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    Press ReleaseIPU Logo-middle
No.177, New York/Geneva, 31 October 2003 IPU Logo-bottom


The Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations was held on October 27th at UN Headquarters in New York, with the participation of over 120 legislators from 42 national Parliaments and 2 regional parliamentary organizations. The meeting was also attended by senior UN offiofficials and members of the diplomatic community in New York, as well as representatives of other international organizations.

The Parliamentary Hearing was inaugurated by Senator Sergio Páez, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations and Mr. Julian Robert Hunte, President of the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly. The program provided for an open and inter-active discussion on the main issues of the international agenda, which include reforming the UN system as a precondition for greater world security, progress and setbacks in the global fight against terrorism, assessing the danger of unresolved crises with a particular focus on the situation in Iraq and in the Middle East, as well as financing for development (follow-up to the Monterrey World Conference, the role of the Bretton Woods institutions in the international financial architecture, breaking the world trade deadlock after Cancun and unleashing its potential for development financing).

Referring to the new and consolidated relationship between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan emphasised: "The voice of the people must be heard at the United Nations. And few render that voice more authentically than elected parliamentarians. That is why I am particularly pleased that the General Assembly recently granted the IPU observer status. Enhancing the parliamentary dimension of the work of the United Nations has strengthened the United Nations itself".

In turn, Senator Sergio Páez, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, re-affirmed the solidarity and political support of the IPU the world organisation of parliaments for the tireless efforts of the United Nations to foster peace in the world and understanding among nations. "The Inter-Parliamentary Union is committed to a new stage of cooperation with the United Nations, one that will provide genuine mutual benefit to both organisations", he added

During his one-week stay in New York, IPU President Sergio Páez met with high-level UN officials and representatives of the diplomatic community, discussed the experience and contribution of the IPU in a number of fields including institution-building in post-conflict situations (with a particular focus on the forthcoming constitutional process in Iraq), and attended the UN High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development.

Established in 1889 and with its Headquarters in Geneva, the IPU, the oldest multilateral organisation, currently has 138 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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