Inter-Parliamentary UnionIPU Logo-top
    Press ReleaseIPU Logo-middle
No.5, New York, 9 September 2005 IPU Logo-bottom


One hundred and fifty Speakers of parliament, gathered in New York on the eve of the High-Level Meeting of Heads of State and Government, today adopted a Declaration in which they take stock of action effected by parliaments since their first Conference in 2000, examine how they can provide more support for international cooperation and the United Nations, and thus help bridge the democracy gap in international relations.

The Speakers of parliaments are convinced that “the United Nations must remain the cornerstone of global cooperation. The United Nations Secretary-General should therefore be encouraged to pursue the current reform process vigorously". They urge all parliaments to debate these proposals and engage with their respective governments to create the momentum for action on the clear understanding that democracy, security, development and human rights are intrinsically linked.

The Speakers of parliament underlined that global security issues should also be tackled more vigorously at the United Nations. They pointed out that "nuclear-weapon States should meet their obligations in nuclear disarmament, and States must make new efforts in all areas of non-proliferation and arms control". The question of terrorism should also be addressed, by concluding a comprehensive convention on terrorism and agreeing upon an internationally accepted definition that includes any action which is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, for whatever purpose.

"We reaffirm that the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in particular for women and children, are essential to development, peace and security. We also emphasize that good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are key to sustainable development and world peace", said the Speakers.

They also said that parliaments must be active in international affairs not only through inter-parliamentary cooperation and parliamentary diplomacy, but also by contributing to and monitoring international negotiations, overseeing the enforcement of what is adopted by governments, and ensuring national compliance with international norms and the rule of law. Similarly, parliament must be more vigilant in scrutinizing the activities of international organizations and providing input into their deliberations.

The Speakers proposed "to work ever more closely with the IPU, which [they] consider to be a unique global parliamentary counterpart of the United Nations".

The leaders of parliaments encouraged every parliament to organize an annual "International Day of Parliaments". They also invited the IPU to forward their Declaration to the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the United Nations General Assembly with a request that it be circulated as an official document of the United Nations.

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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