The world drug problem and how to address it will be the focus of a major parliamentary hearing at the United Nations in New York on 8-9 February. Hundreds of MPs from around the world will attend the event, which will be opened by UNSG Ban Ki-moon, IPU President Chowdhury, UNGA President and the UNODC Executive Director. The hearing, “The World Drug Problem: Taking Stock and Strengthening the Global Response”, will review what progress parliaments have made on the issue since a plan of action on illegal drugs was adopted by governments in 2009. The plan set 2019 as a target date for eliminating or significantly reducing supply, demand and associated criminal activity such as money laundering.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will carry out several human rights missions in the coming months to push for progress on cases involving the abuses of the human rights of MPs. In a range of decisions adopted by the IPU Committee during a three-day meeting on cases concerning a group of 40 MPs, priority has been given to missions to Cambodia, the Maldives and Venezuela. The Committee also elected a new President, Bangladeshi MP Fazle Karim Chowdhury, and a Vice-President, Margret Kiener-Nellen of Switzerland.
The Annual General Meeting of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union was convened on Wednesday 13 January 2016 in the IPU Room at the Palace of Westminster to adopt the 2015 Annual Report and elect the Executive Committee for 2016. It was presided over by the Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, in his capacity as Honorary President of the Group.