Thursday, April 08, 2010

Organized Crime Global Meeting Resolutions

More than 600 parliamentarians from 124 countries, among them 35 Speakers of Parliament, attending the 122nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) closed their meeting in Bangkok by adopting four key resolutions.

In one of them, a resolution prompted by the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, they call upon governments to make disaster-risk assessment an integral part of planning for post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction.

The resolution commended the efforts made by the national authorities of Haiti and Chile to cope with the crippling disasters. It also urged governments to assess all their critical public facilities, such as schools and hospitals, with a view to making them resilient to earthquake, floods and storms, and to make disaster-risk reduction a part of poverty reduction and of all planning and programmes aimed at ensuring long-term welfare of the people.

Governments, they said, should also pay close attention to the protection of women and children in post-disaster situations, which can leave them particularly vulnerable to abuse, including trafficking.

In a resolution on cooperation and shared responsibility in the global fight against organized crime, in particular drug, illegal arms and human trafficking, and cross border terrorism, the Assembly invited the United Nations to convene an international conference to analyze the impact of new forms of terrorism and determine whether national legislation meets international humanitarian and human rights standards.

The resolution calls on States to combat terrorism, in particular by refusing to allow their territories to be used for cross-border terrorism and by bringing to justice those on their territories who participate in acts of terror.

It also invites IPU Member Parliaments to strengthen their respective legal systems in accordance with the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism with a view to combating money laundering and financing of terrorist activities and to ensure that all measures taken are in line with their respective State's international obligations.

It calls for universal ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and asks parliaments to support the newly established UNCAC review mechanism. It urges national parliaments to legislate more stringent penalties for corruption and organized crime, and to apply standards of good governance, accountability and transparency in public institutions with a view to combating corruption. It also urges the IPU to promote international cooperation to combat financial safe havens.

Efforts should also be intensified to counter the illicit cultivation, production, manufacture, sale, abuse, transit, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, especially heroin, cocaine and its derivatives.

The resolution also urges parliaments to mainstream gender equality concerns into all legislation to ensure that women and children are protected from abuse and that they are provided with legal, medical and other forms of assistances.

A resolution was adopted on the role of parliaments in developing South-South and triangular cooperation with a view to accelerating achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It invites southern and northern parliaments and governments to support and develop South-South and triangular cooperation and to align their South-South cooperation agenda with the MDGs. It also urges southern country parliaments and governments to see to it that the funds allocated to MDG-related programmes and sectors are effectively used for the targeted programmes.

It recommends that donor country parliaments and governments, in addition to the traditional bilateral and multilateral aid flows, contribute to the United Nations Fund for South-South cooperation to provide money for South-South projects and initiatives. It also urges parliaments to ask their governments to ensure that United Nations documents on South-South cooperation make mention of the important role that parliaments have to play in fostering South-South cooperation.

The resolution also invites northern country parliaments and governments to ensure that a substantial part of development assistance serves to promote South-South and triangular cooperation.

A fourth resolution invites parliaments, if they have not yet done so, to set up specialized bodies to streamline youth issues throughout parliament's work and to monitor the fulfilment of their government's obligations under the Convention of the Right of the Child to ensure children's right to be heard and express their views freely and without discrimination.

States, parliaments, legislators, political parties, the IPU and youth organizations are invited to encourage and promote the initiative, enterprise and creativity of young people.

The resolution also calls on the IPU and parliaments, youth organizations and others to strengthen efforts aimed at achieving appropriate representation and participation of youth in decision-making bodies, bearing in mind that girls, boys, young women and young men are all entitled to the same rights.

It also calls on Parliaments to ensure that young people with disabilities and those who are socially and economically disadvantaged are offered equal opportunities to participate fully in society.

Established in 1889 and with Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the IPU – the oldest multilateral political organization in the world - currently brings together 155 national parliaments and nine associated regional assemblies. The world organization of parliaments also has an Office in New York, which acts as its Permanent Observer to the United Nations.

Thanks to News Room America

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