6 October 2003





NEW YORK, 3 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message for the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General, United Nations Office in Geneva, 3 October:

I am pleased to send my warmest congratulations to the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the inauguration of it new headquarters -- the appropriately named “House of Parliaments”.

It is said that all politics is local -- and, in a sense, that is true.  But in this day and age, all politics is also global, and the work of parliamentary representatives must reflect this reality.  Whether you are from the North or the South, the East or the West, your work at the local level both affects, and is affected by, developments at the global level -- in ways that our forebearers could not have imagined.

That is one reason why, more than a century after its founding, the Inter-Parliamentary Union is such a valuable international institution.  In our era of globalization and interdependence, your work to foster international cooperation among parliamentarians in the cause of peace, development and human rights, and to promote representative government and parliamentary democracy, is as important as it has ever been.

The United Nations shares these aims.  But the Union brings the unique perspective of elected parliamentarians to them.  The relationship between our organizations has continued to develop.  I am particularly pleased that our cooperation was taken to a new level last year when the General Assembly accorded the Inter-Parliamentary Union observer status.

That cooperation found a fitting symbol when the United Nations postal authority issued a stamp earlier this year with a depiction of the House of Parliaments.  Through letters posted to men and women everywhere, the image of this beautiful House has already been carried to all quarters of the globe.  I hope that the work done in and through this House will be felt all around the world as well.

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