the 99th, 100th, 101st and the present Inter-Parliamentary Conference;

  16. Also invites creditor countries, private banks and multilateral finance institutions to pursue, within their respective purviews, efforts to address the commercial debt problems of the least developed countries and to ensure that the resources requested continue to be mobilised through the Debt-Reduction Facility of the International Development Association in order to help the least developed countries to reduce their commercial debt;

  17. Calls on all governments to refrain from taking unilateral financial and economic actions that undermine the economic development of other countries;

  18. Also calls on global financial and economic institutions to ensure that women participate on an equal footing in decision-making that concerns multinational financial and commercial issues;

  19. Recommends that the IPU and the World Bank enhance their institutional links, in particular, with regard to ensuring follow-up to the present resolution;

  20. Calls on the developed countries to keep their markets open and to refrain from introducing protectionist measures or artificial non-tariff barriers that would undermine economic recovery in developing countries;

  21. Urges Governments to make every effort to ensure that negotiations on the further liberalisation of trade, including trade in agriculture, at the Seattle Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are broad-based and produce substantial and realistic results;

  22. Calls on Governments to promote transparency and openness in the WTO and facilitate participation in the WTO negotiating process by appropriate bodies of the United Nations, the IPU and civil society institutions recognised by the United Nations;

  23. Advocates sustainable agricultural practices in all countries and, to this end, the provision for developing countries of agricultural machinery, technology and fertilisers which are adapted to the agro-climatic aspects of regional development policies;

  24. Urges Governments to take action against private and public companies and individuals involved in illegal cross-border trade, illegal financial transactions and dumping practices.
    * After the adoption of the text, the delegation of Japan made known its reservations on paragraph 15 and its objection to paragraph 17.

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