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 Geneva, 31 December 2011IPU Logo-bottom

31 DECEMBER 2011

IPU President Abdelwahad RADI 2011 is drawing to a close and another year is about to be ushered in. At this critical juncture, as the newly elected President, I take this opportunity to look back on a very eventful year; one marked above all by an unprecedented double natural disaster in Japan, a protracted debt crisis in Europe and mass popular movements in the Arab world - the Arab Spring - whose aspirations to democracy and respect for human rights will no doubt triumph in the end.

For the Inter-Parliamentary Union in particular, 2011 was the year when its Strategy for 2012-2017, Better parliaments, stronger democracies, was adopted. This Strategy - the end result of a meticulous examination of the Organization - as it stands today, will help Member Parliaments build a more universal, dynamic and effective IPU; one that is able to advance democratic culture, values and institutions through inter-parliamentary cooperation.

I believe that 2012 will be a decisive year. Lasting solutions will have to be found to a lingering global economic crisis, whose political ramifications are yet to be brought under control. Much remains to be done to make gender equality a daily reality, notably in politics. The IPU must lend its support to the democratic reconstruction of the countries swept up by the Arab Spring, and play its role of peacemaker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by promoting dialogue between parliamentarians from both sides. Let us work together to attain these goals through inter-parliamentary cooperation and, by the same token, make 2012 a fruitful year for our Organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

I extend to you my very best wishes for 2012.

Established in 1889 and with its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the IPU, the oldest multilateral political organisation, currently brings together 159 affiliated parliaments and nine regional assemblies as associate members. The world organisation of parliaments has an Office in New York, which acts as its Permanent Observer at the United Nations.
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