PLACE DU PETIT-SACONNEX
1211 GENEVA 19
Seoul (Republic of Korea), 10-14 April 1997
The 97th Inter-Parliamentary Conference began its work in the National Assembly building on the afternoon of 10 April by electing by acclamation Mr. Kim Soo-Han, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, as its President.
On the afternoon of 14 April, the Conference heard a statement
by Mr. Yoo Chong Ha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic
of Korea, who described his country's foreign policy towards
the major issues on the international agenda, with special reference
of the situation on the Korean peninsula.
The 97th Inter-Parliamentary Conference was inaugurated at a ceremony held in the Sejong Cultural Center, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea. During the ceremony, which was opened at 11.30 a.m., the delegates heard (in order): Mr. A. Mooy, Assistant-Secretary-General, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, who delivered the message of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan; Mr. Kim Soo-Han, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea; and Mr. A.F. Sorour, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Council.
Extracts from the speeches delivered on that occasion and from
the statement of the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic
of Korea will be published in the Inter-Parliamentary Bulletin
(N° I, 1997).
The Parliaments of the following 117 countries took part in the work of the Conference: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, 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, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, 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, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
The following Associate Members also took part in the Conference: the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament.
The observers included representatives of: (i) Palestine, (ii) The United Nations Organization - United Nations, United Nations NGO Committee on Aging - as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), (iii) the Organization of African Unity (OAU), (iv) the Amazonian Parliament, the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO), the Assembly of Western European Union (WEU), the Association of European Parliamentarians for (Southern) Africa (AWEPA), the European Parliament, the International Assembly of French-Speaking Parliamentarians, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Nordic Council, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation (PABSEC), the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Co-operation (PAEAC) and the Union of African Parliaments (UAP), and (v) Amnesty International, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA).
Representatives of the Parliaments of Fiji, Lesotho and Ukraine attended the Conference as observers.
Secretaries General of the Parliaments of Bulgaria, Mali, Niger and United Arab Emirates also attented the session in the absence of a delegation from the parliament of their country.
There was a total of 1,011 delegates, including 572 parliamentarians,
and 48 delegates attending as observers.
When this question was taken up on the afternoon of 10 April, the Conference had before it four requests for the inclusion of a supplementary item (following the withdrawal of a request by the Group of Lebanon concerning " Implementation of UN Security Council resolution 425 passed in March 1978" and the combination of two almost identical items proposed by the Groups of Morocco and Egypt) and one request for the inclusion of an emergency supplementary item. The Conference decided to deal first with the requests for a supplementary item and heard statements by the sponsors of the items. During these presentations, three Groups withdrew their requests as follows: the Group of the Russian Federation withdrew its request concerning "Intended NATO expansion to the East and its consequences for international security", noting that the subject could be included under item 4 of the Conference agenda; the Group of the Islamic Republic of Iran did likewise as regards its request concerning "Refugees and displaced persons: a crisis in today's world", in favour of the Moroccan Group's proposal; and the Group of Iraq withdrew its request for an item on "Economic sanctions: a political weapon to starve peoples and a threat to regional security and international peace", in favour of the item requested by the Group of Morocco.
The Conference therefore had before it the request presented by the Group of Morocco on behalf of the Arab countries for an item concerning " Safeguarding the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and utilizing all possible means likely to thwart manoeuvres which are prejudical to its identity and gravely endanger security and the peace process in the area ". Having heard a statement from the Moroccan delegation to propose the request and a statement from the delegation of Israel which was opposed to the addition of this item to the agenda, the Conference held a roll-call vote on the request, as a result of which it decided, by 785 votes to 184, with 387 abstensions to add this item to its agenda as supplementary item 6 (see paragraph 4(d) below).
The Conference then considered the request from the Group of
Italy for an emergency supplementary item on "International
action to meet the emergency situation in Albania ".
After hearing a statement from the sponsor, the delegation of
Côte d'Ivoire proposed the addition of the words " and
in Zaire " to the title. This proposal having
being accepted by the sponsor, the Conference decided unanimously
to add this emergency supplementary item to the agenda (see paragraph
(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 was held throughout Friday 11 April, from 4 p.m.
to 6 p.m. on Saturday 12 April (this additional sitting being
added on the proposal of the Steering Committee) and on the morning
and afternoon of Sunday 13 April. A total of 123 speakers
from 107 delegations took part in the debate.
This item was considered on 11 and 13 April by the Ist Committee (on Political Questions, International Security and Disarmament) which met under the chairmanship of Mr. M.A. Martinez (Spain) and, in his absence, under its Vice-Chairman, Mr. T.L. Sambuaga (Indonesia). The Committee had before it 15 memoranda presented by the Groups of Australia, Burkina Faso, Canada, Congo, Egypt, Hungary, India, Iraq, Lithuania, Morocco, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and Venezuela, as well as by Mr. L. A. Leon (Argentina) and the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union; two information documents presented by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the United Nations; and 20 draft resolutions submitted by the Groups of Australia, Canada, Cuba, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kuwait, Netherlands, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sudan, United Kingdom, as well as Mr. A. Alasino and Mr. L. A. Leon (elements for a draft), both from Argentina.
A total of 64 speakers took part in the debate which was held
On the morning of 13 April, the Ist Committee, after having heard the report by the Rapporteur on the work of the drafting committee, proceeded to examine the proposed text paragraph by paragraph. Several amendments were tabled, which resulted mainly in the addition of three new paragraphs and two sub-paragraphs in the operative section of the resolution. The text as a whole was unanimously adopted.
On the afternoon of 14 April, Mr. Van Eekelen submitted the Ist
Committee's draft resolution to the Conference, which adopted
it without a vote.
This item was considered on 12 and 14 April by the IVth Committee (on Education, Science, Culture and Environment) which met under the chairmanship of Mr. J. Trobo (Uruguay). The Committee had before it 13 memoranda, presented by the Groups of Australia, Burkina Faso, Chile, Egypt, Estonia, France, Hungary, India, Iraq, Morocco and Venezuela as well as two individual MPs, Mr. L.A. Leon and Mr. C. Becerra (Argentina) and three information documents presented by the United Nations Department for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the United Nations Organisation for Food and Agriculture (FAO), as well as 20 draft resolutions presented by the Groups of Australia, Canada, Chile, Congo, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Namibia, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and Uruguay, and the draft declaration prepared by the IPU's Committee for Sustainable Development.
A total of 53 speakers took part in the debate which was held on the morning of 12 April. Thereafter, the Committee appointed a drafting committee composed of representatives of the Groups of the following countries: Chile, Congo, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Namibia, Peru, Republic of Korea and Switzerland. The drafting committee met throughout 13 April and elected Mrs. I.Y. Dahlan (Indonesia) as its President and Mr. P. Günter (Switzerland) as its Rapporteur. The drafting committee took the draft declaration prepared by the IPU Committee for Sustainable Development as the basis for its deliberations but also drew extensively on many of the other texts which were before it and took proposals from the floor. The resulting consolidated draft was adopted without a vote.
At its sitting on the morning of 14 April, the IVth Committee considered the text presented by the drafting committee. During the meeting, the Committee dealt with a number of amendments which were adopted unanimously. The text as a whole was then unanimously adopted.
On the afternoon of 14 April, Mr. P. Günter submitted the
IVth Committee's draft resolution to the Conference, which adopted
it without a vote.
(d) Safeguarding the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and utilising all possible means likely to thwart manoeuvres which are prejudicial to its identity and gravely endanger security and the peace process in the area (Item 6)
Having decided to add this item to its agenda, the Conference referred it to the Ist Committee (Committee on Political Questions, International Security and Disarmament).
The Committee examined Item 6 on 12 and 14 April under the Chairmanship of its President, Mr. M.A. Martinez (Spain). It had before it two draft resolutions presented by the Groups of Egypt and Morocco.
On the morning of 12 April, the Committee held a debate on this item, in which 28 speakers participated. At the close of the debate, the Committee designated a drafting committee composed of representatives of the Groups of the following 11 countries, Belgium, Benin, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Switzerland and Uruguay. The drafting committee began its work on the morning of 13 April by electing Mr. M.A. Abdellah (Egypt), President and Mr. G. Versnick (Belgium) as Rapporteur. Taking the draft resolution presented by the Moroccan Group as a working basis, the committee then deliberated for five hours, also drawing on the draft resolution by the Egyptian Group and the resolution adopted on 14 March 1997 by the UN General Assembly " Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, especially occupied East Jerusalem ". The consolidated draft resolution was subsequently adopted by 7 votes to 2, with 1 abstention, in the absence of the French delegate.
On the morning of 14 April, the Ist Committee, after having heard the report by the Rapporteur on the work of the drafting committee, proceeded to examine the consolidated text paragraph by paragraph. A great many amendments were submitted, some of which were adopted, in particular a proposal to stress the importance of the Oslo Agreements, as well as the need to speed up negotiations on the final status of Jerusalem. The draft resolution as a whole was adopted by 61 votes to 8, with 7 abstentions. The Committee then proceeded with the statutory election of its officers (see Section E.2).
Mr. Versnick presented the draft text to the Conference for approval
at its last plenary sitting, on the afternoon of 14 April. The
Conference adopted it without a vote. The Israeli delegation
then expressed its opposition to the draft resolution as a whole.
At its meeting of 11 April, the Ist Committee appointed two working groups to consider this item, one each for Albania and Zaire.
The working group on Albania comprised representatives of the following National Groups: Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malaysia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It met in the afternoon of 11 April and, at the outset, appointed Mr. F. Bortolotto (Italy) as its President.. The group proceeded to deliberate on the basis of a text which had been submitted by the Italian delegation, going through it by paragraph and ultimately adopting it unanimously following the addition of some provisions proposed by the Canadian and German delegations. Above all, the text called for humanitarian aid, a multilateral protection force, legal and administrative assistance and free and fair elections in Albania as soon as possible.
The working group on Zaire comprised representatives of the following National Groups: Angola, Belgium, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Togo and Zambia.
It met in the afternoon of 11 April and the morning of 12 April to consider this item. At the beginning of its work, the working group appointed Mrs. K. Kpegba-Dzotsi (Togo) to preside over its proceedings.
The group first discussed the overall situation in Zaire, focusing on the tragic plight of refugees and displaced persons in the eastern part of the country, as result of the ongoing conflict. At the end of this general discussion, the group appointed a small drafting committee comprising representatives from the delegations of Kenya, South Africa and Zambia.
The draft resolution prepared by this three-member committee was considered and adopted, with some amendments, by the working group at its sitting of 12 April. The text was subsequently merged with the draft resolution prepared by the working group on Albania.
In accordance with the decision of the Ist Committee, the consolidated draft resolution on both cases was then submitted directly to the final plenary sitting of the Conference held on the afternoon of 14 April. The Rapporteurs for this resolution were Mr. F. Bortolotto (Italy) for the situation in Albania and Mrs. K. Kpegba-Dzotsi (Togo) for the situation in Zaire. After their oral reports, the resolution was adopted unanimously by the Conference.