The IPU actively took part during Geneva Peace Week by co-organizing two events, participating in a conference and a Facebook Live interview. The focus of the Peace Week, held from 6-10 November 2017, was on conflict prevention and effective pathways for implementation.
The IPU events kicked off on 8 November with a panel session on Supporting National Capacities for Conflict Prevention, co-organized with the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Department of Political Affairs and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Speaking on parliament’s role in conflict prevention, Senator Laura Rojas of Mexico, President of the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security, stressed that although members of parliament were not mediators, they could help to facilitate dialogue. An open parliament could bridge the gap between government and citizens.
Creating Sustainable Peace by Implementing the SDGs was the focus of a workshop on 10 November, co-organized by the IPU, Rotary International and the Rotary Peace Group Lake Geneva Region. Panellists discussed whether attaining the SDG targets would diminish conflict. “Effective implementation of the SDGs will not only prevent the outbreak of conflict but also lay the foundations for self-sustaining peace and development by significantly reducing all forms of violence,” said IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong.
After the workshop, Mr. Chungong discussed sustainable peace with John Hewko, General Secretary of Rotary International on Facebook Live. You can watch the video on IPU’s Facebook page.
On 7 November, Ambassador Anda Filip, IPU Director for Member Parliaments and External Relations, spoke at a conference on Preventing Conflicts through Intercultural Dialogue, organized by the European Azerbaijan Society Foundation (TEAS), the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Ms. Filip stressed the importance of political and inter-ethnic dialogue, something that the IPU has always promoted. “As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and interdependent, mutual respect, understanding and cooperation across cultural divides have become imperative,” she said. She presented the salient features of the St. Petersburg Declaration on Promoting cultural pluralism and peace through interfaith and inter-ethnic dialogue, adopted recently at the 137th IPU Assembly.