The 107th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, organised at the invitation of the Moroccan Parliament, provides an opportunity for parliamentarians the world over to reiterate their commitment to combatting all forms of terrorism, as can be seen from the number of requests for the inclusion in the agenda of a supplementary item on this subject.
Mindful that terrorism and the fight against terrorism are sensitive issues which are matters of concern for many countries and which have global repercussions, the Marrakech Conference will seek to strengthen the cohesiveness displayed by the IPU Member Parliaments at the 106th Inter-Parlamentary Conference held in Ouagadougou last year, at the time of the tragic events of September 11th.
From all indications, this 107th Conference, which will be opened by King Mohammed VI, will break all attendance records. MPs the world over who will come to the most enchanting of the imperial cities will debate the role of parliaments in public policy in this age of globalisation and parliamentary support for the Kyoto Protocol.
The IPU's Committee on Middle East Questions, chaired by French MP Yves Tavernier due to meet in Marrakech, will strive to promote the continuation of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, further to the meeting which took place at the French National Assembly between the Speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, and the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Ahmed Qorei "Abu Ala", under the auspices of the President of the French National Assembly, Raymond Forni.
By joining hands to salute their French counterparts, the Speaker of the Knesset, Mr. Avraham Burg, and the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Mr. Ahmed Qorei "Abu Ala", showed not only that peace was possible between Israelis and Palestinians, but also that parliamentary diplomacy (see page 11) was the ultimate hope of dialogue at times when government Speakers cannot talk to each other.
The IPU's Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the Group of Facilitators for Cyprus and the representatives of the parties to the CSCM Process (Conference on Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean) will also meet within the framework of the 107th Conference in Marrakech, not to mention the MPs who will attend the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians on the eve of the Conference.