I hope that there will be a strong commitment to the development of democracy within the representative system and outside. There should be participation by parliamentarians in the international organizations. Every week, probably hundreds of members of parliaments take part in conferences. The IPU could be an important clearing house for arranging and coordinating all these various invitations. What are the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization calling for? The IPU could promote the participation of parliamentarians, women and men, with their responsibilities and expertise of daily business, going out with their proposals and bringing back what other people said.
Mr. Björn von Sydow, Speaker of the Riksdag (Sweden)
What the IPU has done and what it proposes to do
The main challenge is to investigate the extent to which the United Nations has succeeded in implementing the Millennium Development Goals, and for the IPU the role it has played in cooperation with the United Nations towards the implementation of those goals. Secondly, we must consider the extent to which the IPU has taken advantage of the observer status that was accorded to it by the United Nations: what has it done, and what does it propose to do?
Mr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the National Assembly (Namibia)
The possibility to talk with the whole world
The main challenge is the possibility to talk with the whole world. In this Speakers' Conference, the highest level of elected representatives will come together. We will adopt a common declaration, and we can speak about everything that we feel democratic society can do for the people.
Mrs. Ingrida Udre, Chairperson of the Saeima (Latvia)
To listen carefully to the needs of the people
I would like to see these two challenges addressed: the most important thing is to have peace and security in the world. The whole world should come together to fight the lack of balance that we have so far seen in the campaign against terror, because this has changed our lives in the last five years.
Secondly, we hope that the developed countries will listen carefully to the needs of the people rather than saying something theoretical about subjects such as human rights and gender issues. They should say why there are those problems.
Mr. Abdul Hadi Al-Majali, Speaker of the House of Deputies (Jordan)
To make our government take into account the parliamentary view on international negotiations
The main challenge is to actualize what we have been trying to achieve since 2000, which is to make our governments take into account the parliamentary view on international negotiations, so that governments do not do things on their own. Through the views of the people’s representatives, governments must always take into account what their citizens think on special issues.
Mr. Francis Ole-Kaparo, Speaker of the National Assembly, Kenya
Ensure that parliaments help strengthen democracy in their countries and throughout the world
I see two basic challenges: the first is to ensure that parliaments take part in defining international policy. The second is to make sure that parliaments help strengthen democracy in their countries and throughout the world.
Mr. Guy Nzouma Ndama, President of the National Asssembly (Gabon)
Developing trust and dialogue between cultures
This Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments is taking place in circumstances that are much more difficult than those of its predecessor. The world situation has worsened in all respects - politically as well as militarily, economically, socially and culturally. This Conference is being held after September 11th, after Iraq and Afghanistan, after the natural disasters and after Africa has fallen behind and its situation has worsened. The objectives are still the same: peace, security and stability in the world. We must develop trust and dialogue between cultures, civilizations and religions and redouble our efforts to combat poverty, illiteracy and destitution.
Mr. Abdelwahed Radi, Speaker of the House of Representatives (Morocco)