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OVERVIEW OF MAIN EVENTS AND DECISIONS
(Geneva, 17-20 March 2014)
1. Opening of the Assembly
The 130th Assembly opened at the Centre international de Conférences de Genève (CICG) on the morning of Monday, 17 March 2014. The President of the IPU, Mr. Abdelwahad Radi, welcomed the participants and declared the Assembly officially open. He then chaired the Assembly’s deliberations.
In his opening statement, the President underscored the fact that the Assembly was a particularly special one, as it was marking the 125th anniversary of the IPU. It was therefore only appropriate that the General Debate running throughout the Assembly would focus on the theme of The IPU at 125: Renewing our commitment to peace and democracy. The President recalled that the IPU, founded on the fundamental precept that peace could only be achieved through dialogue, negotiation and international arbitration, had laid the groundwork for today’s institutionalized multilateral cooperation. It had advocated the establishment of corresponding institutions at the intergovernmental level, which had eventually led to the creation of the United Nations, had engaged as a neutral facilitator of parliamentary diplomacy, and had helped to bridge the democracy gap in international relations.
Referring to the role of parliament in promoting peace and democracy in the world, the President stressed: “What our Founding Fathers had envisioned over a hundred years ago is still as valid and true today as ever before. History has taught us many important lessons over the years, not least that lasting peace and security can only be achieved through inclusive and participatory processes embodied in a representative and elected parliament. From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, whose aftershocks can still be felt today, there are valuable lessons to be learned about people power”.
Turning to the main issues on the Assembly agenda, the President underscored the crucial importance of parliamentary action in pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons. There was also a need for parliamentary action in the area of risk-resilient development, linked to demographic trends and natural constraints, as well as in protecting children’s rights - especially the rights of unaccompanied migrant children - and preventing their exploitation in situations of armed conflict. The world was rife with multiple conflicts, as in the Central African Republic, Syrian Arab Republic and Ukraine, which also needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
President Radi welcomed the participation at the inaugural ceremony of Mr. Michael Møller, Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. It was only natural for the United Nations to join the IPU on such an auspicious occasion, given the growing strategic partnership between the two organizations in the key areas of peace, development, democracy and human rights. Mr. Møller, in turn, said: “We continue to see on a daily basis the critical role that parliaments play in promoting a better world for all. You are the voice of your constituents; you translate their needs into action. We also continue to see a lack of trust in governance structures and traditional ways of doing business. This lack of trust has manifested itself in protests across the world, in some countries even in conflict and violence. The message is clear: people want responsive governments and institutions, and accountable leaders. I am sure that in the next few days, this challenge will feature prominently in your discussions.” Mr. Møller welcomed the IPU’s promotion of greater international involvement of parliaments and paid tribute to the contribution made by the outgoing Secretary General of the IPU, Mr. Anders B. Johnsson, to that process.
President Radi paid a formal tribute to the outgoing Secretary General, enumerating his long list of accomplishments and lauding Mr. Johnsson’s dedication and commitment to the IPU. He presented him with a token of appreciation in the form of a painting of the House of Parliaments, which was very much Mr. Johnsson’s brainchild. “This House of stone and stained glass”, he said, “will stand as a lasting reminder of the tremendous legacy you bequeath to this organization”.
The leaders of the six geopolitical groups of the IPU then took the floor: Ms. M. Nasha (Botswana) on behalf of the African Group, Mr. M. Al-Ghanim (Kuwait) on behalf of the Arab Group, Ms. B. Boupha (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Group, Ms. V. Petrenko (Russian Federation) on behalf of the Eurasia Group, Mr. D. Vivas Velasco (Venezuela) on behalf of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Mr. R. del Picchia (France) on behalf of the Twelve Plus Group. All expressed their gratitude and deep appreciation for the tireless efforts and remarkable achievements of Mr. Johnsson during his tenure as IPU Secretary General. Those included: developing an effective IPU programme for building strong democratic parliaments; transforming the IPU into a truly gender-sensitive organization; promoting the IPU's flagship gender equality programme; as well as formulating the IPU’s first Strategy and shaping the parliamentary dimension which the IPU currently brought to international cooperation and to the work of the United Nations.
Delegations from the parliaments of the following 145 countries took part in the work of the Assembly:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The following Associate Members also took part in the Assembly: the Arab Parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), the Inter-Parliamentary Committee of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Observers comprised representatives of: (i) the United Nations system: United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Labour Office (ILO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), World Trade Organization (WTO); (ii) International Organization for Migration (IOM); (iii) African Parliamentary Union (APU), Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU), Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), Inter-Parliamentary Union of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IPU-IGAD), Maghreb Consultative Council, Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC), Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (OSCE PA), Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkic-Speaking Countries (TURKPA), Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, Confederation of Parliaments of the Americas (COPA), Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC); (iv) Socialist International; (v) Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), World Future Council and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND).
Of the 1,349 delegates who attended the Assembly, 705 were members of national parliaments. The parliamentarians included 47 presiding officers, 34 deputy presiding officers and 214 women (30.4%).
3. Choice of an emergency item
On 17 March, the President informed the Assembly that the following four requests had been received for the inclusion of an emergency item:
Canada’s initial proposal, The crisis in Ukraine, had been revised to Aggression against Ukraine following consultations with Ukraine. An emergency item previously proposed by the delegation of Uruguay on cyber warfare was withdrawn and re-submitted as a proposal for a subject item to be taken up by the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security.
After taking the floor, the delegation of Ukraine decided to withdraw its proposal in favour of the revised proposal from Canada. Following a roll-call vote, the proposal put forward by Morocco was adopted and added to the agenda as Item 9.
4. Debates and decisions of the Assembly and its Standing Committees
(a) General Debate on The IPU at 125: Renewing our commitment to peace and democracy
Over three days, representatives of 97 Member Parliaments, including 34 Speakers of Parliament, and nine regional parliamentary assemblies and Observer delegations, took the floor to address the anniversary theme of the General Debate. The debate was particularly rich and substantive, concluding with a Summary by the Chair, endorsed by the membership at the last sitting of the Assembly.
In the afternoon of 17 March, the Speaker of the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia, Mr. Mustafa Ben Jaafar, addressed the Assembly. It was in Tunisia that the Arab Spring had begun, and today Tunisia was succeeding in the transition to democracy. After the fall of the old regime, parliament had played a key role in leading the country out of crisis. It was parliament – the first legitimate institution – that had elected the President of the Republic, established the government, and drafted and adopted the new Constitution. That was tangible proof of the important and strategic role of parliaments in all societies aspiring to democracy and peace.
Tunisia’s new Constitution, adopted by an overwhelming majority in January 2014, was one of consensus. It took account of the various groups and wide range of beliefs in Tunisian society. It met the needs of the Tunisian people and guaranteed fundamental individual and collective rights. It also guaranteed freedom of conscience and gender equality. The Constitution contained a provision guaranteeing equal representation of men and women in parliament and other elected bodies. The example set by Tunisia, in both form and substance, could well serve as an inspiration to other countries affected by the Arab Spring in their efforts to overcome the difficulties they faced.
In the morning of 18 March, IOM Director General, Mr. William Lacy Swing, addressed the Assembly as part of the series of open debates organized by the IPU with heads of UN specialized agencies and other international organizations. Mr. Swing delivered a passionate and compelling presentation on why migration was inevitable, necessary and – if managed well – desirable. He underscored how migration, historically, had been an overwhelmingly positive process: providing an engine for growth in the ageing societies of the North, ensuring an essential inflow of money in the form of remittances for the countries in the South, and generally becoming an undeniable trend of the 21st century. Mr. Swing gave a frank account of the challenges that needed to be addressed: the forced migration from areas of conflict such as the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Syria, or from countries struck by major natural disasters, such as Haiti and the Philippines, the danger faced by migrants in their journey to new destinations, and the rise in anti-immigration sentiment in many countries, fostered by an appalling lack of political leadership. Mr. Swing then engaged in an interactive debate with participants, focusing on what parliamentarians could do to better address the inevitable reality of migration.
(b) Standing Committee on Peace and International Security
(i) Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: The contribution of parliaments (Item 4)
The Committee held two sittings, on 17 and 18 March, with its President, Mr. S.H. Chowdhury (Bangladesh), in the Chair. Along with the explanatory memorandum and draft resolution prepared by the co-Rapporteurs, Ms. Y. Ferrer Gómez (Cuba) and Mr. B. Calkins (Canada), the Committee had before it amendments to the draft resolution submitted by the following delegations: Canada, China, Cuba, France, Hungary, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Mongolia, Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, Venezuela and Senator María de los Angeles Higonet of Argentina.
At the beginning of the first sitting, the two co‑Rapporteurs presented the explanatory memorandum and the draft resolution, which they had jointly prepared. The Committee heard a presentation by the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Mr. L. Zerbo. A total of 29 speakers from various parliaments took the floor during the discussion, after which the Committee appointed a drafting committee comprising representatives of the following countries: Bahrain, Canada, Cuba, France, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jordan, Mali, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russian Federation, South Africa, Venezuela and Zambia. The co-Rapporteurs participated in the work of the drafting committee in an advisory capacity.
The drafting committee met in the afternoon of 17 March and the morning of 18 March. It appointed Mr. K. Graham (New Zealand) as chairperson and Ms. C. Guittet (France) as rapporteur. It considered 77 amendments, some of which it adopted.
The Standing Committee considered the consolidated draft at its afternoon sitting on 18 March. Several delegations took the floor to express their support for the text and to propose that it be adopted by acclamation, which the Committee followed. Reservations were expressed at that stage by the delegations of Cuba, India, Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan. The Committee also agreed to the proposal that the rapporteur of the drafting committee present the draft resolution to the Assembly.
The draft resolution was submitted to the Assembly at its plenary sitting in the afternoon of 20 March, and adopted by consensus. Reservations were expressed by the delegations of India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan and the Russian Federation.
(ii) Election of the Bureau, work plan for the 131st Assembly and subject item for the 132nd Assembly
Furthermore, in line with the new Rules of the Standing Committees, the 18 members of the Bureau of the Standing Committee on International Peace and Security were elected at the sitting on 17 March 2014. The Bureau met on 18 March to choose the Committee’s next subject item and discuss its work plan. It had before it a document on the activities which the Committee was proposing to carry out during Assemblies at which no resolution was adopted. Of the four proposed subject items before it, the Bureau chose Cyber warfare – A serious threat to peace and global security. This proposal was subsequently approved by the Standing Committee as a whole and by the Assembly.
With regard to the Standing Committee’s work plan, the Bureau decided to devote three hours during the 131st IPU Assembly to an interactive panel discussion on cyber warfare. However, it preferred to defer its decision on which activities to organize during the remaining time of three hours.Lastly, the Bureau discussed the election of the President and the Vice-President of the Committee. Mr. G. Schneeman (South Africa) was appointed President, with the vice‑presidency being held by the Arab Group. The Standing Committee on International Peace and Security approved the Bureau’s proposals.
(c) Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade
(i) Towards risk resilient development: Taking into consideration demographic change and natural constraints (Item 5)
The Committee held sittings on 18, 19 and 20 March with its Vice-President, Mr. F.‑X. de Donnea (Belgium), in the chair. On 18 March, the Committee elected the new Bureau, which consisted of 16 members. Two positions remained vacant, for the Eurasia (a woman member) and Asia-Pacific Groups. On the same day, 31 speakers took the floor in the plenary debate on the subject item. The Committee also heard a presentation by Ms. M. Wahlström, UN Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Disaster Risk Reduction, about preparations for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.
The Committee started its deliberations on the draft resolution on 19 March. In addition to the explanatory memorandum and the draft resolution prepared by the co-Rapporteurs, Mr. S.H. Chowdhury (Bangladesh) and Mr. P. Mahoux (Belgium), the Committee had before it 42 amendments to the draft resolution submitted by Bahrain, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Jordan, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, and five amendments proposed by the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians. It adopted about two thirds of the amendments either in full or in part.
The Committee examined the consolidated draft resolution and adopted the text as a whole on the morning of 20 March. In the afternoon of the same day, the draft resolution was submitted to the Assembly, which adopted it unanimously.
(ii) Election of the Bureau, work plan for the 131st Assembly and subject item for the 132nd Assembly
The Bureau of the Committee met on 20 March. It proposed that the current President, Mr. R. León (Chile), continue to serve in that position and that Mr. O. Hav (Denmark) become the new Vice-President. The Bureau's recommendation was subsequently approved by the full Committee.
The Bureau also examined the proposals submitted for the item to be debated by the Committee at the 132nd Assembly. It proposed the subject item Shaping a new system of water governance: Promoting parliamentary action on water, which was subsequently approved by the plenary Committee and the Assembly for inclusion in the agenda of the 132nd Assembly. The Assembly appointed one co-Rapporteur, Mr. J. Mwiimbu (Zambia), and asked the Secretariat to hold consultations with the members in order to identify the second, possibly from the North.
The Bureau proposed, and the full Committee agreed, that part of the Committee’s work at the 131st Assembly be linked to the World Investment Forum, which would be convened by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva at the same time. The Secretariat was asked to start preparations to that end in cooperation with UNCTAD.
(d) Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights
(i) The role of parliaments in protecting the rights of children, in particular unaccompanied migrant children, and in preventing their exploitation in situations of armed conflict (Item 6)
The Committee held sittings on 17, 18 and 19 March with its President, Mr. O. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (Ghana), in the chair. At its first sitting, the draft resolution on The role of parliaments in protecting the rights of children, in particular unaccompanied migrant children, and in preventing their exploitation in situations of war and conflict was presented to the Committee by the co‑Rapporteurs, Ms. J. Nassif (Bahrain) and Ms. G. Cuevas Barrón (Mexico). In the ensuing debate, 34 speakers took the floor, of whom 14 (41%) were women.
The Committee started its deliberations on the text of the draft resolution on 18 March. It had before it 62 amendments submitted by seven parliaments (Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland), and six amendments proposed by the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians. It adopted a significant proportion of the amendments and made further sub‑amendments during the drafting process. Among the amendments adopted by the Committee was a proposal to modify the title of the resolution, by replacing the words “in situations of war and conflict” by “in situations of armed conflict”.
The Committee examined the revised draft resolution and adopted the text by consensus at its final sitting on 19 March.
The revised draft resolution was presented to the Assembly on 20 March by the Committee’s Rapporteur, Ms. J. Nassif (Bahrain). The Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution, including the modification to the title.
(ii) Election of the Bureau and subject item for the 131st Assembly
At its first sitting on 17 March, the Committee elected the members of its Bureau for a two-year term, based on the nominations provided by the geopolitical groups. The new Bureau consisted of 17 members: nine women and eight men. The position for a male member from the Eurasia Group remained vacant.
The newly elected Bureau met in the morning of 19 March to consider nominations for the President and Vice-President of the Committee, and proposals for the subject item for the 131st Assembly.
The Bureau nominated Ms. F. Naderi (Afghanistan) as President of the Committee and Mr. J. Galán Pachón (Colombia) as Vice-President. The nominations were unanimously approved by the Committee at its final sitting in the afternoon of 19 March.
The Bureau proposed three subject items for the 131st Assembly to the Committee at its last sitting. The Committee voted to adopt the proposal made by the United Arab Emirates, on International law as it relates to national sovereignty, non-intervention in the internal affairs of States and human rights, and to appoint Mr. A.J. Ahmad (United Arab Emirates) as co‑Rapporteur.
The Assembly confirmed the Committee’s choice of subject item, and appointed Mr. P. Mahoux (Belgium) as the second co-Rapporteur.
(e) Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs
The Committee met in plenary session in the morning of 19 March under the chairmanship of its outgoing President, Mr. M. Traoré (Burkina Faso). It elected its new Bureau from among the candidatures submitted by the geopolitical groups. The Bureau later elected Ms. D.-T. Avgerinopoulou (Greece) as the Committee President and Mr. M. El Hassan El Amin (Sudan) as Vice-President.
The Committee commenced its session with a keynote address by Mr. M. Møller, Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, on cooperation between the United Nations, national parliaments and the IPU. In the ensuing interactive debate, the participants highlighted the good practices developed thus far and the opportunities to further strengthen the partnership between the two organizations.
The Committee also examined the relationship between parliaments and UN Country Teams at the national level. It heard a presentation by the Committee President and the Speaker of the Haitian Senate, Mr. S. Desras, of the main findings of a field mission to Haiti recently undertaken by the Committee Advisory Group. The recommendations formulated as a result had highlighted the specific needs for political dialogue and a fully functional institution of parliament in the country. The mission report would be shared with the Government of Haiti and the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and the IPU would continue to examine how best to support the parliament of Haiti during the process ahead.
The Committee next examined the draft UN General Assembly resolution on interaction between the United Nations, national parliaments and the IPU, a stand-alone agenda item to be taken up by the UN General Assembly during its current session. The draft would serve as a basis for the intergovernmental consultations convened at UN Headquarters in New York by the Permanent Mission of Morocco, as the country holding the IPU Presidency. The Committee proposed a few further improvements to the text and encouraged all Member Parliaments to actively engage with their Foreign Ministries and Permanent Missions to the United Nations, so as to secure the broadest possible support for a strong consensus on the resolution in May.
Lastly, the Committee discussed the parliamentary contribution to the UN process of devising the next generation of development goals. The topic was introduced by Mr. F. Bustamante (Ecuador), Mr. D. McGuinty (Canada) and Mr. C. Chauvel (UNDP) and sparked a robust debate among Committee members.
The Report of the Committee was presented by Mr. M. Traoré to the Assembly at its last sitting in the afternoon of 20 March. The full text of the Report and the draft General Assembly resolution on interaction between the United Nations, national parliaments and the IPU can be viewed here.
(f) Emergency item
Helping to restore peace and security and consolidate democracy in the Central African Republic: The contribution of the IPU (Item 9)
The debate on the emergency item was held in the afternoon of Tuesday, 18 March, with the President of the 130th Assembly and of the IPU, Mr. A. Radi, in the Chair. Mr. T.-B. Gurirab (Namibia), former President of the IPU, replaced him in the middle of the debate.
Ten speakers took the floor during the debate. They voiced deep concern about the major humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic and deplored the horrific violence being inflicted on civilians, in particular children, the elderly and women. That violence took the form of shameful and unacceptable ethnic and religious cleansing. The situation was desperate and risked spreading to neighbouring countries, or even the entire region.
Calling for the immediate cessation of the hostilities, the speakers deplored the fact that cruelty was supplanting humanity and emphasized the urgent need to ensure that all people had a place where they could live in peace.
They also deplored the fact that too few peacekeepers had been deployed too late to resolve the crisis and called for more peacekeeping troops to be committed to the military operation. The international troops on the ground had to remain neutral, however. Another, equally important priority was the provision of basic necessities, such as food, shelter and security. The African Union and the international community had to mobilize adequate funds in support of the Central African Republic; at present, only 50 per cent of the resources pledged had been made available.
Some of the participants shared long borders with the Central African Republic. They emphasized that the flood of refugees was affecting neighbouring countries as well and that the ensuing crisis might destabilize the entire region. Others said that they did not have means to assist the refugees without international support.
The delegation of Morocco, which had submitted the draft resolution, then took the floor. It echoed the concerns expressed and urged parliamentarians to think about what they could do to help the Central African Republic restore normality and bring the refugees home. It warned that the situation was barbarous beyond description, on a par with the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, and appealed to the international community, including the United Nations and the European Union, to free up funds in support of the Central African Republic and help it organize free and fair elections with a view to restoring democracy.
The Assembly referred the emergency item to a drafting committee made up of representatives of Cambodia, Chad, Finland, France, Germany, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, Sudan, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.
The drafting committee appointed Ms. T. Mushelenga (Namibia) as its chair and rapporteur. It met on 19 March to finalize the draft resolution.
At its last sitting, on 20 March, the Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution.
5. Concluding session
At the closure of the Assembly, representatives of all the geopolitical groups took the floor to reiterate their support for and commitment to the IPU. They underscored the important work that the IPU carried out both at the national level - in support of parliaments and in developing standards for democratic practice - and at the international level, bringing the voice of parliaments and parliamentarians to major processes such as the negotiations on the next generation of development goals. They also congratulated Mr. Martin Chungong on his election as Secretary General of the IPU, and expressed their confidence in his ability to build on the excellent work of his predecessor and take the IPU to new heights.
President Radi, in turn, thanked all the Members for their hard work during what was undeniably a very successful Assembly. A new President of the IPU would be elected at the 131st Assembly in October 2014, but in the meantime, he was looking forward to working closely with both the outgoing and incoming Secretary General and securing a smooth transition process.