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Parliament speakers meet to discuss UN development goals, global challenges

07-20-2010 11:15 BJT

GENEVA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Third World Conference of Speakers of Parliament opened here on Monday, with focus on democratic accountability, collective response to global challenges, and the role of legislative institutions in promoting the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the convener of the five-yearly conference, said more than 150 parliament speakers were attending the event.

Addressing the opening ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the importance of parliaments in helping tackle various global challenges.

"You are the voice of the people ... Your voice is so important for effective governance," Ban said.

During the three-day conference, participants "will examine their collective response as the highest representatives of their legislatures to a world facing multiple challenges," the Geneva-based IPU said in a statement.

The top legislators "will also hold a panel discussion on public perceptions of parliament and democracy, and debate the role of parliament in helping reach the targets of the MDGs, along with other burning issues such as human trafficking.

The conference is scheduled to adopt a declaration upon its closure, calling for "securing global democratic accountability for the common good."

The IPU, established in 1889, is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue. It supports the efforts of the United Nations, shares its objectives, and works in close cooperation with it.

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

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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