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    Press ReleaseIPU Logo-middle
No.162, Geneva, 1 July 2003 IPU Logo-bottom


Speaking in Cape Town, South Africa, at the opening ceremony of the meeting of African Parliaments for the establishment of a Pan-African Parliament, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Chilean Senator Sergio Páez, pledged IPU support for the creation of a Pan-African Parliament and its commitment to help African Parliaments reach this goal.

"Representative institutions should drive and manage globalisation in order to make it more transparent and democratic and therefore more consonant with the interests of the vast majority of the world’s population. In the African context -declared President Páez- this means building a Pan-African Parliament that can, in time, play a legislative and oversight role vis-à-vis the African Union."

President Páez, who was making his first visit to the African continent since his election to the presidency of the IPU in September 2002, was accompanied by the IPU Secretary General, Anders B. Johnsson and held a number of meetings with Speakers of African Parliaments to review developments in the region and avenues for cooperation with the IPU. In his meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe he also discussed the situation in that country.

In a separate meeting with the former Vice-President of the IPU Executive Committee, Speaker Tjitendero of Namibia, President Páez reviewed a number of issues relating to the work of the IPU, the new direction that was given to the Organisation through the reform process, its relationship with the United Nations and IPU’s support for the Pan-African Parliament. He also invited Speaker Tjitendero to be part of the Steering Committee that will prepare the IInd Conference of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments which the IPU will be holding in 2005.

Established in 1889 and with its Headquarters in Geneva, the IPU, the oldest multilateral organisation, currently has 145 affiliated national parliaments and five regional assemblies as associate members. The organisation of the world's parliaments also has an office as Permanent Observer with the United Nations in New York.
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