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Resolution adopted by consensus by the 107th Conference
(Marrakech, 22 March 2002)

The 107th Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Believing that globalisation brings both opportunities and challenges to all countries and affects peoples' daily lives,

Observing that in many countries, particularly the poorest, debt is a major constraint and a real impediment to development within the context of globalisation,

Noting the growing importance of international trade and its direct influence on the development and well-being of nations everywhere, and concerned that the current international trading system appears to be biased in favour of developed countries and creates problems for many developing countries,

Pointing out that, as a consequence of globalisation, many countries require enhanced protection in the areas of human rights, sustainable development and social needs,

Considering the importance of parliamentary participation and interaction in international trade issues in ensuring better representation of the people and creating a democratic multilateral trading system based on equality and transparency,

Recognising the vital role of parliaments and parliamentarians as the legitimate representatives of the people and as the link between citizens' needs, including those related to human rights and social, economic and environmental concerns, and related government policy, at national and international level,

Considering the constitutional duty of parliaments, where applicable, to ratify international agreements, enact legislation and oversee its implementation,

Considering also the importance of parliamentary inputs in multilateral institutions, particularly in the areas of trade, finance, sustainable development, human rights and the environment,

Convinced that globalisation makes women's participation in multilateral negotiations all the more essential,

The 107th Inter-Parliamentary Conference therefore:

  1. Emphasises the need for parliaments and their members to take steps to ensure that globalisation also benefits developing countries so that their peoples attain greater social and economic prosperity;

  2. Calls on parliaments to play a much more active role in the area of international trade, finance and environmental negotiations and to participate in shaping related policies;

  3. Points out the urgent need for parliaments to contribute positively at all stages of trade negotiations, including follow-up, so as to ensure that they reflect the concerns and aspirations of all citizens;

  4. Urges the international community, particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO), to create a more democratic, fair, transparent, equitable, and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system;

  5. Stresses the need for:

    (a) The international community, including the WTO, to take into account the different levels of development, particularly of developing countries, in the negotiation process by providing the special and differential treatment prescribed in various WTO agreements and assisting with capacity-building;

    (b) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to do likewise;

  6. Emphasises that international trade should target people-centred development which includes greater market access for the exports of developing countries, increased development assistance and better access to technology;

  7. Urges the international community to reduce substantially the debt of the poorest countries and to cancel the public debt of the heavily indebted poor countries, while not neglecting opportunities to recover funds illegally sequestered by some rulers of those countries for their own personal gain;

  8. Stresses the need to include parliamentarians in delegations to multilateral negotiations and to see to it that such delegations comprise both men and women;

  9. Calls on parliaments to play an active role in monitoring decisions taken and activities carried out by the multilateral institutions, in particular those affecting the development of nations; in bringing trade- and finance-related multilateral institutions closer to the peoples they are meant to serve; and in making multilateral institutions more democratic, transparent and equitable;

  10. Calls on the IPU to undertake a general study on how parliaments address globalisation and its impact on their constituents;

  11. Also calls on the IPU to continue its efforts to provide a parliamentary dimension to the WTO and the Bretton Woods institutions.

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 107th Conference and related meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union" in PDF format (file size approximately 436K). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader