Mr. Martinez
Miguel Angel MARTINEZ

Mr. Miguel Angel Martinez (Spain) was elected President of the Inter-Parliamentary Council on 16 September 1997 at the 161st session of the Council in Cairo. His term came to and end on 15 July 1999 following his election to the European Parliament with subsequent termination of his national parliamentary mandate. At its 165th session (Berlin, October 1999), the Council conferred on Mr. Martinez the title of the Honorary President of the IPU Council.


Born in Madrid in January 1940. Because of his militant anti-Franco activities, he was arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned. In 1962 he left Spain, starting an exile which lasted until 1975.

For these 14 years, he was intensely active in social democratic youth, trade union and political organisations, both those in exile from Spain as well as of the countries in which he was living: France, Austria and Belgium.

He was the first elected President of the European Co-ordination Bureau of International Youth Organisations. From 1972 to 1974 he was Vice-Chairman of the Governing Board of the European Youth Center and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

He returned to Spain in 1976 where he took an active part in the reorganisation of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and of the General Worker's Union (UGT) occupying high office in both organisations. From 1988 to 1990, he was a member of the Federal Executive Committee of the PSOE; he was a member of the Party's Federal Committee from 1984 to 1994. From 1983 to 1988 he served as General Secretary of the PSOE for Castilla-La Mancha.

In 1977, in the first general elections held after democracy was restored, he was elected member of parliament for Ciudad Real. He was re-elected in the subsequent elections of 1979, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1993 and 1996. As a member of parliament (Cortes Generales) he has been particularly active in the field of foreign policy; he has been Secretary and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Lower House and, since 1982, the Spokesperson of this Committee's Socialist Group, and as such, a member of the Socialist Group's Governing Board in the Lower House.

Since 1983 he has been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In 1985 he was elected Chairman of the Spanish Delegation, as well as Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly and member of its Bureau.

He has worked as a member of several Assembly Committees (Culture and Education, Budget, Political Affairs) and sub-committees (CSCE, Middle East and Terrorism). From 1984 to 1990 he was Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Situation in the Middle East. From 1989 to May 1992 he was Vice-Chairman of the Political Affairs Committee and, since 1983, Vice-Chairman of the Socialist Group of the Assembly.

From 1990 to 1996 he has headed the Spanish Delegation to the Western European Union Assembly, of which he was Vice-President until the end of 1996.

In April 1991, in Madrid, he presided over the Spanish Delegation taking part in the Conference which launched the Parliamentary Assembly of the CSCE.

In May 1992 he was unanimously elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and held that function until January 1996.

In October 1995 he was elected Chairman of the Executive Council of the Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity, North-South Centre, of the Council of Europe.

He followed his studies at the Complutense University in Madrid and in the University of Toulouse (France). He has had many articles published and has given numerous conferences in view of his political and parliamentary activities.

Miguel Angel Martinez was made Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universities of Moscow, Cluj (Romania) and Aberdeen, and has been awarded decorations by several countries (Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Nicaragua, Poland etc.) and honoured with both the Medal of the Constitutional Merit and the Grand Cross of the Civil Merit of Spain.

Activities of Mr. Martinez in the Inter-Parliamentary Union

  • Member of the Governing Board of the Spanish Group, since 1984 up to date
    - Member, 1984 - 1986
    - President, 1987 - 1996
    - Vice-President, since 1996 up to date
  • President of the " Twelve Plus Group ", 1986 - 1987
  • Vice-President of the IVth Committee (Decolonisation, Non-Self-Governing Territories and Ethnic Questions), September 1984 - April 1986
  • President of the Ist Committee (Political Questions, International Security and Disarmament), April 1986 - April 1988
  • Member of the Executive Committee, April 1988 - April 1992
  • Vice-President of the Executive Committee, April 1988 - April 1992 (having chaired, in absence of the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Council, the Executive Committee and the Inter-Parliamentary Council meetings at Yaoundé, Cameroon, April 1992)
  • President of the Ist Committee (Political Questions, International Security and Disarmament), April 1993 - April 1997
  • Member of the Committee on Middle East Questions, since 1988
  • Participant in several specialised conferences
  • Member of the Co-ordinating Committee of the CSCM since 1992
  • In his capacity, successively, as President of the Ist Committee between 1986 and 1988, and later from 1993 to April 1997, and also as Vice-President of the Executive Committee from 1988 to 1992, he has been member of the Steering Committee at virtually every Inter-Parliamentary Conference of the IPU between 1986 and 1999
  • President of the Inter-Parliamentary Council from September 1997 to July 1999

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