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World lawmakers gather to discuss financial crisis

world Updated: Oct 13, 2008 15:33 IST

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Lawmakers and parliamentarians from around the world gathered in Geneva on Monday for an annual meeting with the financial crisis, nuclear disarmament and soaring food prices all high up on the agenda.

The Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is holding its 119th assembly until Wednesday, where representatives from 150 affiliated parliaments and eight associated regional assemblies will be present.

The parliamentary speakers of Germany, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe will be among those in attendance.

A last-minute request from the United Arab Emirates will see the assembly debate the role of parliaments in containing the global financial crisis and its impact on national economies.

"The international financial crisis has undermined social stability in many countries around the world and threatens the gains made in democracy and human rights," the UAE delegation said in a draft resolution.

It urged delegates to implement "internationally agreed laws and standards on the transparency of financial markets," and called for measures "so that those who are responsible for the international financial crisis can be brought to justice."

The IPU will also discuss nuclear disarmament and the role of parliaments in enforcing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, formerly Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator, will hold a press conference on Tuesday.

The assembly will also discuss the impact of soaring global food prices, which have also led to political stability in countries such as Egypt and Haiti this year.

The UN's special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter, will address the assembly along with representatives from the World Food Programme and the World Health Organisation.