Globally, threats to journalists are the highest they have been in ten years. Following a landmark FCO conference over summer, the UK Parliament hosted an International Parliamentary Seminar on Media Freedom under the auspices of the BGIPU from 9-11 September 2019. The Chair of the British Group of the IPU, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, hosted members of parliament from across the world along with relevant experts to explore parliamentary perspectives on Defending Media Freedom. The purpose of the International Parliamentary Seminar on Media Freedom was to bring together parliamentarians from a wide range of countries to collaborate with other key stakeholders, including following-up key outcomes from the FCO's Global Media Freedom conference in July 2019 and discuss parliament-driven solutions to issues affecting journalists and the media industry.
On 12 August, International Youth Day, the IPU celebrated young parliamentarians and youth participation in political life. According to the most recent IPU report on youth participation, the global proportion of MPs under 30 increased from 1.9 per cent in 2016 to 2.2 per cent in 2018. For the past decade, the IPU has been a pioneer in empowering young MPs and advocating measures to increase youth participation in politics. The IPU collects data, provides policy guidance, and organizes foras for young parliamentarians, such as the annual global conference of young MPs. The next edition of the conference, jointly organized by the IPU and the Paraguay Congress, will take place on 9-10 September in Asunción.
The IPU brought together more than 140 parliamentarians from 50 parliaments to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the annual High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York this week. The main theme of the 2019 session, held under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council, was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The IPU organized and supported several events, including a Parliamentary Forum, a workshop for parliamentarians to assess parliaments’ readiness to engage in SDG implementation, and side events on inclusive decision-making and effective institutions, and on the right to nationality and ending statelessness.