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The 64th Conference of the Interparliamentary Union was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, September 21-30, 1977. Participating in the Conference were 473 parliamentary delegates from 68 countries (See Annex A.) Also present were observers from the United Nations, UNCTAD, ILO, WHO, IBRD, GATT, Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Asian Parliamentary Union, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Arab Interparliamentary Union, and Palestine National Council.


The U.S. delegation that attended the 64th Conference was composed of Senator Robert Stafford, Representatives Claude Pepper, Edward Derwinski, Bob Wilson, Robert McClory, Del Clawson, William Lehman, David Bowen, and John Cunningham. The U.S. delegation was represented on the Interparliamentary Council by Senator Stafford and Representatives Derwinski, both serving as Vice Presidents of the 64th Conference.

Staff for the delegation included Darrell St. Claire, Executive Secretary of the U.S. Group; Vance Hyndman, Congressional Consultant; Thomas Niles, State Department Advisor to the Delegation; Mary McLaughlin, Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Ann Bolton, Administrative Assistant to Representative Derwinski; Jean Auldridge, Secretary to Senate Vice Chairman; Charlotte Dickson, Secretary to House Vice Chairman. Military escorts accompanying the delegation were Colonel Eugene Poe, USAF; Major David Osterhout, USAF; Colonel Jerry Earll, MD, USA; MSgt Peter Steffes, USAF; and MSgt Carl Groover, USAF.


The Interparliamentary Union furthers its objectives by holding annual meetings in the spring and fall of each year in the capital of one of its members. Other activities are oftentimes scheduled as well. The annual fall Conferences are the culmination of the year's work. Each Conference adopts positions on the several agenda items selected for consideration by the IPU Executive Committee. Voting in the Conference is weighted, with total votes cast by each delegation dependent on a complex formula reflecting the size of a nation's population and its parliament.

Conferences are not held in the spring. Instead, the subjects on the agenda are examined by five study committees currently constituted as follows:

Committee on Political Questions, International Security and Disarmament ("Political Committee");


Economic and Social Committee ("Economic Committee"); Committee on Parliamentary, Juridical, and Human Rights Questions ("Juridical Committee");

Educational, Scientific, Cultural, and Environmental Committee ("Educational Committee");

Committee on Non-Self-Governing Territories and Ethnic Questions ("Decolonization Committee").

These study committees make recommendations-usually draft resolutions to the fall Conference, which then discusses each topic in plenary session, reconvenes the study committees for several sessions to reconsider the resolutions and any amendments and makes final recommendations for adoption by the fall Conference. Each member group has only one vote in these study committees.

The IPU Council meets during both the spring and fall sessions, to fix the agenda for future Council meetings as well as the Conference and to take care of other activities of the Union. Each national group is represented by two delegates who may each cast a vote if present. The IPU Executive Committee consists of ten members, chosen in their personal (not national) capacity for terms of 4 years each. In addition, the president of the Council serves as president and exofficio member of the Executive Committee. The Committee meets both before and after each spring and fall session acting primarily as a steering committee and overseeing the work of the IPU Secretary General and his Secretariat staff.

The current authority for U.S. participation is contained in 49 Stat. 425 (1935) as amended (22 U.S.C. 276).


The opening ceremony of the 64th Interparliamentary Conference took place at 11:00 a.m. in the Universiade Centre in the presence of Mr. Todor Jivkov, President of the Council of State of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. Mr. Milko Tarabanov, President of the Bulgarian Interparliamentary Group, welcomed delegates to the Conference on behalf of the Organizing Committee and wished them fruitful work and a pleasant stay in Bulgaria.

Mr. M.P-C. Terenzio, Secretary General of the Interparliamentary Union, read a message from Dr. Kurt Waldheim, Secretary General of the United Nations, in which he pointed out that the 64th Conference of the Interparliamentary Union in Sofia coincided with the start of the 32nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

Dr. Waldheim noted with satisfaction that the Conference agenda included many subjects that were major concerns of the United Nations. He felt that while Member States looked to the United Nations to take action on issues at the global level, it was at the national level that the decisions taken by the world organization must be supported and implemented. This is a task in which parliamentarians play a vital role, one that is increasingly important as mankind becomes more and more drawn into interdependent relationships.

Dr. Waldheim referred to the many dangerous situations still facing the world as world organizations strive to establish peace, a better life and greater freedom for all peoples. He regretted that the armaments

race had reached new levels, now amounting to some $350 billion a year, money which could go a very long way towards improving conditions of life everywhere.

The Special Session of the General Assembly next year will be devoted to the subject of disarmament. Despite the immensely complex task which lay ahead, Dr. Waldheim hoped that that session would prove to be a turning point in the control of the awesome arms burden.

Sir Thomas Williams, President of the Interparliamentary Council, thanked the President of the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the government for making it possible for the Conference to be held in Sofia. He noted that much hard work and dedication had gone into the preparation of the Conference.

Sir Thomas pointed out that because of the diversity of views which every subject would reveal, no one could hope for an agreement on all occasions. But unity was not everything, he said. If from a great variety of traditions and backgrounds, delegates could achieve harmony, such as that of a great orchestra, they would have done well.

Sir Thomas suggested that the conference motto should be as follows: in things essential, harmony; in things doubtful, tolerance; in all things and to all men, charity. If that were the touchstone of the debates, delegates might be as content at the end of their deliberations as they were hopeful in the beginning.

Mr. Tudor Jívkov, President of the Council of States of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, welcomed delegates to Bulgaria. He thanked the Interparliamentary Union for holding its 64th Conference in Bulgaria and said he was confident that the conference would assist in the further consolidation of world peace and security and the development of equitable and mutually advantageous cooperation among all nations and peoples.

Mr. Jivkov pointed out that Bulgaria has been a member of the Interparliamentary Union for more than 80 years, since 1896, and he assured delegates that his country greatly valued, respected and supported the work of the Interparliamentary Union. The Bulgarian Parliament and its representatives would continue to participate regularly in the work of the Union and would make contributions towards the achievement of its highly humane and noble goals.

Mr. Jivkov noted the present trend towards interdependence and felt that the deepening and expansion of contacts among peoples directed towards the wellbeing of mankind is the challenge of the present and the future. To accomplish this, a steadfast approach regardless of differences in social orders is required. The Interparliamentary Union continued to make a significant contribution to the pursuit of that noble challenge, he felt. It has also become established as a widely respected, international, non-governmental organization which plays a distinctive role in international life and in efforts to find effective ways of bringing about understanding and cooperation.

Mr. Jivkov stressed the significant contribution made by the Interparliamentary Union in solving the problems to achieve peace and international security and emphasized the very great responsibility of parliamentarians in this respect. In view of the quality and quantity of modern weapons, the survival of mankind could be achieved only

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