|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Need for Those Who Serve as People’s Democratic Voice Relevant as Ever,
Secretary-General Tells Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the 130th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), taking place in Geneva from 16 to 20 March:
Congratulations on your 125th anniversary.
Parliaments and democracy have evolved greatly since the IPU was established. So too have the challenges the world faces. But the need for what parliamentarians do best — serve as the democratic voice of the people — is as relevant as ever.
We have seen an increase in social protest across the world. So far this year we have seen such protests in the streets of Caracas, Kyiv, Bangkok, Cairo and Sarajevo. The circumstances and contexts driving people into the streets may be different, but the impulse is similar: people want their grievances to be heard. People want responsive institutions and accountable leaders. They want a say in shaping their future.
This gives you, the world’s parliamentarians, a key role and a special responsibility. You stand for peace. You stand for democracy. People count on you to translate their voices into action. The United Nations relies on effective parliaments. We greatly value our deepening partnership with the IPU.
UN Member States are crafting what we hope will be an ambitious post-2015 development agenda. I have heard your calls for an honest and responsive government, I have heard your calls for political freedoms and I have heard your calls for protection against crime and violence. This is clearly reflected in the nearly 1.5 million responses from 194 countries to the UN global MY World survey to date. I hope that you will help ensure that development, peace and democracy are indeed at the heart of the new universal development agenda.
I congratulate you again on this landmark anniversary. I look forward to working ever more closely together to build a world of security, prosperity and dignity for all.
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