28 February 2008
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations and Inter-Parliamentary Union launch World e-Parliament Report 2008

NEW YORK, 28 February (DESA) -- The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Inter-Parliamentary Union launched today the World e‑Parliament Report 2008.  The Report was prepared as part of the work of the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament.

Drawing on information provided by 105 assemblies from around the world, the World e-Parliament Report 2008 represents the first effort to establish a baseline of how parliaments are using, or planning to use, information and communications technology to help them carry out their representative, lawmaking and oversight responsibilities and to connect to their constituencies.  It is also intended to advance a shared knowledge base among the parliaments of the world and to promote international debate on these matters.

“The Reportunderscores the importance of leveraging the forces and expertise available in parliamentary assemblies in developed countries in this field to support the development efforts of those parliaments with less resources,” said Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.  At the launch, Mr. Sha was joined by Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Gertrude Mongella, President of the Pan-African Parliament.

The launch of the Report was followed by a high-level dialogue on the right of access to information, which saw the participation of Katalin Szili, Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary; Mechtild Rothe, Vice-President of the European Parliament; and Geoff Q. Doidge, House Chairperson of the National Assembly of South Africa.  Members and representatives of the Shura Council of Egypt, the Chamber of Deputies of Italy and the House of Representatives of the Philippines also participated in the event.

The World e-Parliament Report 2008 was launched on the occasion of the second high-level meeting of the Board of the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament.  The Global Centre is a joint initiative of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and a group of national and regional parliaments established in the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society process.

The Global Centre receives generous support from the Italian Development Cooperation.  It also receives continued support from the Government of the Netherlands and the Inter-American Development Bank.

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For information media • not an official record