|Place du Petit-Saconnex, P.O. Box 438, 1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland|
(Marrakech, 17-22 March 2002)
The proceedings of the 107th Inter-Parliamentary Conference began at the Palais des Congrès of Marrakech on the morning of Monday, 18 March with the election by acclamation of Mr. Abdelwahed Radi, President of the House of Representatives of Morocco, as President of the Conference. In the morning of Tuesday, 19 March, during the General Debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world, the Conference heard an address by the Moroccan Prime Minister, Mr. Abderrahman Youssoufi, which was delivered by Mr. Mohamed Bouzoubaa, Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament.
The Prime Minister emphasised the need to strengthen the multilateral system by establishing and consolidating international rules accepted by all, particularly in the trade, monetary and environmental fields. As a quasi universal institution, the Inter-Parliamentary Union had a vocation to contribute to a more human and less exclusive form of globalisation that showed greater respect for the plurality of lifestyles and cultures. He said that because it was a prestigious multilateral political forum, the Inter-Parliamentary Union had to work in conformity with the spirit of its founders to promote peace, particularly in the Middle East, on the basis of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.
During the same sitting, the Conference heard an address by the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura. He emphasised the fact that for some globalisation threatened cultural standardisation and domination; for others it threatened to accelerate the demise of local cultures and indigenous languages. He said that lawmakers had a vital role to play in improving inter-cultural dialogue and underlined the importance of cooperation between the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNESCO.
1. Inaugural Ceremony
The 107th Inter-Parliamentary Conference was inaugurated on 17 March at a ceremony in the Palais des Congrès in the presence of His Majesty King Mohamed VI. Inaugural addresses were delivered by Mr. Abdelwahed Radi, President of the House of Representatives of Morocco, Mr. Ruud Lubbers, Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Dr. Najma Heptulla, President of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The ceremony concluded with an address by the King, who declared the 107th Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union officially open.
Delegations of the Parliaments of the following 126 countries took part in the work of the Conference : Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.
The following Associate Members also took part in the Conference: the Andean Parliament, the Central American 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: United Nations, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF); (iii) League of Arab States, African Union, African Parliamentary Union (APU), Amazonian Parliament, Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU), Association of Asian Parliamentarians for Peace (AAPP), Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA), Maghreb Consultative Council, Nordic Council, Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC), Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and the Russian Federation, Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Parliamentary Assembly for Euro-Arab Cooperation (PAEAC), Parliamentary Union of the OIC States (PUOICM), Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC); (iv) Amnesty International, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Of the total of 1349 delegates who attended the Conference, 663 were members of national parliaments. The parliamentarians included 46 presiding officers of parliament, 34 deputy presiding officers and 152 women parliamentarians (23 %).
3. Choice of a Supplementary Item
The Conference had before it ten requests for the inclusion of a supplementary item which were presented within the statutory deadline by the delegations of Cuba, Egypt, Germany (supported by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Hungary, Norway and the United Kingdom), India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kuwait and South Africa.
At the beginning of the consideration of the item, the President announced that the delegations of Egypt, Germany, India, and the Islamic Republic of Iran had agreed to merge their proposals and present their subject under the following wording: Terrorism – a threat to democracy, human rights and civil society: the contribution of parliaments to combating international terrorism and addressing its causes in order to maintain international peace and security.
The President also informed the Conference that the delegations of Cuba, Israel, Italy, Kuwait and South Africa had withdrawn their proposals in support of the new wording on the question of terrorism.
Two proposals remained for consideration by the Conference. The President gave the floor to the delegation of Iraq, which after making a statement on its proposal, withdrew it.
After consulting the Conference, the President declared the newly worded proposal on terrorism adopted unanimously.
4. Choice of an Emergency Supplementary Item
The Conference had before it a proposal submitted by the delegation of Morocco entitled: The role of Parliaments in supporting implementation of resolution 1397 adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 12 March 2002 and particularly the paragraph in which the Council expresses its attachment to "a vision of a region in which two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognised borders."
The Conference decided by consensus on Tuesday, 19 March, to include this item on its agenda. After its inclusion, the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic expressed its reservations on this item as the wording referred only to Resolution 1397 of the United Nations Security Council.
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 morning and afternoon of Monday, 18 March, on the morning of Tuesday, 19 March, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 20 March and on the morning of Thursday, 21 March. A total of 135 speakers from 124 delegations took part in the debate, which was chaired by the President of the Conference. During the various sittings, the President invited the Vice-Presidents from the delegations of Algeria, Angola, Chile, China, Tunisia, Uganda, and the United Kingdom to replace him in the chair.
(b) The role of parliaments in developing public policy in an era of globalisation, multilateral institutions and international trade agreements (Item 4)
This item was considered on 19 and 21 March by the First Study Committee (Political Questions, International Security and Disarmament), that met in two sittings with its President, Mr. A.H. Hanadzlah (Malaysia), in the chair. The Committee had before it 11 memoranda submitted by the delegations of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Congo, Egypt, France, Hungary, Russian Federation, Sudan, Tunisia and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Committee also had before it 19 draft resolutions submitted by the delegations of Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iraq, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians.
A total of 69 speakers from 55 countries took the floor in the two sessions. The meeting also heard statements from representatives of the European Parliament and the World Bank. The Committee subsequently appointed a drafting committee composed of representatives from Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Switzerland.
The drafting committee, after electing Ms. C. September (South Africa) as chairperson and Mr. D. Oliver (Canada) as rapporteur, met throughout the day on 20 March. It used the draft resolution prepared by the delegation of Indonesia as the basis for its deliberations 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 consolidated draft was adopted by consensus.
On 21 March, the Committee reviewed the draft resolution paragraph by paragraph. Five amendments were put forward by the representatives of Canada, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. Four were accepted without a vote and one was rejected after a vote.
On the afternoon of 22 March, Mr. Oliver submitted the First Committee’s draft resolution to the Conference. The resolution was adopted by consensus. After its adoption, a member of the delegation of Iceland stated that his delegation joined the consensus but regretted what it perceived as a negative tone with regard to globalisation.
(c) Ten years after Rio: Global degradation of the environment and parliamentary support for the Kyoto Protocol (Item 5)
This item was considered on 20 and 22 March by the Fourth Study Committee (Committee on Education, Science, Culture and Environment), which met with its President, Mr. J.A. Coloma (Chile) in the chair. The Committee had before it 14 memoranda submitted by the delegations of the following countries: Argentina, Benin, Canada, Chile, Congo, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Morocco, Russian Federation, Sudan and Tunisia and by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; three information documents presented by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); and 20 draft resolutions submitted by the delegations of the parliaments of the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sudan, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela and by the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
A total of 72 speakers from 64 countries and three observers participated in the debate that took place on the morning and afternoon of 20 March. During the debate, the Committee appointed a drafting committee comprising representatives of the parliaments of the following ten countries: Egypt, Gabon, Germany, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela. At the invitation of the Committee President, representatives of the Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Volunteers, the United Nations Development Programme and UNESCO participated in the work of the drafting committee as advisors.
After electing Ms. M. Ganseforth (Germany) as chairperson and Ms. F. Al-Refaie (Egypt) as rapporteur, the drafting committee met on 21 March. It took the draft resolution submitted by the delegation of the United Kingdom as a basis for its work but also drew extensively on the other texts before it and on the proposals and ideas put forward during the debate in the Committee plenary. The resulting consolidated draft was adopted following two votes on amendments.
On the morning of 22 March, the Fourth Committee examined the text submitted to it by the drafting committee and made various additions and amendments. Following a vote, two amendments, the former to delete a specific reference to the United States of America and the latter to delete a paragraph relating to the link between population and sustainable development, were rejected. The Committee then adopted the draft resolution as a whole.
On the afternoon of 22 March, Ms. F. Al-Refaie (Egypt) submitted the Fourth Committee's draft resolution to the 107th Conference, which adopted it by consensus following the rejection of an amendment to delete a specific reference to the United States of America.
(d) Terrorism – a threat to democracy, human rights and civil society: the contribution of parliaments to combating international terrorism and addressing its causes in order to maintain international peace and security (Item 6)
Having decided to add this item to its agenda as a supplementary item, the Conference referred it to the First Study Committee (Political Questions, International Security and Disarmament).
The Committee held two sittings on 20 March and 22 March with its President, Mr. A.H. Hanadzlah (Malaysia), in the chair. He was assisted by the two Vice-Presidents of the Committee, Mr. A. Ogunlewe (Nigeria) and Ms. E. Papadimitriou (Greece). The Committee had before it ten draft resolutions submitted by Cuba, Germany, Guatemala, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kuwait, Philippines, Romania, Switzerland and the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians. It also had before it two information documents submitted by the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and the United Nations Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention.
During the debate on the item at the Committee's sitting of 20 March, 47 speakers took the floor. The Committee then appointed a drafting committee comprising representatives of parliaments of the following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Islamic Republic of Iran and Romania. At the beginning of its work on 21 March, the drafting committee elected Ms. A. Koester-Lossack (Germany) as chairperson and Ms. M. Alva (India) as rapporteur. It took the draft resolution submitted by Germany as a basis for its work. It then supplemented the draft with parts of the other draft resolutions as well as proposals put forward by members of the drafting committee. The resulting draft was then adopted unanimously.
On the morning of 22 March, the First Committee examined the text, introducing several amendments proposed by members.
On the afternoon of 22 March, the Conference adopted the resolution by consensus. Following the adoption of the resolution by the Conference, the delegation of Israel expressed a reservation to the reference, in preambular paragraph 4, to the word 'State'. It also expressed a reservation to the reference, in operative paragraph 8, to "putting an end to occupation".
(e) The role of Parliaments in supporting implementation of Resolution 1397 adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 12 March 2002 and particularly the paragraph in which the Council expresses its attachment to "a vision of a region in which two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognised borders". (Item 7)
On Tuesday 19 March, the Conference decided to include this topic in its agenda under an emergency supplementary item. It then decided to refer it to a drafting committee set up by the Conference Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee appointed Mr. E. Gudfinnsson (Iceland), President of the Third Study Committee, as chairman of a drafting committee composed of a representative of the delegation of Israel, a representative of the delegation of Palestine and a representative of each geopolitical group (Belarus, Egypt, France, Mexico, Morocco, Thailand). The Committee met during the morning of 20 March to prepare a draft resolution.
The draft resolution was adopted by consensus by the Conference at its closing sitting on 22 March. After adoption, the delegations of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic announced that they could not join the consensus, while the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed reservations on those elements of the text which might be construed to imply recognition of Israel.