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The IPU Universal Declaration on Democracy: 25 years on, has the declaration stood the test of time?



Riding on a wave of countries becoming democracies in the 1990s, IPU Member Parliaments issued the Universal Declaration on Democracy in 1997 in Cairo, Egypt.

At the time, it was designed to be an international standard to guide governments, parliaments and people through the many challenges to democracy around the world.

Twenty-five years on, with the backdrop of democratic back-sliding and parliaments under assault in many countries around the world, is the declaration still relevant? Is democracy resilient and flexible enough to adapt to the challenges of today and still deliver for the people? Are democracies up to the task of mitigating the effects of the climate emergency? And what do young people think?





Gunilla von Hall, moderator - foreign correspondent, Svenska Dagbladet


Gunilla von Hall has been based at the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva since 1990. Ms. von Hall covers the United Nations, international and humanitarian affairs as well as health, economic and development issues. She regularly travels for stories on these topics in the field and in conflict areas. Ms. von Hall has reported from more than 40 countries, including Ukraine, Syria, North Korea, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Bosnia, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Colombia, South Korea and Egypt. Ms. von Hall is a former President of the United Nations Correspondent´s Association in Geneva (ACANU).

Hend Abdalrahman Al-Muftah, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations Office at Geneva

qatar amb

H.E. Ms. Hend Abdalrahman Al-Muftah, is the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland. She was appointed in July 2022.

H.E. Ms. Al-Muftah has had a wide-ranging career since 2004, including different academic, research and professional positions.  In 2017, H.E. Ms. Al-Muftah was appointed as a member of the Shura Council of Qatar, one of four women joining the Council for the first time for a four-year term. She has been a member of, or consultant to various national and regional bodies and has many publications.

Corinne Momal-Vanian - Executive Director, Kofi Annan Foundation


Corinne Momal-Vanian is the Executive Director of the Kofii Annan Foundation. Previously, she worked in various senior positions and a variety of countries for the United Nations.

Ms. Momal-Vanian served as Special Assistant to Kofi Annan in 2005 and 2006, traveling with him to some 20 countries as he worked to resolve crises, defuse tensions, highlight the plight of communities and individuals suffering from discrimination and abuses, build international cooperation and strengthen support for development and justice. She worked for a total of six years in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, after serving in two regional economic and social commissions of the United Nations.

Dr Hanafy Ali Gebaly- Speaker of the House of Representatives, Egypt


Dr Hanafy Ali Gebaly-is an Egyptian politician elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives on 12 January 2021. He has been a member of the Egyptian parliament of the House of Representatives since October 2020. Ali Gebaly previously served as Attorney General and chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Duarte Pacheco- President, IPU


Mr. Duarte Pacheco was elected IPU President in November 2021. He has been a Member of Parliament in Portugal since 1991, holding different functions, including Member of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Portuguese Communities.

At the IPU, Mr. Pacheco has been a Member of the Portuguese delegation since 2002 and its head since 2016. He was the Chair of the IPU’s Twelve Plus Geopolitical Group from 2017-2020. He was also the Vice-President of the IPU’s Standing Committee on Peace and International Security from 2014-2016 and Internal Auditor for the IPU in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015. 

Martin Chungong- Secretary General, IPU


Martin Chungong made double history in 2014 by becoming the first African and first non-European to be elected as IPU Secretary General. He was recently elected to a third term of office.

He has more than four decades of experience and knowledge of parliaments at national and international levels. He has dedicated his professional life to promoting and building democracy worldwide.

After 14 years working in the Cameroonian Parliament, he spent more than 20 distinguished years within the IPU before being elected its Secretary General—the eighth person to hold the position.