|>>> VERSION FRANÇAISE|
|Chemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland|
(Nusa Dua, Bali, 29 April - 4 May 2007)
The 116th IPU Assembly opened at the Bali International Convention Centre in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on the morning of Monday, 30 April 2007, with the election by acclamation of Mr. Agung Laksono, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, as President of the Assembly.
The President said that he was honoured to have been elected to preside over the Assembly's work and thanked the Governing Council for having nominated him. He hoped that all the items on the agenda would be debated in depth in the plenary sessions and invited each delegate to contribute to the smooth running of the Assembly.
After opening the general debate on Global warming: Ten years after Kyoto, the President invited Mr. J. Zillman, former President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Reviewer-Editor of the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to take the floor. Mr. Zillman said that climate change was central to everything controlling the distribution of all human and natural systems worldwide and their change over time. Many sectors of most economies were strongly climate-sensitive, and climate change would cost hundreds of billions of dollars and many lives. The mechanisms determining climate patterns and changes were very complex, but it was possible to work out how they might evolve if the external natural or human controlling influences changed. Fifteen years had passed since agreement had been reached on a system of global climate watch, but the resources required to set up the system had not materialized. He urged an immediate injection of funds into the project, as the benefits would greatly outweigh the costs.
Mr. Zillman underlined the work done by the IPCC and strongly advised anyone wishing to understand climate change and its implications to read its complete statement for policy-makers. The statement basically listed the essential ingredients of a more informed debate on climate change: strengthened global international climate observation and research; greater objectivity in interpreting science for policy development; national support for agenda-free public goods research; increased use of risk management methodologies by businesses; avoidance of over-statement of the science by greenhouse zealots; more informed use of the science by greenhouse sceptics; and heightened media emphasis on informing and enlightening as opposed to sensationalizing and polarizing.
On Tuesday, 1 May, the Assembly heard a number of prominent speakers. Mr. H. Wirayudha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, noted that at the end of the Cold War, countries had looked forward to enjoying the blessings of information technology in a world where economic and social development would profit from the peace dividend. Money used for the arms race would be spent on development, and the world would see a greater commitment from the developed countries to help developing countries. Unfortunately, there had been no peace dividend and no peace. Certain ongoing conflicts had remained unresolved and new ones had broken out; in addition, the world now had to contend with international terrorism. Speaking about globalization, the Minister recalled that in the late 1990s Indonesia had launched a process known as Reformasi, in an effort to adjust to a globalized world. The result had been economic reform leading to the equitable sharing of power and resources between central and local government. Indonesia had been transformed in just seven years. At the same time, ASEAN had been undergoing an internal integration process and a free trade area had been in existence since 2002. In conclusion, every successful regional order could add to and enhance a world order in which poverty could be eliminated, the imbalance between nations corrected and the many threats to human security resolved.
Mr. Budiono, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs of Indonesia, addressed the Assembly in the afternoon of 1 May. He recalled Indonesia's 40 years of experience of job creation and poverty alleviation and described its latest initiatives. While goals in themselves were important, it was also important to bear in mind the consequences for the sustainability of the political order. Sustaining economic growth was absolutely essential to overcome unemployment and poverty. He recalled the economic situation in Indonesia and the consequences for employment of the 1997 crisis. The most serious form of instability led to severe disruptions and acted as a brake on economic growth. High inflation rates had serious consequences and therefore had to be avoided; budget deficits required extra caution because they were the first step down the slippery path to instability. Inflation had affected food prices in Indonesia in 1998 and led to increased poverty. Indonesia intended to move towards the regional norm of three to four per cent annual inflation in the coming years. The Indonesian Government had three objectives: to meet basic needs, to empower the people and small enterprises and to promote specially designed projects to generate employment. A national programme had been designed to mitigate the impact of economic crises on the poor and on rural and urban areas. He concluded by saying that job creation and poverty reduction had been the most important goals of a key strategy to stimulate economic growth while maintaining economic stability.
1. Inaugural ceremony
The 116th IPU Assembly was inaugurated on 29 April at a ceremony held at the Bali International Convention Centre, in the presence of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. S. Bambang Yudhoyono. Inaugural addresses were delivered by Mr. A. Laksono, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, Mr. S. Kakakhel, Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, and Mr. P.F. Casini, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The ceremony concluded with a statement by the President of the Republic, who declared the 116th IPU Assembly officially open.
Delegations of the parliaments of the following 111 countries took part in the work of the Assembly: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The following Associate Members also took part in the Assembly: the Andean Parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly, the Latin American Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Observers included representatives of: (i) Palestine; (ii) the United Nations system: United Nations, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Labour Organization (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO); (iii) the League of Arab States; (iv) the African Parliamentary Union (APU), the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO), the Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU), the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), the Confederation of Parliaments of the Americas (COPA), the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA), the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Eurasian Economic Community, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), the Nordic Council, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and the Russian Federation, the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Conference Members (PUOICM), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum, the Transitional Arab Parliament (TAP); and (v) the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Furthermore, a delegation from the National Parliament of Timor-Leste participated as an observer with a view to future affiliation. The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue was invited to follow the work of the Assembly as an observer in the light of the items on the agenda.
Of the 1,148 delegates who attended the Assembly, 588 were members of national parliaments. The parliamentarians included 36 presiding officers, 27 deputy presiding officers and 156 women (26.5%).
3. Choice of an emergency item (Item 2)
The President announced that six proposals for an emergency item had been received by the Secretariat. Following consultation in the Asia-Pacific Group, Indonesia and the Islamic Republic of Iran had withdrawn their proposals in favour of those submitted by Algeria and India and that these four delegations had then submitted a new proposal entitled International cooperation to combat terrorism, its root causes and its financing, including cross-border funding.
Ms. N. Heptulla (India), also speaking on behalf of Algeria, Indonesia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, spoke in favour of their proposal.
Ms. R. Green (Mexico) announced the withdrawal of Mexico's proposal, but again requested that the subject of migration be included in the agenda of the 118th Assembly, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa.
The President of the Assembly, noting the absence of any objections to the proposal submitted by Algeria, India, Indonesia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared that it was unanimously adopted.
4. Debates and decisions of the Assembly and its Standing 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, under the theme of Global warming: Ten years after Kyoto, took place on the mornings and afternoons of 30 April and 1 and 3 May. A total of 110 speakers from 97 delegations took part in the debate, which was chaired by the President of the Assembly. During the sittings, the President invited the Vice-Presidents, who were members of the delegations of the Congo, Estonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, South Africa, Sweden and Tunisia, to replace him in the chair.
At the closing sitting, the President of the Assembly read out a declaration on climate change, which the Assembly then endorsed.
(b) First Standing Committee: Peace and International Security
(i) Ensuring respect for and peaceful co-existence between all religious communities and beliefs in a globalized world (Item 4)
The Committee held three sittings on 30 April and 2 May, with Mr. S.P. Morin (Indonesia), Vice-President, in the chair. In addition to a report and a draft resolution prepared by the co-Rapporteurs, Ms. S. Damen Masri (Jordan) and Mr. P. Bieri (Switzerland), the Committee had before it amendments and sub-amendments to the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Algeria, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden and Venezuela. The first sitting began with the presentation of the report and draft resolution by the co-Rapporteurs. Mr. A. Alatas, former Foreign Minister of Indonesia and member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Group on the Alliance of Civilizations, opened the general debate. A total of 51 speakers from 47 parliaments and two international organizations took the floor during the debate, after which the Standing Committee appointed a drafting committee composed of representatives from Canada, France, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia and Uruguay. Ms. Damen Masri was also invited to participate in the work of the drafting committee, in an advisory capacity.
The drafting committee met on 1 May. It appointed Mr. R. del Picchia (France) as its President. It examined 135 amendments and sub-amendments submitted by 24 delegations, and adopted 35 of them in full or in part. A number of other amendments were accepted, if not in letter, then in spirit, as many were similar in content to the initial draft or to those that had been adopted. At the end of the deliberations, the drafting committee asked its President to serve as rapporteur before the full Committee.
The First Standing Committee considered the consolidated draft on the afternoon of 1 May. Several delegations took the floor to express support for the text. Following a discussion on two paragraphs of the draft resolution, the delegations of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took the floor on behalf of the Arab Group to express reservations to operative paragraph 5.
The draft resolution was submitted to the plenary sitting of the Assembly on the afternoon of 4 May and adopted by consensus, with the reservation to operative paragraph 5 formulated by the Arab Group (click here for the text of the resolution).
(ii) Selection of subject item and co-Rapporteurs for the First Standing Committee at the 118th Assembly
The Bureau of the First Standing Committee met on 2 May with Mr. S.P. Morin (Indonesia), Vice-President, in the chair. It examined proposals submitted by IPU Members for the items to be debated by the First Standing Committee at the 118th Assembly. The Bureau approved the subject item The role of parliaments in striking a balance between national security, human security and individual freedoms, and in averting the threat to democracy, which it subsequently submitted to the First Standing Committee. The Committee agreed to propose that subject item to the Assembly for its inclusion on the agenda of the 118th Assembly. The Assembly subsequently approved that item and appointed Mr. L.M. Suklabaidya (India), Ms. H. Mgabadeli (South Africa) and Lord Morris of Aberavon (United Kingdom) as co-Rapporteurs.
(c) Second Standing Committee: Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade
(i) Job creation and employment security in the era of globalization (Item 5)
The Committee held two sittings on 1 and 3 May, with its President, Mr. A. Fomenko (Russian Federation), in the chair. In addition to a report and a preliminary draft resolution prepared by the co-Rapporteurs, Ms. E. Salguero Carrillo (Bolivia) and Mr. O. Abu Ghararah (Saudi Arabia), the Committee had before it amendments to the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay. A separate set of amendments was submitted by the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians.
A total of 52 speakers from 47 countries and one international organization took the floor during the plenary debate, following which the Standing Committee appointed a drafting committee composed of representatives from Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Venezuela.
The drafting committee met in the morning and afternoon of 2 May. It appointed Ms. J. Fitzsimons (New Zealand) as its President and Mr. M. El-Tigani (Sudan) as its Rapporteur. The committee examined 209 amendments to the preliminary draft resolution and adopted 90 of them either fully or in part. A number of other amendments were accepted, if not in letter, then in spirit, as many were similar in content to those that were adopted. The amended draft was adopted by the drafting committee by consensus.
On the morning of 3 May, the Second Standing Committee considered the consolidated draft. Delegates asked for clarification on some paragraphs, following which the draft was adopted as a whole. In the afternoon of 4 May, the draft was submitted to the plenary sitting of the Assembly, which adopted it unanimously (click here for the text of the resolution).
(ii) Selection of subject item and co-Rapporteurs for the Second Standing Committee at the 118th Assembly
The Bureau of the Second Standing Committee met on 2 May with the Committee's President, Mr. A. Fomenko, in the chair. It examined proposals submitted by IPU Members for the items to be debated by the Second Standing Committee at the 118th Assembly. The Bureau approved the subject item Parliamentary oversight of State policies on foreign aid, which it subsequently submitted to the Second Standing Committee. The Committee agreed to propose that subject item to the Assembly for its inclusion in the agenda of the 118th Assembly and nominated Mr. E.P.B. Quenum (Benin) and Mr. F. X. De Donnea (Belgium) as co-Rapporteurs for that item. The item and the co-Rapporteurs were subsequently approved by the Assembly.
(d) Third Standing Committee: Democracy and Human Rights
(i) Promoting diversity and equal rights for all through universal democratic and electoral standards (Item 5)
The Committee held three sittings, on 1, 2 and 3 May, with its President, Mr. J.-K. Yoo (Republic of Korea), in the chair. Mr. Yoo shared his duties with Ms. B. Gadient (Switzerland), Vice-President. The Committee had before it a report and a draft resolution drawn up by the co-Rapporteurs, Mr. J.D. Seelam (India) and Ms. N. Narotchnitskaya (Russian Federation), along with amendments to the draft resolution submitted by the delegations of Algeria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Venezuela. In all, 55 speakers took part in the debate, after which the Committee designated a drafting committee composed of representatives of Bahrain, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zambia. The drafting committee met on 2 May. It began its work by naming Mr. M.A.K. Swati (Pakistan) as its President and Ms. D. Stump (Switzerland) as its Rapporteur. It considered the draft resolution in detail and improved the text by incorporating some of the amendments proposed.
On 3 May, the Standing Committee considered the consolidated text of the draft resolution and adopted it unanimously. The draft resolution was adopted unanimously by the Assembly, meeting in plenary on 4 May (click here for the text of the resolution).
(ii) Selection of subject item and co-Rapporteurs for the Third Standing Committee at the 118th Assembly
The Bureau of the Third Standing Committee met on 2 May with the Committee's President, Mr. J. K. Yoo (Republic of Korea) in the chair. It examined proposals submitted by IPU Members to be debated by the Committee at the 118th Assembly. The Bureau approved the subject item Empowering citizens through an effective right-to-information regime.
However, after further debate, the Third Standing Committee decided at its sitting on 3 May to propose that the subject item Migrant workers, people trafficking, xenophobia and human rights be placed on the agenda of the 118th Assembly. It also nominated Mr. C. Camacho (Mexico) and Mr. A. Dismore (United Kingdom) as co-Rapporteurs for that item. The Assembly subsequently approved the proposed subject and the co-Rapporteurs.
(e) Emergency item
International cooperation to combat terrorism, its root causes and its financing, including cross-border funding (item 8)
On 30 April, the Assembly decided to include the above-mentioned topic in its agenda. It referred it to a drafting committee composed of representatives of Algeria, Canada, Denmark, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Switzerland and Venezuela. The drafting committee appointed Mr. B. Souilah (Algeria) as its President and the delegate from the Islamic Republic of Iran as its Rapporteur. The drafting committee met on 1, 2 and 3 May. It adopted a draft resolution that was submitted to the Assembly on 4 May for consideration.
Before the President called upon the rapporteur of the drafting committee, he gave the floor to Mr. R. Del Picchia (France) on a point of order. Mr. Del Picchia read a statement in which the Twelve Plus Group expressed regret that the drafting committee on the emergency item had failed to take note of the advice of the IPU Secretary General to the effect that the resolution as drafted contravened IPU rules. That view was shared by the IPU President and had been endorsed by the Assembly Steering Committee and conveyed to the President of the Assembly. The Twelve Plus Group believed that the emergency item did not conform to the rules. If the President of the Assembly was unwilling to abide by the ruling of the IPU President and allowed the resolution to proceed, the Twelve Plus Group would not participate in any proceedings or vote on that item.
Mr. A. Toha (Indonesia) said that no rule had been broken; the resolution originally submitted by Algeria, Indonesia, India and the Islamic Republic of Iran was a completely new proposal. The President of the Assembly Steering Committee had referred to a 1991 decision whereby an amendment to the title of an emergency item should not have as its purpose to incorporate the text of another proposal, but that did not apply to the proposal submitted to the Assembly, as it was not an amendment but an entirely new proposal. Furthermore, the draft resolution did not condemn any particular country. He recalled that Indonesia, in particular Bali, had been a victim of terrorism and stressed that millions of people were leaving Iraq and becoming a problem for neighbouring countries as a result of an ever-increasing number of terrorist acts. The American Congress had voted in favour of starting to withdraw American troops from Iraq as of 1 October 2007, and the draft resolution before the Assembly could therefore not be considered as hostile. The text of the resolution was not in contravention of IPU rules and therefore should be adopted by the Assembly.
In the ensuing discussion, delegates from Japan, Venezuela, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Jordan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, India, Botswana and Chile took the floor, expressing their support for or opposition to the text of the resolution. In response to a request from the delegate of the Republic of Korea, the President of the Assembly asked the Secretary General to provide clarification.
The Secretary General stated that Article 14.2 of the Statutes and Rule 11 of the Assembly Rules were very clear: one, and only one, emergency item could be adopted by the Assembly. At the outset, the 116th Assembly had had before it six proposals for the emergency item: three on terrorism, one on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, one on global warming and one on migration. Following the negotiations that had taken place during the first days of the Assembly, some proposals had been withdrawn and a new proposal tabled: it concerned terrorism, not the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. To consider it otherwise would be a contravention of the articles he had referred to, an opinion that was fully in line with consistent practice at IPU meetings, which was based on the highest standards of transparency for parliamentary procedures. The Secretary General also recalled that the Executive Committee and the Assembly Steering Committee had often intervened in the past to thwart attempts to refer to particular countries in IPU resolutions, which were, in principle, generic in nature. He suggested that the Assembly hear the drafting committee's report, take note that some delegations did not wish to participate in the vote on this text, and request the Executive Committee to propose amendments to the Statutes and Rules to avoid similar situations in the future. After the presentation of the drafting committee's report, delegations could express, if they so wished, their reservations.
The President of the Assembly said that he had received a letter from the IPU President and read out his reply. Two proposals had been submitted for an emergency item, one by Mexico, the other by the delegations of Algeria, India, Indonesia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mexico had withdrawn its proposal, and the Assembly had approved the inclusion of the item under discussion. In his opinion, no rules had been broken and it was within his competence, as President of the Assembly and of the Assembly Steering Committee, to make the decision he had reached. He invited the rapporteur of the drafting committee to present his report.
Following the presentation by the rapporteur, the resolution was adopted without a vote.