Over 1300 MPs and parliamentary staff from around the world will meet in Geneva for the 139th IPU Assembly from 14-18 October. Under the umbrella theme of science, technology and innovation, the Assembly will cover multiple subjects including fake news, sexism and harassment in parliaments, human rights, disarmament, counter-terrorism, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and migration. The IPU has 130 years’ experience of bringing together world parliamentarians. The first IPU Assembly took place in 1889 in Paris with MPs representing 13 countries. The 139th Assembly will have delegates from nearly 130 countries including over 50 Speakers of Parliament, 40 Deputy Speakers and 700 MPs, of which 20 per cent are young MPs under 45 and 33 per cent are women.
On 15 September, the IPU celebrates the 21st anniversary of its Universal Declaration on Democracy and the 11th anniversary of the International Day of Democracy. The date is an opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to protect and promote democracy. Democracy Day is also a time to review the state of democracy around the world. This year we are focusing on the importance of parliamentary oversight - a core function of parliaments and a vital part of the checks and balances in any healthy democracy.
To celebrate International Day of Democracy on Saturday 15 September, the IPU is launching New Parline, a new version of its online open data platform on national parliaments. The platform is intended for MPs, academics, civil society, the media, and all those interested in parliaments as the core institution of democracy. The IPU has been collecting data on parliaments since its inception in 1889, including information on women’s participation in politics since 1945. Through New Parline, the IPU has pooled all of its data into one hub, allowing the user to see trends over time, as well as compare progress or regression between different regions of the world.