The 131st Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly met in Geneva from 12 to 16 October 2014 with over 1,500 participants including 725 parliamentarians from 144 parliaments, with 113 Speakers or Deputy Speakers and 234 women MPs, and welcomed back Madagascar and Guinea bringing total IPU membership to 166 of the world’s parliaments. In an Assembly which saw S H Chowdhury elected as the new IPU President, key issues addressed including gender equity and violence against women, the current Ebola crisis and the threat of terrorism and extremism.
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.