The weeklong meeting aims to cover subjects including "women's issues," human rights and the Mideast crisis. The parliamentarian leaders also aim to bring North and South Korea closer and bring an end to the conflict in Angola. The conference participants also plan to address the continuing abuses of human rights in more than 30 countries, including Argentina, Colombia and Honduras.
But apparently human rights abuses in Cuba will not be addressed. IPU President Najma Heptuallah said she was happy with Cuba's conformity to IPU's criteria for a "democratic" country.
Out of the 1,400 parliamentarians from more than 120 countries at the conference, a U.S. delegation was notably absent. Heptuallah said the U.S. absence had nothing to do with the differences. The United States has not attended an IPU conference since 1994.
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