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1. The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 55/19 of 8 November 2000, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-sixth session on the various aspects of cooperation between the two organizations.
2. The report describes the action taken by the two organizations to secure parliamentary input to recent major United Nations events, as well as the parliamentary action, coordinated by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), to support or complement the work of the United Nations, in particular in the areas of peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights, democracy, governance and gender issues.
IV. Peace and security
A. Peace and security in the Mediterranean
11. In the context of its endeavours to further security and cooperation in the Mediterranean through its Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean, IPU has continued its biannual meetings of representatives of the countries concerned. In the last few months, debates have centred around the establishment, in the long run, of a parliamentary assembly of Mediterranean States and, despite difficulties resulting from the situation in the Middle East, a blueprint for such an institution is being developed. Those directly involved in the process are the parliaments of all the States around the Mediterranean shores, with the addition of Jordan and Portugal; Palestine is an associate member.
B. Middle East
12. At its 104th Conference, held in Jakarta in October 2000, IPU issued a resolution calling for an end to tension, protection of civilians under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention and action to save the peace process in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions.
13. With the aim of promoting dialogue between the parties at the parliamentary level, the IPU Committee on Middle East Questions met with members of the Israeli Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council in Paris in January 2001. At the invitation of Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian representatives, the Committee also undertook a mission to Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory from 1 to 6 June 2001. The Committee has invited the Speakers of the Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council to meet in Geneva at a mutually convenient time.
* Owing to important recent events related to the agenda item, the report could not be submitted at an earlier date.