Speaking on the International Day of Democracry in a call for inclusive parliaments, IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas Barron said we have seen the positive impact a stronger parliament can have on drastically improving people’s lives and reinforcing democratic institutions. It is our duty as people across the globe recognise that stronger democracies are the best response to extremism and the challenges the world faces. She noted that in current times it is not democracy as a system of values, principles and governance that is being questioned. It is the approach to the practice of democracy and the institutions established, often centuries ago, which need to be reviewed and made more effective for the benefit of the people. It is clear that that democracy must be redesigned for the challenges of the 21st century.
Young parliamentarians meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, have called for the pursuit of happiness and well-being to be explicitly integrated into public policy. In the outcome statement, the young MPs asserted that a country’s success could not be gauged merely by measuring its economic growth. Factors such as equality, education levels and emotional fulfilment were just as important. Over 100 young parliamentarians from 41 countries attended the sixth annual IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians organized in partnership with the Congress of Paraguay. The average age of the Members of Parliament was 38 years and 40 per cent were women, one of the highest percentages ever achieved at an IPU conference.
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 discuss parliament-driven solutions to issues affecting journalists and the media industry.