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    Press ReleaseIPU Logo-middle
No.1, Geneva/New York, 25 August 2005 IPU Logo-bottom


More than 150 Speakers of parliaments are due to attend the Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 7 to 9 September 2005. They will bring their vision of multilateral cooperation to the hub of international politics.

The IPU President, Chilean Senator Sergio Páez, and the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Jean Ping, will open the summit, which will also be addressed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan. The Conference will present its Declaration directly to the Summit of Heads of State and Government that will take place at the same venue from 14 to 19 September 2005.

"The presence of Speakers of national parliaments offers a reminder that democratic governments are subject to the scrutiny of their parliaments, and anything their leaders decide in the multilateral sphere will - sooner or later - have to be debated in parliament if it is to be put into force" said the IPU President. He added that "at a time when the United Nations is in the throes of reform, the need for more stringent democratic oversight of the work of multilateral organizations is being expressed more and more openly".

The first Speakers' Conference took place in 2000, on the eve of the Millennium Summit. According to the IPU Secretary General, Anders B. Johnsson, "since then, the world has changed enormously. Tensions that have always lain beneath the surface have broken out, often in very ugly forms. Across the board, there have been calls for more robust global governance along with stronger democratic guarantees. The world's parliaments are directly concerned by these appeals".

The Speakers of parliaments will bring the concerns of their citizens to the United Nations. In so doing, they will discuss ways to deepen the involvement of parliaments in international affairs and to support efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. They will also review a proposed new framework of criteria and good practices to advance democracy through the institution of parliament.


Media representatives in possession of a valid United Nations grounds pass will be allowed to cover the Conference without additional accreditation. All others must apply for accreditation by Tuesday, 6 September 2005.

All members of the media corps accompanying the Speakers and their delegations must submit a letter of assignment from their Bureau or Editor-in-Chief, addressed to the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU) and faxed to +1 212 963 4642. Criteria for media accreditation are available at the UN Web site.

Grounds passes
To obtain the required grounds passes to enter the United Nations compound, media representatives will need to go in person to the Media Pass and ID Office. Two pieces of photo identification (such as passport, national press credentials, driver’s licence or state ID) are also required.

During the week of the Conference, the Media Pass and ID Office will be located inside a tent in the North Lawn of the United Nations Headquarters (the entrance to the lawn is at the corner of 1st Avenue and 48th Street). From Monday, 5 September to Friday, 9 September 2005, the Media Pass and ID Office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call the office at +1 212 963 7164 for further information.

For security reasons, all media representatives entering the UN compound will be required to wear both their United Nations grounds pass and national press identification card at all times.

Media facilities
The facilities in the “bullpen” area (on the third floor of the Secretariat Building) include television monitors, telephone, fax, audio outlets and wireless Internet access, provided at commercial rates. The Ex Press Bar, on the third floor of the General Assembly Building, will serve as an overflow area for the media, in particular for the official photographers and cameramen waiting to enter the booth that will be assigned to them on a rotational basis.

Official photos
Photographs of individual Speakers at the podium of the General Assembly Hall will be available to accredited correspondents free of charge. Photographs of morning speeches will be available during the afternoon of the same day, and photos of the afternoon speeches on the morning of the following day. Please direct photo enquiries and requests (preferably by e-mail, for request of digital photo files) to:

United Nations Photo Library
Room S-805 L
Telephone: 1 212 963 6927, 1 212 963 0034
Fax: 1 212 963-1658, 1 212 963-3430
To facilitate interviews, Speakers will be invited to meet journalists at the media "stakeout" located in the Delegates Entrance soon after they deliver their statement. The Delegates Entrance is located at the bottom of the escalators from the General Assembly Hall.

The timing of each Speaker’s intervention can be estimated from the speakers list that will be distributed in advance and that will be published for each day of the Conference in the Daily Journal. A copy of the list is also available online from the IPU website at
For impromptu interviews, and as is customary at the United Nations, media representatives may also wait for delegations as they enter or leave the building through the Delegates Entrance.

Please note that the movement of journalists is regulated in the area around the General Assembly Hall and the Delegates Entrance media "stakeout". The area can only be accessed under escort by the staff of the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU). Escorts should be arranged in advance either by calling the Unit at 1 212 963 6934 or in person in Room 250 of the Secretariat Building.

TV, audio, and web cast services
The first afternoon of the Conference, on 7 September, will be broadcast via the United Nations facility as well as web cast either through the UN main website ( or the IPU website ( The broadcast will begin at 2 p.m. with the arrival of the Speakers at the Delegates Entrance and will continue at 3 p.m. inside the General Assembly Hall for the beginning of the Conference.

A second broadcast will take place during the first half hour of the afternoon session of 8 September (3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) to air the address of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, before the plenary of the Conference in the General Assembly Hall. It is possible that this broadcast may continue for the rest of the afternoon depending on the availability of United Nations personnel.
The live television feed will be available through commercial carriers. For information about access to the programme, please contact:

United Nations Television
Telephone: 1 212 963 7650
Fax: 1 212 963 3860
Audiocassettes and a selection of digital audio files of individual speeches will be available from:
United Nations Audio Library
(located on the first basement concourse, level 1-B, in Room GA-27)
Telephone: 1 212 963 9270, 1 212 963 9272
Fax: 1 212 963 3860
Limited radio facilities will be provided to delegates and accredited journalists, when available. For radio studio availability, contact United Nations Radio by e-mail:, and Please direct requests to all three to ensure prompt attention.

Other TV and photo coverage in the General Assembly Hall
Photographers and television crews working for accredited media organizations will have an opportunity to cover the speech of their parliamentary Speaker on a rotational basis from the third floor press booths surrounding the General Assembly Hall.
Owing to space limitations, they may not remain in the booth to cover other speeches. A limited number of still photographers, escorted by media liaison staff, will also be allowed to take photographs from the bridge at the back of the General Assembly Hall during speeches. Please contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit at 1 212 963 6934 to obtain the required escort.

Press gallery in the General Assembly Hall
There are 53 seats available for representatives of the press in the 4th floor gallery of the General Assembly Hall. Seating is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that no cameras or other equipment are allowed in this part of the General Assembly Hall.

Copies of speeches for the press
Copies of speeches for the media will be deposited at the Media Documents Centre in the third floor press area of the United Nations Secretariat Building.

Briefings and press conferences
A press conference is scheduled to take place at 12.45 p.m. on Friday, 9 September, in Room S-226 of the United Nations Secretariat Building. Please consult the Daily Journal of the Conference, available in the General Assembly Hall, for any further announcements on press conferences and media events.

Delegations can book rooms for press conferences by calling the Office of the Spokesperson at 1 212 963 7707.

Established in 1889 and with its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the IPU, the oldest multilateral political organisation, currently brings together 141 affiliated parliaments and seven regional assemblies as associate members. The world organisation of parliaments has an Office in New York, which acts as its Permanent Observer at the United Nations.
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Contact for additional information or interviews:
In Geneva: Mrs. Luisa Ballin, IPU Information Officer
5, ch. du Pommier, CH - 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex / Geneva
Tel. +41 22 919 41 16/27
Fax: +41 22 919 41 60
E-mail: or

In New-York: Mr. Alessandro Motter, Liaison Officer, Office of the Permanent Observer at the United Nations in New York
Tel.: +1 212 557 58 80
E-mail: or