Press Release

Global parliamentary summit must launch new era of political leadership

Geneva/New York, 26 August 2015

Speakers of Parliament from around the world have a unique opportunity to launch a new era of political leadership with the potential to transform our world when they meet for a conference at UN Headquarters in New York next week.

About 180 parliamentary leaders, including more than 35 Deputy Speakers, from nearly 140 countries taking part in the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (31 August-2 September) will examine ways to effectively tackle global challenges to peace and democracy.

Forest Whitaker, artist, humanist and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, will deliver a keynote address to the conference, which will be officially opened by IPU President Saber Chowdhury and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The world’s parliaments and their members will be urged to engage in concerted dynamic action with planet-wide impact, on issues such as conflict, terrorism, migration, discrimination and climate change. Efforts to re-engage young people in democracy also need to be stepped up and progress on gender equality and political representation accelerated.

The conference is expected to place particular emphasis on achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) due to be adopted at a UN Summit in September. The SDGs will set wide-ranging targets to be met by 2030, including ending extreme poverty and hunger, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and ensuring sustainable patterns of development and consumption.

Delivery of the goals will necessitate political leadership and reform as never before. Acknowledged in the outcome document on the SDGs, parliaments’ role in translating the goals into concrete action through passing legislation, making budget allocations and holding governments accountable to the people will be critical.

“Parliaments will have to rise to the unprecedented challenge of driving change to deliver on the most ambitious global effort yet to create a new reality for our world based on peace, equality and prosperity,” says IPU President Chowdhury. “IPU calls on all Speakers to commit to leading efforts in building a world the people want, demand and deserve.”

The Conference, organized by IPU every five years and supported by the UN, will adopt a declaration which will feed into the UN SDGs Summit.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.

Follow the conference on Twitter using #Speakersconf

For media accreditation to cover the event at UN Headquarters in New York, please go to:

For further information on the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, please go to:

Photos of the event will be available on the Speakers’ Conference page of IPU’s Flickr account.

The event will be webcast live via UN Web TV  and the IPU website

Live broadcast feeds are available at and requests for recorded footage can be made via the UN’s audiovisual library

For further information, please contact

Jemini Pandya, Director of Communications
Tel: +1 646 229 8364 (in New York) or +41 79 217 33 74 (in Geneva)