New York (United Nations Headquarters), 20 - 21 November 2007
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Jointly organized by the IPU and the United Nations

UN Secretary-General addressing the Parliamentary Hearing As in past years, the 2007 Parliamentary Hearing brought members of parliament to the United Nations Headquarters in New York for an interactive discussion with high-ranking UN officials, representatives of Member States and experts drawn from think tanks and civil society organizations.

In accordance with the provisions of the latest General Assembly Resolution on cooperation between the UN and the IPU (A/61/6), this year’s Hearing was the first to be organized as a joint event of the two organizations. The change was more than a formality: it heralded a greater political commitment on the part of the United Nations to hear the views of parliaments on some of the most urgent issues of our times.

Among other things, the Hearing provided an opportunity for members of parliament to meet and hear from the new United Nations management team. The conclusions of the Hearing are to be circulated to the wider UN community as well as to all national parliaments. The main theme of the Hearing was Reinforcing the Rule of Law in International Relations: The Key Role of Parliaments. Discussion topics included disarmament and non-proliferation, terrorism, and international criminal justice.


Summary and main conclusions [PDF]New!
Introductory remarks by the IPU President, Mr. Pier Ferdinando Casini [PDF]
Statement by the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Srgjan Kerim [PDF]
Speech of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon [PDF]
Background paper entitled "The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy" [PDF]
Background paper entitled "The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies" [PDF]
Background paper entitled "Weapons of Terror" [PDF]
Provisional programme, updated on 13 November 2007 [HTML] [PDF]
Invitation letter [PDF]
Information Note [PDF]
Registration form [PDF] or [WORD]
The latest General Assembly Resolution on cooperation between the UN and the IPU (2006)
IPU Cooperation with the United Nations
2006 Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations
2005 Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations
2004 Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations
2003 Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations

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Updated on 13 November 2007   
9:00 - 10:30Accreditation of participants
10:30 - 11:00Opening session
Statements by:
- Hon. Pier Ferdinando Casini, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
- H. E. Mr. Srgjan Kerim, President of the General Assembly
- H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General
11:00 - 13:00Session I - Priorities, challenges and objectives of the new United Nations management team
Overview and presentations by:
- Mr. Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs
- Mr. Nicolas Michel, Under Secretary-General for Legal Affairs
Interaction with participants, Q & A
15:00 - 18:00Session II - Observing the rule of law in the implementation of key international commitments in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation
Over the past decade, there has been a serious loss of momentum in disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. In 2005, the failure of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and the inability of the World Summit to reach agreement on any disarmament and non-proliferation issue were both signals for alarm.
  • Is there political will to tackle these crucial issues?
  • How can the current challenges and stumbling blocks be overcome?
  • Public opinion is calling for tangible results in disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). What can parliamentarians do?
- Mr. Sergio de Quieroz Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament
- Senator Rosario Green Macias, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Senate of Mexico
- H.E. Mr. Peter Burian (Slovakia), Chairman of Security Council 1540 Committee (non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction)
- H.E. Mr. Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
- Mr. Jonathan Granoff, President, Global Security Institute
18:15 - 20:00Reception in honor of participants (UN West Terrace Dining Room)

09:30 - 12:30Session III - The legacy of the international tribunals and the future course of the international criminal justice regime
As the United Nations states, "in the end, in post-conflict countries, the vast majority of perpetrators of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law will never be tried, whether internationally or domestically." In spite of their success over the years, international tribunals and other forms of transitional justice have their limitations.
  • What room should there be, if any, for criminal acts to be settled politically instead of through the existing transitional justice framework?
  • Can the pursuit of justice harm the greater good of national reconciliation?
  • What is the proper balance between national and international instruments of transitional justice?
  • How can parliaments enhance good practices in support of the international criminal justice regime?
- Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, Deputy Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
- Hon. Abel Stronge, Speaker of Parliament of Sierra Leone (to be confirmed)
- H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu, Ambassador of Japan to the United Nations, Chairman of the UN Peace-Building Commission
- Mr. Larry Johnson, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs
- Mr. Juan Mendez, President, International Center for Transitional Justice
14:00 - 16:00Session IV - Towards a comprehensive International Convention on Terrorism: some critical questions
In September 2006, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy as an addition to the international framework on counter-terrorism. Through the Strategy, Member States agreed on the importance of advancing measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, to prevent and combat terrorism, to strengthen the role of the UN system in this regards, and to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism. The challenge ahead is to implement these measures across and within States.
  • What capacity issues have States faced in implementing counter-terrorism measures?
  • What obstacles exist to national efforts to secure the protection of human rights while countering terrorism and how can these be overcome?
  • What can parliaments do to improve implementation of the Strategy and of the 13 international conventions and 3 protocols on terrorism?
- Mr. Robert Orr, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning, Chair of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force
- Ambassador Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations, President of the UN Security Council for the month of November 2007
- Ambassador Robert Hill, Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations
- Hon. Carolyn Maloney, Member of United States Congress
- Professor Husain Haqqani, Director – Center for International Relations, Boston University
16:00 - 17:00Presentation of reports on the proceedings of the Parliamentary Hearing. Conclusions and recommendations.

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