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Resolution adopted unanimously by the 126th IPU Assembly
(Kampala, 5 April 2012)

The 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Convinced that the governance structures of international institutions must be democratized so as to ensure that representative voices of all the world’s people are heard,

Mindful that it is extremely urgent to respond effectively to acute and increasing global challenges transcending national borders, all of which threaten the future of humanityandinclude climate change, the sustainability and security of natural resources, the food crisis, lack of respect for human rights, the failure of financial systems and international trade arrangements, international terrorism and organized crime,

Aware that the priorities of existing multilateral institutions and forums are too often dominated by the interests of certain powerful States and their economies, and that the preoccupations of these States frequently marginalize the needs of those nations and peoples most exposed to the consequences of the economic, social, cultural and political crises with which the multilateral institutions endeavour to grapple,

Considering that the great powers disproportionately generate the very challenges that preoccupy them and affect the world as a whole,

Recognizing that lasting stability and security depend on the representative, transparent, accountable and effective nature of political systems and their institutions, and that this holds true at the neighbourhood, local, provincial, national and international levels,

Concerned that there remains a high degree of underrepresentation of women in positions of power, not only in parliaments and government, but also in international institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank, and that gender mainstreaming is greatly needed to enable women to participate in and contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Mindful that the effective participation of women in all spheres of decision-making and at all levels is crucial for relevant, successful and effective policies, and that the ownership of the agendas of global political institutions must therefore belong to all their constituent members and reflect their different perspectives,

Considering that speedy reform is essential at all levels to provide for inclusive and democratic decision-making and problem-solving and to combat alienation and instability,

Recalling that the preamble and Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations spell out the objectives: "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, … to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, … to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social cultural and humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion",

  1. Expresses its conviction that it is imperative for international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, to take immediate steps to ensure that their structures and arrangements for governance - including the preparation of agendas, voting arrangements, decision-making processes, records of proceedings and methods of appointing Chief Executives - are made transparent and genuinely democratic and that all staff appointments are based on merit while seeking to achieve geographical, ethnic and gender balance;
  2. Calls for the establishment alongside the G20 of an inclusive and fully representative global economic council, whose mission would be to coordinate the action of the United Nations and its Member States in the economic and social spheres, and notes that such a global economic council could result from reforms to the current UN Economic and Social Council;
  3. Strongly recommends that the appointment of the United Nations Secretary-General be an open and transparent process aimed at finding the most competent and qualified person for the task;
  4. Demands reform of the membership of the UN Security Council in the near future, particularly regarding its permanent members, that is adapted to the new power balances in the world and gives the Security Council the credibility and effectiveness that it needs in the 21st century to promote peace and international security, as distinct from the post‑1945 era;
  5. Appeals for all appointments within the United Nations system to be made transparently and on the basis of merit while striving to ensure geographical, ethnic and gender balance;
  6. Calls for mandatory registers of lobbyists or accredited observers and bodies to be introduced at the national and international levels of policy- and decision-making wherever applicable and in accordance with the law in order to ensure that their actions are more transparent and citizens are better informed about them;
  7. Believes that, notwithstanding the current financial and economic concerns, climate change, by far the greatest challenge facing humanity, should be consistently and effectively addressed through a fair, transparent and equitable process, fully engaging all sections of civil society and respecting the principles of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, in particular equity and common but differentiated responsibilities;
  8. Calls for sustainable development to be given the highest political priority and welcomes the proposal of the Global Sustainability Panel in the context of Rio+20 to create a global sustainable development council;
  9. Strongly encourages compliance with the requirements of equity and renewal of political commitment to sustainable development based on the Rio principles, both of which should be key objectives of Rio+20 and vital components of legitimate global governance;
  10. Calls upon parliamentarians to advocate strongly these priorities and work for immediate action by their governments to ensure their rapid implementation;
  11. Also calls upon parliamentarians to advocate special measures and incentives to facilitate the inclusion of women from all walks of life in decision-making and agenda-setting processes at the local, national, regional and international levels;
  12. Further calls upon parliamentarians to encourage international institutions to revitalize the women’s agenda globally and to mainstream gender in their objectives, structures and work;
  13. Appeals to parliamentarians to strive to generate widespread public understanding of why these priorities are essential and why any delay in implementing them can no longer be tolerated;
  14. Resolves to ensure that the IPU undertake an annual review of progress worldwide in the areas of integrity, accountability, inclusiveness and fully representative democracy at all levels of power.

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