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Resolution adopted by consensus* by the 109th Assembly
(Geneva, 3 October 2003)

The 109th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Noting the importance of parliaments as the cornerstone of democracy and their role in promoting peace,

Considering that peace and justice are two interdependent issues of fundamental importance to humankind,

Noting that peace is not only a political issue defined by the absence of violence and war and that it also encompasses cultural, economic, social and educational issues,

Recognising that not only physical violence but also increasingly acute social, cultural and ethnic tensions, such as those resulting from severe pollution, impoverishment of the environment, corruption or poverty, aggravate the threat to peace and security,

Concerned moreover that the mass of weaponry produced throughout the world is a threat to the human race, as well as an enormous waste of resources in terms of human labour, financial investment, and the cost of stockpiling and deployment,

Recognising the fact that terrorism, including State terrorism and State-sponsored terrorism, has affected many countries of the world in a variety of ways for several decades,

Observing that, in the final decade of the last century and the first years of the present one, peace and security worldwide are still under threat from terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, armed internal conflicts, aggression, wars between members of the international community, occupation and weapons of mass destruction,

Aware that terrorism and organised crime, especially trafficking in weapons, drugs and human beings, are often closely interrelated, and welcoming in this context the recent entry into force of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime,

Drawing attention to UN Security Council resolutions 1368 (2001) of 12 September 2001 and 1373 (2001) of 28 September 2001,

Mindful that, to prevent security from being threatened, joint global counteractive measures are required to combat environmental problems,

Convinced that parliamentarians can play an important role in early conflict prevention,

Reaffirming its position that internal conflicts in all countries and their spread into other countries can be averted through mutual respect and coexistence among the various religious and ethnic groups, as well as through dialogue and openness and a comprehensive and anticipatory development policy comprising political, economic, social and environmental elements,

Also reaffirming IPU resolutions "Achieving peace, stability and comprehensive development in the world and forging closer political, economic and cultural ties among peoples" (103rd Conference, Amman, April-May 2000), "Financing for development and a new paradigm of economic and social development designed to eradicate poverty" (104th Conference, Jakarta, October 2000), "Securing observance of the principles of international law in the interests of world peace and security" (105th Conference, Havana, April 2001), "Ten years after Rio: global degradation of the environment and parliamentary support for the Kyoto Protocol" (107th Conference, Marrakech, March 2002), and "Importance of the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and of missiles, including the prevention of their use by terrorists" (108th Conference, Santiago de Chile, April 2003),

Convinced that strengthening democracy, promoting human rights and supporting the peaceful settlement of conflicts are the most effective means of combating terrorism,

Concerned that the United Nations system has often been unable to prevent wars between members of the international community, and reaffirming the paramount importance of all States abiding by the United Nations Charter and resolutions,

Mindful of the importance of international instruments on the protection of fundamental human rights and liberties, for men and women alike,

Welcoming and fully supporting United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), entitled "Women and peace and security", and bearing in mind the specific recommendations on women and war made in the Beijing Platform for Action, and the outcome document of the "Beijing+5" Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly,

Stressing that education, particularly human rights education, is essential, and recognising the positive role that children can play in building a culture of peace,

Aware of the significant roles played by different sectors of civil society and of the importance of their cooperation with parliaments to foster democracy, peace and security,

  1. Calls on governments and parliaments to promote reconciliation processes aimed at achieving sustainable solutions to internal conflicts;

  2. Also calls on all parliaments to do everything possible at the national level to facilitate the establishment of standing mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution, as a way to promote action geared to achieving real peace;

  3. Further calls on all parliamentarians to work hard to limit the effects of war on civilians, whom they represent, particularly as regards the vulnerable situation of women and children and the consequences of rape;

  4. Emphasises the need for better control of small arms, encompassing the trading, trafficking and smuggling of small arms, in order to reduce the risk of violent conflicts;

  5. Unequivocally condemns terrorism as a criminal act, noting that terrorism endangers the territorial integrity of countries and their national and international security, destroys innocent lives and the physical and economic infrastructure, and destabilises not only legitimately constituted governments but society as a whole;

  6. Emphasises the need for the Inter-Parliamentary Union to focus more closely on the issue of terrorism and its root causes, and to work with the international community on a definition of terrorism;

  7. Vigorously condemns all terrorist acts, methods and practices, and considers them criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever they are committed;

  8. Strongly urges all States and governments worldwide to refrain from funding or encouraging terrorist activity, supporting it by any other means, providing training for it or allowing their territory to be used for organising terrorist activities against other States, individuals or groups of individuals;

  9. Urges the Inter-Parliamentary Union to cooperate closely with the Counter-Terrorism Committee established under Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and the Vienna-based United Nations Terrorism Prevention Branch, and to promote the implementation of the Global Programme against Terrorism;

  10. Invites all States to consider, if they have not yet done so, acceding to and/or ratifying international instruments, as appropriate, in particular the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, and recalls that, in establishing the crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, the latter's Statute defines rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilisation, or any other form of sexual violence both as war crimes and, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, as crimes against humanity;

  11. Reaffirms its deep apprehension at the increase in terrorism and therefore:
    (a) Reiterates its call to the world's parliaments to promote consensus on the United Nations conventions on terrorism, referring in this connection to the resolution entitled "Terrorism a threat to democracy, human rights and civil society: the contribution of parliaments to combating international terrorism and addressing its causes in order to maintain international peace and security", adopted by the 107th Conference, Marrakech, March 2002;

    (b) Stresses the need to confront the exercise of terror and eliminate the causes that lead to its development, and urges all States to enhance cooperation in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations;

    (c) Reaffirms its commitment to eliminate any perception that the fight against terrorism is also a fight against particular cultures, peoples or religions;

    (d) Calls for the enhancement of national and multilateral export administration systems as part of the fight against terrorism;

    (e) Calls on each country to ratify promptly the relevant international and regional treaties, conventions and protocols against terrorism;

    (f) Calls on parliaments to support the elaboration of a comprehensive United Nations convention on international terrorism, and of an international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism;

  12. Calls on all parliamentarians to press their governments to sign, accede to and ratify all international instruments drafted to eliminate the world's arsenal of weapons;

  13. Calls the international community's attention to the need for best efforts to resolve these issues as peacefully as possible, and expresses the IPU's firm determination to become involved in global cooperation for resolving such issues through dialogue among parliamentarians and cooperation with relevant international bodies, thus contributing to world peace and security;

  14. Calls on all countries to intensify efforts to prevent and curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and to consolidate policies for preventing equipment, materials and technology which may possibly be used for any proliferation of such weapons from being transferred, especially to terrorists;

  15. Recognises the need for a reform of the United Nations, in particular by enlarging the Security Council to make it more representative and effective in addressing issues of international peace and security;

  16. Agrees that peace at a global level can only be achieved through dialogue, within the framework of international law;

  17. Calls on the United Nations to place peace, an issue of grave human concern, on the agenda of its General Assembly meetings;

  18. Calls on the Inter-Parliamentary Union to exercise its right as an observer to the United Nations to speak during security policy debates in the United Nations General Assembly;

  19. Views with great concern the continuing occupation of territories belonging to other nations, while noting that any attempts to disrupt partially or totally the national unity and territorial integrity of a country are incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

  20. Calls on the multilateral organisations to support efforts to achieve the following:
    (a) The immediate termination of all forms of occupation;

    (b) The formal recognition of the responsibility of all occupying forces for the remedy of all ills caused by occupation, including the misappropriation of resources, damage to infrastructure, deterioration of the environment and impediments to economic, social, cultural and educational achievement;

    (c) The qualification of occupation as an infringement of international law;

  21. Stresses the importance for the United Nations to enhance its involvement and play a key role in the reconstruction process in Iraq, so as to allow the Iraqi people to decide independently on the measures which they find most suitable and which are compatible with their aspirations;

  22. Further stresses that Article 2 of the United Nations Charter should be observed in both letter and spirit and that, although the IPU and other multilateral organisations involved should assist the Iraqi people in their endeavour to regenerate their own State, no attempt should be tolerated to impose upon them what they do not voluntarily accept;

  23. Agrees that efforts to promote the concept and culture of peace and to renounce violence should be encouraged by fostering intercultural and inter-faith understanding and respect and by eliminating all forms of discrimination;

  24. Calls on parliaments and governments to strengthen measures to combat poverty, corruption and environmental destruction through international cooperation, and to devote attention to the gender implications of conflict;

  25. Also calls on governments to ensure that education seeks to promote respect and understanding, free from false indoctrination and hatred in various forms;

  26. Further calls on parliaments to support national efforts and international cooperation aimed at promoting education for all, while paying special attention to human rights education as a means of fostering the culture of peace;

  27. Encourages all parliamentarians to urge their governments and political parties to promote social justice as a guarantee for the establishment of lasting peace;

  28. Also encourages parliaments to support NGOs, including those which seek to promote peace through art in all its forms.
* Reservations were expressed by the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic.

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