Network of cooperation between UNESCO and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to be launchedA network of cooperation between the 145 Parliaments that make up the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU*) and UNESCO will be launched on Monday, October, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (Room IV, 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.), where the Organization's 32nd General Conference is in session.
Under the terms of the agreement between the two Organizations, "focal points" will be designated within each parliament to create an institutional link, on a national level, between the National Commissions for UNESCO, the parliamentarians and the IPU. It will allow information concerning education, science, culture and communication to be circulated among national parliaments, National Commissions and UNESCO offices around the world. These focal points will distribute documents produced by UNESCO to IPU member parliaments and will be in permanent contact with governments, universities, NGOs and the media.
The aim of these networks is to urge the parliaments and parliamentarians to take into consideration and to promote the goals of UNESCO, such as the fight against poverty, education for all, sustainable management of the environment - especially freshwater resources, dialogue between cultures and civilisations and freedom of the press. The overriding objective of the network is to encourage parliaments to put these goals on their agenda and include some of their elements into their regular work schedule.
UNECO will lend its international expertise to the parliaments of the IPU in its fields of competence, areas in which parliamentarians are often called on to legislate, such as education, bioethics or the adoption of international standards.
A cooperation agreement was signed between UNESCO and the IPU in June 1997. The launch of a network of focal points linking the two institutions fulfils the need to create a permanent, institutional link between the legislative and executive powers and civil society in the 145 states whose parliaments are members of the IPU.
The Inter-parliamentary Union is the international organization of Parliaments of sovereign States. It was established in 1889 at the initiative of two parliamentarians, William Randal Cremer of the United Kingdom and Frédéric Passy of France. Working for peace and the promotion of the principle of international arbitration, the IPU is at the root of multilateral, institutional cooperation. (Website: http://www.ipu.org)
Journalists wishing to attend the meeting must obtain accreditation from the UNESCO Press Service, tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48