Activities: IPU Conferences & Meetings

DG R Azevêdo

Annual Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO

The Annual 2015 Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO took place in Geneva, on 16 and 17 February 2015. The WTO Director General, Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, addressed the meeting making a good case for the need to maintain momentum and to agree a clearly defined work plan by July 2015; before the ministerial meeting in Nairobi should finalise the Doha Round.  He emphasised that all discussions were being conducted on the most transparent basis, with all members represented by ambassadors at key meetings. The WTO Secretariat also explained to participants the steps for implementation of the Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement and how developing countries will be supported through assistance and grants for implementation.

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Parliamentary Hearing at the UN debates post-2015 SDGs

This year’s Parliamentary Hearing at the UN, jointly convened by the IPU and the UN from 19-20 November, was entitled, “Ensuring a people-centred approach to the new SDGs: A shared responsibility”. Key issues which drove the discussion included: how economic and social inequality, as well as discrimination, risked undermining people-centred development; the need to strengthen transparency and accountability to the people in both the public and private sectors; the responsibility of governments vis-à-vis the market; and how countries could deal more effectively with their human rights responsibilities and obligations.

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Election of new IPU President to take center stage of 131st Assembly

The election of a new IPU President will be one of the main highlights of a content-rich 131st Assembly in Geneva on 12-16 October. The new president will take over from Abdelwahad Radi, who ends his three-year mandate at the end of the event. Over 120 IPU Member parliaments involving more than 650 MPs have so far registered to attend the 131st Assembly. Among them, there are more than 75 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliament, as well as a significant percentage of women and young MPs.

UK Delegation thank Outgoing President Radi

131st IPU Assembly highlights gender equality & global threats

The 131st IPU Assembly met in Geneva from 12 to 16 October 2014 with over 1,500 participants including 725 parliamentarians from 144 parliaments, with 113 Speakers or Deputy Speakers and 234 women MPs, and welcomed back Madagascar and Guinea bringing total IPU membership to 166 of the world’s parliaments.  In an Assembly which saw S H Chowdhury elected as the new IPU President, key issues addressed including gender equity and violence against women, the current Ebola crisis and the threat of terrorism and extremism.

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Harness the power of youth for democracy, urges IPU

Marking International Day of Democracy on 15th September, the IPU is urging bold action and changes in mindset if disillusioned and alienated youth the world over are to be engaged in political decision-making. The IPU says countries everywhere need to harness the power of youth in formal politics for the sake of democracy. Young people between 15-25 represent 20 per cent of the global population but parliamentarians below 30 accounted for less than two per cent of MPs. For those aged between 20-40 years, the figure increases to just 12 per cent.

Lord Speaker Baroness D'Souza chairs the meeting

Women Speakers call for urgent action on gender violence

Women Speakers of Parliament from 16 countries, including the UK’s Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza, have called for urgent action and commitment to ending violence against women and girls in conflict situations as they ended a two-day meeting in Geneva.  Highlighting deep concern over recent developments, Women Speakers said they were appalled by the “vicious crimes being perpetrated against women and girls” in a Declaration issued at the 9th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament organized by IPU.

The XX International Conference was held in Melbourne

UK Parliamentarians attend XX International AIDS Conference

Pamela Nash MP and Lord Fowler, in their capacities as Chair and Vice Chair of the APPG on HIV and AIDS, attended the XX International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia with support from BGIPU. The 2014 Conference provided an excellent opportunity to meet with activists and HIV/AIDS specialists active throughout the world, in addition to meeting with other parliamentarians from across the globe to share their experiences of tackling HIV/AIDS, including discussing the political barriers faced in many countries.

IPU Headquarters in Geneva

125th Anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) celebrated 125 years of global parliamentary action on resolving conflicts and building democracy on 30th June in Geneva on the anniversary of its creation in 1889.  The event discussed some of the many challenges democracy faces today. The anniversary date of 30th June also marked the end of Anders B. Johnsson’s tenure as IPU Secretary General after 16 years during which the Organization has worked in all regions to promote and build democracy.

The Speaker of the House of Commons addresses the World e-Parliament Conference

Using technology to enhance democracy – World e-Parliament Conference

More than 360 MPs and parliamentary staff from 90 national parliaments, including the UK led by the Speaker of the House of Commons, attended the 2014 World e-parliament Conference in Seoul from 8-10 May exploring how to make information and communications technology (ICT) work better for democracy.  The Conference, jointly organised by IPU and National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, built on progress made by parliaments in the use of ICT in recent years and looked at how to overcome current hurdles in parliamentary use of new technologies.

Lord McConnell

High-level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation

The High-level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation took place in Mexico City on 15-16 April 2014 with BGIPU represented by Lord Chidgey and Lord McConnell. Attended by 1500 development leaders from 130 countries, the Mexico City HLM brought together national government representatives, parliamentarians, civil society groups and other organisations to share knowledge about governance, transparency, improving domestic resource mobilisation and broader development co-operation questions.