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Interview in English

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Interview in Farsi and French

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Interview in English

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Interview in French

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Interviewed in Spanish on 19 July 2010

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Democracy has proven its power across our shared agenda. That is why I am troubled by recent reversals. There have been unconstitutional changes of government, in Africa and elsewhere. There have been coups and illegal seizures of power… Such threats remind us that there is nothing inevitable about democratic development. It comes through hard work, vision, leadership and sustained effort.

The IPU is bringing the voice of the world’s people to the work of the United Nations. It is helping to integrate global issues into the work of national assemblies all over the world. At this time of crisis, let us deepen our strategic partnership, between the United Nations and the IPU, between the United Nations and national parliaments.

Full text: Remarks to the Inter-Parliamentary Union World Conference of Speakers of Parliament

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We are here to debate the major crises in the world, and to discuss how to improve the common good through greater accountability… To achieve accountability, democratic institutions must be strong. They must resist the temptation to trim down the rules of multiparty democracy. They must weather the storms.

Ending crises has to mean more than saving the economy… We must be ready to ask the real, often uncomfortable, questions. Sometimes it seems we have our priorities completely wrong. When you stop for a moment and think of the staggering amounts that countries spend purchasing weapons, large and small, you may well be justified in asking yourself if much greater security would not be achieved for all of us if a portion of the same amounts were spent on the people.

The Millenium Declaration sets out a vision for how we can together create a better world… In the last ten years we have made progress; even considerable progress. But we also have a long way to go. I am convinced that in today’s globalized world our parliaments can bring something unique to international cooperation – a deeper understanding of the inner workings of democracy.

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