We are founded on the premise that conflicts and differences should be settled through peaceful means, such as mediation and inclusiveness. The world’s many wars bear witness to the importance of political plurality and dialogue if peace and security are to be achieved. Respecting difference is the only way to achieve unity. We believe parliaments should be at the heart of conflict prevention, mediation, reconciliation and peacemaking processes. MPs can lead the way in showing how to work together across political, cultural or religious divides, and in engaging in constructive dialogue as a means to settle disputes. However, in most countries emerging from conflict or transitioning to democracy, parliaments have few resources and little experience to deal with the scale of the task they face. Our support to these parliaments can therefore be crucial.
We back parliaments in post-conflict situations by promoting dialogue among MPs. We help parliamentarians—and parliaments as a whole—to contribute to national reconciliation by addressing the wounds of the past and building viable societies. We support parliaments in countries that are still in conflict, emerging from it, or under foreign occupation. We often work alongside the UN and its Peacebuilding Commission to achieve our goals. We believe that conflicts can be avoided through mediation and by bringing together opposing sides to resolve a dispute. We mediate through parliamentary diplomacy in some of the world’s most intractable conflict areas. These include the Middle East, where we organize dialogue among MPs from all sides, and Cyprus, where we involve those from across the divide. We also facilitate bilateral meetings at our Assemblies.
We cater for the needs of each parliament individually, but some principles are common to all situations. These include ensuring that parliaments and MPs have smooth relations with the executive, and that opposition parties have rights and roles which are codified and respected.