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    Press ReleaseIPU Logo-middle
No.4, New York, 8 September 2005 IPU Logo-bottom


The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, paid tribute today to the leaders of parliaments present in New York for the Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Five years after the first Conference of Speakers of Parliaments held on the eve of the Millennium Summit, the Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to the representatives of the citizens of the world. "I thank you for your broad outlook, your awareness of the interconnected nature of today’s problems, and your belief in multilateral solutions. Let us make sure that, should you come together again in another five years, we have made measurable progress in modernizing our institutions, and in building a world that is freer, fairer and safer for all its inhabitants", he said.

Mr. Kofi Annan declared that being here again may give the Speakers "a sense of déjà vu, as once again we look to the World Summit for important decisions on the full range of issues before the United Nations". Does it mean we have come nowhere in the last five years? "Absolutely not", responded the UN Secretary-General, who pointed to "important progress in development, including unprecedented global support for the Millennium Development Goals. The United Nations is keeping the peace in more places than ever before, and it is at work all over the world helping war-torn communities to build lasting peace and sustainable democratic institutions".

In Mr. Annan’s view, "these important contributions must not blind us to the full extent of the challenges facing the international community", adding that "whatever progress we have made, I believe our collective responses to many of these challenges are inadequate. However, I believe equally firmly that we have it in our power to change that".

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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