The election of a new IPU President will be one of the main highlights of a content-rich 131st Assembly in Geneva on 12-16 October. The new president will take over from Abdelwahad Radi, who ends his three-year mandate at the end of the event. Over 120 IPU Member parliaments involving more than 650 MPs have so far registered to attend the 131st Assembly. Among them, there are more than 75 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliament, as well as a significant percentage of women and young MPs.
Marking International Day of Democracy on 15 September, the IPU is urging bold action and changes in mindset if disillusioned and alienated youth the world over are to be engaged in political decision-making. Young people between 15-25 years of age represent 20 per cent of the global population but parliamentarians below 30 years of age accounted for less than two per cent of MPs. For those aged between 20-40 years, the figure increases to just 12 per cent.
Women Speakers of Parliament from 16 countries, including the UK's Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza, have called for urgent action and commitment to ending violence against women and girls in conflict situations as they ended a two-day meeting in Geneva. Highlighting deep concern over recent developments, Women Speakers said they were appalled by the “vicious crimes being perpetrated against women and girls” in a Declaration issued at the 9th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament organized by IPU.