On 21 and 22 February, the IPU and the United Nations, represented by the President of the General Assembly, will bring together 240 parliamentarians from nearly 40 countries, as well as ambassadors, representatives from UN organizations, and experts for their annual parliamentary hearing in New York. They will review the multilateral system to ensure that its underlying rules are still relevant and apply equally to all countries. Member States have realized that governments alone cannot provide the answer to today’s global problems such as climate change, migration and nuclear disarmament. This is compounded by growing popular distrust in global governance that seems too remote from national concerns. Parliamentarians, as representatives of the people, can help change this.
The first Preparatory Committee for the Fifth Conference of Speakers was held in Geneva from 8 to 9 February 2019. The BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, is representing the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, on this Preparatory Committee. The Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments is scheduled to take place in 2020 and is expected to build on the outcomes from the previous sessions and further reinforce the parliamentary dimension of global governance. Preparations for the Speakers Conference are guided by a Preparatory Committee, chaired by the IPU President and composed of parliamentary leaders, the Secretary General of the IPU, and the high-level representative of the UN Secretary-General.
The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has released its latest decisions after considering the cases of 417 MPs from 37 countries at a meeting in Geneva last week. The Committee, the only international body with a special remit to defend persecuted MPs, took decisions on 126 MPs, most of which concern opposition MPs in Venezuela. The Committee's work includes mobilizing the international parliamentary community to support threatened MPs, lobbying closely national authorities, and sending trial observers. The Committee is made up of 10 parliamentarians, representing the major regions of the world, and elected by their peers for a mandate of five years.