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Jakarta 2000

104th INTER-PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE
Jakarta (Indonesia), 15 - 21 October 2000

Contents:

  1. Inaugural ceremony
  2. Participation
  3. Choice of a supplementary items
  4. Choice of an emergency supplementary items
  5. Proceedings and decisions of the Conference and its Study Committees

The proceedings of the 104th Inter-Parliamentary Conference began at the Jakarta Conference Centre on the morning of Monday, 16 October 2000 with the election by acclamation of Mr. Akbar Tandjung, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, as President of the Conference.

In the afternoon of 17 October, during the General Debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world, the Conference was addressed by Her Excellency, Mrs. Megawati Soekarnoputri, Vice-President of the Republic of Indonesia, who spoke of the latest developments in Indonesia and described what was being done by the Indonesian Government to lay the policy foundations for comprehensive reforms. She also expressed her hope that the Conference would provide opportunities for discussion of the problems facing the nations once referred to as the "South", saying that history was more about people than about governments.

1. INAUGURAL CEREMONY

The 104th Inter-Parliamentary Conference was inaugurated on 15 October at a ceremony in the Nusantara Hall of the Parliament Buildings in the presence of His Excellency Mr. K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid, President of the Republic of Indonesia. Inaugural addresses were delivered by Mr. Akbar Tandjung and Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, President of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The ceremony concluded with an address by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, who declared the 104th Inter-Parliamentary Conference officially open.

Extracts from the inaugural speeches will be published in the Inter-Parliamentary Bulletin (N 2, 2000).

2. PARTICIPATION

Delegations of the Parliaments of the following 108 countries took part in the work of the Conference: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

The following Associate Members also took part in the Conference: the Andean Parliament, the European Parliament, the Latin American Parliament, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The observers included representatives of: (i) Palestine; (ii) United Nations system: International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF); (iii) International Organization for Migration (IOM); (iv) African Parliamentary Union (APU), Amazonian Parliament, Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU), Association of European Parliamentarians for (Southern) Africa (AWEPA), Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Maghreb Consultative Council, Nordic Council, Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation (PABSEC), Parliamentary Union of the OIC States (PUOICM); (v) International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Of the total of 1,229 delegates who attended the Conference, 563 were parliamentarians and 20 were observers. The parliamentarians included 28 presiding officers of parliament, 36 deputy presiding officers and 135 women parliamentarians (24%).

3. CHOICE OF A SUPPLEMENTARY ITEM

When this agenda item was addressed on the morning of 16 October, the Conference had before it 4 requests for the inclusion of a supplementary item presented by the delegations of Algeria (on behalf of Parliaments of Arab countries), Belgium, Italy, and South Africa.

Before the start of the first sitting of the Conference, the following delegations, which had submitted within the statutory deadline proposals for the supplementary item, withdrew their proposals: Germany: "Free and Fair Elections"; Nigeria: "Debt forgiveness in the interests of sustainable development in developing economies"; Argentina: "The problem of money laundering: perspectives for a global policy"; and Kuwait: "Contribution of parliamentarians to the release and repatriation of prisoners of war". The latter withdrew in order to support the Algerian proposal. Furthermore, the Conference, in accordance with Article 20 of its Rules, did not consider the proposal submitted by Israel: "Closing the technological and "digital divide" gaps between the industrialised and emerging nations", as the sponsor of this proposal did not attend the Conference.

Following statements by the authors of the four remaining proposals and contrary opinions in two cases, a vote was held by roll call with the following outcome:

  • The item proposed by the Parliament of Italy entitled "Action by parliaments to halt the use of minors in military operations": 711 votes to 365, with 310 abstentions;
  • The item proposed by the Parliament of Algeria (on behalf of the Parliaments of Arab countries) entitled "The role of parliamentarians in the peaceful settlement of regional disputes with a view to establishing worldwide peace and security": 537 votes to 491, with 358 abstentions;
  • The item proposed by the Parliament of South Africa entitled "Responding to natural disasters in developing countries": 903 votes to 255, with 228 abstentions;
  • The item proposed by the Parliament of Belgium entitled "Are embargoes and economic sanctions still ethically acceptable, do they still work, and are they suited to achieving their purpose in an ever more globalised world?": 960 votes to 178, with 248 abstentions;
The proposal of the Parliament of Belgium, having received not only the necessary two-thirds majority but also the highest number of affirmative votes, was added to the agenda as item 7.

4. CHOICE OF AN EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTARY ITEM

The Conference had received three proposals for an emergency supplementary item to be considered by the Conference as follows: Morocco "The role of parliamentarians in bringing an end to the tension and confrontation in the Middle East, and action to save the peace process"; Algeria "Striving for respect for the Geneva Conventions: security and protection of Palestinian civilians" and from Indonesia "Bringing an end to Israeli acts of violence against Palestinian citizens and action to save the peace process".

At the opening of the afternoon sitting of the Conference on Monday, 16 October, the authors of these three proposals submitted one single merged proposal entitled "Bringing an end to the tension and violence in the Middle East, protecting civilians in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, and action to save the peace process in accordance with the relevant United Nations Resolutions".

Following a statement by Mr. M.D. Susilo from Indonesia who spoke on behalf of the three co-authors, and no delegation having wished to express a contrary opinion, the proposal was adopted by consensus.

5. PROCEEDINGS AND DECISIONS OF THE CONFERENCE AND ITS STUDY COMMITTEES

(a) General Debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world (item 3)

The General Debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world took place on the afternoon of Monday, 16 October, all day on Tuesday, 17 October, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 18 October and all day on Thursday, 19 October. A total of 126 speakers from 102 delegations took part in the debate, which was chaired by the President of the Conference. The President invited the Vice-Presidents belonging to the delegations of the following countries to replace him in the chair: Botswana, Cameroon, El Salvador, Germany, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lithuania, Nepal, Switzerland and Zambia.

(b) The prevention of military and other coups against democratically elected governments and against the free will of the peoples expressed through direct suffrage and action to address grave violations of human rights of parliamentarians (item 4)

This item was considered on 17 and 19 October by the Second Committee (Parliamentary, Juridical and Human Rights Questions). The proceedings of this Committee were chaired by its President Mr. J. T. Nonô (Brazil). It had before it 8 memoranda submitted by the delegations of Argentina, Australia, Chile, Congo, Egypt, Israel, Japan and Switzerland, as well as two information documents submitted by the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and the Secretariat. It also had before it 14 draft resolutions submitted by the delegations of Australia, Canada, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Philippines and the United Kingdom.

A total of 55 speakers from 49 countries addressed the two sessions devoted to the general debate on the topic. Subsequently, the Committee appointed a drafting committee comprising representatives of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Congo, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The drafting committee met all day on 18 October. At the beginning of its work, it elected Mr. E. Jurgens (Netherlands) as its President and Mr. D. Oliver (Canada) as its Rapporteur. It adopted unanimously a draft resolution that drew on the memoranda and draft resolutions that had been submitted by the delegations of Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

At its sitting on 19 October, the Second Committee received the report of the Rapporteur and adopted by acclamation the draft resolution as proposed by the drafting committee.

At its closing session on 20 October, the Conference adopted by consensus the Second Committee's draft resolution.

(c) Financing for development and a new paradigm of economic and social development designed to eradicate poverty (item 5)

This item was considered on 18 and 20 October by the Third Committee (on Economic and Social Questions), which met with one of its Vice-Presidents, Mr. B. Boukernous (Algeria), in the chair. The Committee had before it 12 memoranda, submitted by delegations from Australia, Chile, Congo, Egypt, Estonia, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iraq, Japan and Switzerland, as well as one from Mr. L. A. León (Argentina); one information document prepared by the IPU Secretariat; and 23 draft resolutions submitted by Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Philippines, Russian Federation, Tunisia, United Kingdom, Latin American Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians, and Mr. L. A. León (Argentina).

A total of 65 speakers from 59 countries and two international organisations participated in the debate that took place throughout the day on 18 October. It is noteworthy that one-third of the speakers were women. The Committee appointed a drafting committee comprising representatives from the Parliaments of the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Benin, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria and Uruguay. A representative of the World Bank participated in the work of the Committee as adviser. The drafting committee, after electing Mrs. C. Gallus (Australia) as its President and Mr. Y. Tavernier (France) as its Rapporteur, met throughout the day on 19 October. It took the draft resolution submitted by Japan as a basis for its work but also drew extensively on many of the other texts before it and on the proposals and ideas put forward during the debate in Committee. The resulting consolidated draft was adopted without a vote.

In the morning of 20 October, the Third Committee examined the text submitted to it by the drafting committee and adopted it without a vote.

In the afternoon of 20 October, Mr. Y. Tavernier (France) submitted the Third Committee's draft resolution to the 104th Conference, which adopted it without a vote. After the adoption of the resolution, the delegation of India took the floor to express regret that the resolution made no mention of natural disasters.

(d) Are embargoes and economic sanctions still ethically acceptable, do they still work, and are they suited to achieving their purpose in an ever more globalised world? (item 7)

Having decided to add this item to its agenda, the Conference referred it to the First Study Committee (on political questions, international security and disarmament), which examined it on 18 and 20 October with its President, Mr. A.H. Hanadzlah (Malaysia) in the chair. The Committee had before it three draft resolutions submitted by the delegations of Belgium, Iran (Islamic Republic of) and Iraq.

In the morning of 18 October, the Committee held a debate on this item during which 29 delegates took the floor. At the close of the debate, the Committee appointed a drafting committee composed of delegates from the following countries: Belgium, Benin, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Romania. The drafting committee met throughout the day on 19 October and began its work by electing Mr. R. Ahouandjinou (Benin) as President and Mrs. M-J. Laloy (Belgium) as Rapporteur. Taking the draft resolution from the Belgian delegation as a basis for its work and also drawing on those of the Iranian and Iraqi delegations, the committee reviewed sanctions in all their forms and in all contexts covered before preparing a consolidated text which was approved by consensus.

In the morning of 20 October, the First Committee began by hearing the report of Mrs. Laloy, then rejected by 14 votes to 12, with four abstentions, an amendment to the draft text to delete some words from the thirteenth preambular paragraph. A second amendment to replace operative paragraph 4 which called for the lifting of all sanctions of a global economic nature by another which advocated reassessing all other sanction regimes currently in force was adopted by 17 votes to 12, with four abstentions. The text of the draft resolution, as amended, was adopted without a vote. Lastly, the Committee asked Mrs. Laloy to report to the Conference on the work of the Committee.

In the afternoon of 20 October, the Rapporteur submitted the draft resolution at the Conference's final plenary sitting. The delegation of Iraq proposed replacing operative paragraph 4 by the text that had been proposed by the drafting committee but rejected by the First Committee, as indicated above. The Conference then adopted this amendment by 592 votes to 517, with 105 abstentions. The Norwegian delegation subsequently requested a vote on the resolution as a whole, which was adopted by 834 votes to 245, with 159 abstentions.

(e) Bringing an end to the tension and violence in the Middle East, protecting civilians in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, and action to save the peace process in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions (item 8)

The Steering Committee of the Conference nominated on 17 October a drafting committee composed of representatives of the following countries: Algeria, France, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Thailand and Uruguay to prepare a draft resolution on this item. The Committee, at its first meeting on that day, elected Mr. M. Vauzelle (France) as its Chairman. The Committee invited the observers of Palestine and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist it in its work. At its second meeting, on 18 October, the Committee agreed by consensus on a draft resolution.

On 19 October, the President of the drafting committee introduced the draft resolution to the Conference explaining that it was based on the draft submitted by the three co-sponsors as well as the resolution of the United Nations Security Council approved on 7 October 2000, and the declaration made by the President of the United States on 17 October following the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh. The Conference proceeded to a vote at the request of the delegation of Slovakia. The resolution was approved with 987 votes in favour, 61 against and 131 abstentions. Following the vote, the delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated that his delegation opposed any reference that might imply recognition of the State of Israel.

(f) Amendments to the Statutes of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (item 6)

At its sitting on 20 October, the Conference adopted two amendments to the Statutes, proposed by the Council: to amend Article 6 of the Statutes changing the date for submission of annual reports by the member parliaments from the end of March to the end of January and to amend Article 27.3 of the Statutes replacing the provision that the budget of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments shall be part of the budget of the IPU by a provision stating that the IPU shall make an annual contribution towards the budget of the ASGP.

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