General Assembly President stresses role of parliaments in eradicating poverty

Joseph Deiss, President of 65th session of the General Assembly

3 December 2010 – Parliaments have a crucial role to play in helping States achieve the global poverty reduction goals that the world has set out to attain in the next five years, the President of the General Assembly, Joseph Deiss, said today, urging national assemblies to ensure governments stay focused on their commitments.

“If we want to achieve the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals] by 2015, national parliaments will have to take international development goals into account and into their daily work,” Mr. Deiss told reporters in New York on the sidelines of two-day joint parliamentary hearings organized by the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The MDGs include halving the number of people living in extreme poverty across the world, as well as slashing hunger, maternal and infant mortality, and lack of access to health care and education, all by the target date of 2015.

Parliaments have to ensure that national MDG programmes are allocated the resources required to implement them, Mr. Deiss said. He also stressed the role of parliaments in providing support for the work of the UN, adding that they are essential in ensuring transparency and accountability in decision making.

“The IPU plays an essential role as an interface between the work of the different United Nations bodies and national parliaments,” Mr. Deiss said. “The parliamentary hearings that have been held here since yesterday is, therefore, an important opportunity for bringing the two institutions even closer,” he added.

Theo-Ben Gurirab, the President of the IPU, said the hearings, whose theme was – “Towards economic recovery: Rethinking development, retooling global governance” – had looked into various issues, including reform of the international financial system and topics on the UN agenda.


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