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Parliament speakers call for cooperation in tackling global challenges

Posted: 2010-July-22
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  GENEVA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Parliament speakers from around the world concluded their third five-yearly conference here on Wednesday with a call for enhanced cooperation in tackling global challenges.

  "The world is facing multiple crises on an unprecedented scale. As never before, however, there is a shared understanding that we can only address these challenges by working together," said a declaration released by the World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.

  "We, who have a popular mandate to represent the people, will not be found wanting. We, in our parliaments, can and will do our part in securing global democratic accountability for the common good of humankind," top lawmakers from over 150 legislatures vowed in the document.

  Participants in the three-day event, organized by the Geneva-based Inter-Parliament Union (IPU), also warned that the current world economic recovery remained weak "with deep-rooted structural problems that have not yet been addressed."

  Meanwhile, several states "have seen their public deficits worsen following interventions in the banking and financial sector," they noted.

  The declaration also listed a series of other global challenges and threats such as climate change, food and energy security, public health, natural disasters, terrorism, proliferation of weapons and piracy.

  "We are more than ever convinced that only by working together can we address these and other global challenges successfully and make a better world for all people," the parliamentary leaders said.

  Addressing the subject of democracy, the declaration said that "we recognize that democratization is a continuing process for all parliaments and that it is necessary to promote sound democratic practices within our parliaments."

  "We are committed to assisting each other in this effort, with the stronger institutions providing assistance to the weaker ones, with increased sharing of good practices for the greater benefit of all, and with a constant concern for the fuller participation of our citizens in national and global governance in the interests of the common good," they added.

  The parliament speakers also emphasized the "irreplaceable role" of the United Nations (UN) in promoting world peace and security and pledged continued support for the world body.

  "We pledge our support to the organization and will continue to extend our cooperation in keeping with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter," they said.

  Regarding the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the top legislators warned that the international community needs to speed up the efforts for the MDGs, otherwise many of the 21 specific targets may not be met by the 2015 deadline.

  "Governments, and in particular those from the industrialized countries, must honor the pledges they have made to fund these efforts notwithstanding the difficulties engendered by the financial and economic crisis," they said.

  The World Conference of Speakers of Parliament is a global summit committed to promoting democracy, the role of legislative institutions and their relationship with the United Nations.

  The broad theme for the 2010 conference is parliaments in a world of crisis: securing global democratic accountability for the common good.

  The previous two sessions were held in New York in 2000 and 2005.

Source: Xinhua;2010-07-21Editor: dell
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