Statements by the Parliamentary Forum provide updated policies to guide members.
As a method to strengthen the policy making role of the Forum and its members, the Board of the Parliamentary Forum on SALW, at its meeting in May 2007, introduced draft statements for the consideration of the Board. This should be seen as a democratic tool for policy making, allowing the board members to discuss and agree on policy guidance for the Forum.
Once policies are in place they give more space for the President, individual members and the secretariat to act on behalf of the Forum within the guidelines set.
This approach should be seen as a way of consolidating the decision making function of the Forum. It is also a way to make the Board and the Forum more politically relevant. In all of these areas, when taking part in both national and international debates, an individual member is able not only to represent him/herself, but also the community of concerned parliamentarians within the Forum, with a solid policy which facilitates well-prepared actions. She/he does not only come with his own views and knowledge. She/he can speak on behalf of a large group of parliamentarians who have deliberated together and decided on a shared position.
The policy statements so far have been initiated by individual board members as well as the secretariat. The task of the board and the secretariat is of course to listen carefully to members concerns and pick up issues that should be brought for consideration as possible policy statements.