1211 GENEVA 19


Resolution adopted without a vote by the 89th Inter-Parliamentary Conference
(New Delhi, 17 April 1993)

The 89th Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Welcoming the progress which has been made in many countries towards establishing democracy, and recognizing that democracy is a political system wherein power is shared among citizens, and rulers at all levels are freely and periodically elected and are accountable to the people, and that it is for every country to build democracy in conformity with its historical traditions, socio-cultural identity and fundamental ideals,

Underlining that sustainable economic and social development requires broadly based democratic participation in political, economic and social systems, and recalling the initiatives of the United Nations and other international bodies to address the wider issues of social progress and the alleviation of poverty,

Reaffirming that respect for human rights is an integral part of, and an essential basis for, the development of human resources in all countries,

Concerned that inequalities in society tied to an individual's religion, race, colour or sex, are detrimental to democratic life and practice, and affirming the right of every citizen to be educated and trained to become literate and economically productive,

Recalling the declarations and resolutions of international and multilateral bodies reaffirming democratic values and fundamental freedoms, especially the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as United Nations General Assembly resolutions 34/170 and 35/191 concerning the right to education and resolution 41/187 proclaiming the period 1988-1997 the World Decade for Cultural Development,

Referring to the Declaration on "Education for All" (1990) made at a world conference organized by UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO and the World Bank, and bearing in mind UNESCO's plan to link international education with human rights education as well as the UNESCO-sponsored 44th International Conference on Education in 1994,

Recognizing that education is a prerequisite for the acceptance and further development of democratic values in a process involving the participation of all citizens,

Asserting that education and literacy ensure that everyone enjoys personal liberty, while taking account of the historical background of developing countries and their social and economic circumstances, particularly the funding of their expenditure on education to reduce illiteracy and elementary school drop-out rates, especially in the present climate of inequality and injustice in international economic relations,

Recognizing that cultural interaction can make an important contribution to international understanding and co-operation,

1. Emphasizes that the establishment of political freedom, popular participation, respect for human rights, justice and equality is essential to sustained economic growth and development;

2. Underlines the role in democratic societies of non-governmental organizations and other institutions which are necessary for a pluralist society;

3. Calls on all parliaments and governments to ensure that citizens are aware of their democratic rights, their responsibilities and the need to participate in the democratic process, and to enable them to do so;

4. Reaffirms that access to information is an essential part of democratic development, and calls on countries to ensure implementation of the inalienable right of all individuals - especially girls - to education, so that all citizens may acquire the knowledge, abilities and skills which are indispensable for shaping their lives and their system of government in freedom;

5. Calls on governments to ensure, in accordance with article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, universal access to, and completion of, high-quality primary education, especially for girls, and towards this end, to mobilize financial and human resources, public, private and voluntary;

6. Calls for strengthening partnerships in the provision of educational and cultural programmes among all sectors of society, including central and local government and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, trade unions, local communities, religious groups, individual families and political parties;

7. Calls on all international development agencies - multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental - to support initiatives to achieve universal primary education and literacy for adults in all countries;

8. Stresses the need to realize the importance of education systems in a democracy, because governments are the servants of the people and the people's capacity to create, sustain and improve democratic governments is largely dependent on the quality and effectiveness of the education systems;

9. Stresses the need to involve the media in a joint educational undertaking;

10. Considers that education programmes must aim to instill in students the principles of democratic life and its foundations; knowledge of the institutions of their country and of man's rights and responsibilities in today's world; the ability to reflect on the conditions for and means of promoting respect for these rights and responsibilities; a capacity for personal reflection and critical analysis; and respect, tolerance and understanding of others;

11. Invites parliamentarians to urge their respective governments to adopt a global strategy to implement policies to this effect;

12. Stresses the need for governments to give more prominence to civic instruction and courses on democracy and political science in school curricula, and requests governments to place an emphasis on the political education of the population through sensitization campaigns, lectures and seminars on democracy with a view to popularizing the fundamental values of democracy;

13. Emphasizes that educational and cultural activities must be complementary if they are to play their part in individual fulfillment;

14. Emphasizes the need to promote exchange between the various cultures by means of training and exchange programmes, as well as the teaching and dissemination of living languages;

15. Calls, in view of the effects and consequences of worldwide migratory movements, for the formulation of strategies at national and international levels whereby immigrants may preserve their cultural identities while becoming integrated in the cultures of receiving countries;

16. Stresses the need to combat all forms of corruption through education, including corruption in commercial transactions which undermines the honesty and integrity of public institutions and leads to the wasting of scarce resources;

17. Calls on all parliaments represented in the Inter-Parliamentary Union, particularly those of the richer countries, to urge their respective governments, through the resumption of the North-South dialogue, to render all possible assistance to developing countries in their efforts to promote democratic values through education.

IPU Statutory Conferences | Home page | Main areas of activity | Structure and functioning