Activities: IPU Activities & Conferences

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Action on drugs was focus of IPU-UN parliamentary event

The world drug problem and how to address it was the focus of a major parliamentary hearing at the United Nations in New York on 8-9 February. The hearing, “The World Drug Problem: Taking Stock and Strengthening the Global Response”, reviewed the progress parliaments had made on the issue since a plan of action on illegal drugs was adopted by governments in 2009 in advance of UNGASS 2016 in April. The plan set 2019 as a target date for eliminating or significantly reducing supply, demand and associated criminal activity such as money laundering.

Ian Lucas MP and Nigel Evans MP at the 2016 UN Parliamentary Hearing

Evidence-based policy solutions to the world drug problem

Ian Lucas MP attended the UN Parliamentary Hearing entitled The World Drug Problem: Taking Stock and Strengthening the Global Response. The Hearing gave parliamentarians an opportunity for an evidence-based reflection on the ways the global community is addressing this complex problem in its many aspects – offering treatment and care to drug users, prosecuting drug offenders, fighting drug production and trafficking, regulating the medical use of opiates. The underlying question of the Hearing was whether the so-called “war on drugs”, which relies on a law-enforcement solution to the problem of illicit drugs, has worked as intended. 

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IPU missions to push for progress on MPs human rights cases

The 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 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.

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New Year Message from IPU President and Secretary General

In a New Year’s message, the IPU reflect on its 2015 successes in facilitating parliamentary engagement in adoption of the Global Goals and the recent Paris outcome on tackling climate change.  They also identify the 4th World Conference of Speakers as a highlight in showing parliamentary solidarity and cooperation.   They reflected on the plight of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict zones and the scourge of terrorism as key challenges requiring us to redouble efforts in 2016 to protect and promote our values and defend fundamental freedoms.

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IPU sees human rights violations against MPs on rise

Parliamentarians across the world continued to face too many dangers that prevented or hampered their work, representing a real and on-going threat to democracy that needed to be addressed, says the IPU ahead of Human Rights Day on 10 December.  During 2015, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians worked on cases involving 320 MPs in 43 countries, up from 311 cases in 40 countries in 2014. Overwhelmingly the targeted MPs are men (283) and more than two thirds of cases (71 per cent) are from the opposition (228).

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Global parliamentary conference commits to climate action

MPs from nearly 90 countries have committed to using their parliamentary powers and responsibilities to vigorously fight climate change, whilst urging negotiators on a global accord to define a fair agreement that works for all.  Adopting a statement at the end of a two-day global conference organized by the IPU and the French Parliament in Paris, the MPs reiterated the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the increase in the average world temperature to less than 2 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels.

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133rd IPU Assembly to debate fairer, smarter & more humane migration

The world’s parliamentarians will meet in Geneva to examine the moral and economic imperative for fairer, smarter and more humane migration at IPU’s 133rd Assembly from 17-21 October. IPU Members will also adopt a resolution on democracy in the digital era and address other major issues including counter-terrorism, protecting cultural heritage and how to strengthen parliament’s oversight capacities. The 133rd Assembly will also convene the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians, IPU’s Forum of Young Parliamentarians, the Committee on Middle East Questions and the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.

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133rd IPU Assembly highlights challenges of current refugee crisis

The 133rd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly was convened in Geneva, Switzerland from 17 to 21 October bringing together nearly 700 parliamentarians from 135 parliaments, with 47 Speakers and some 220 women MPs. With the Parliament of Fiji re-joining the IPU, the Assembly saw the total IPU membership increase to 167 member parliaments. The key theme of the General Debate at the 133rd Assembly was, “The moral and economic imperative for fairer, smarter and more humane migration” on the difficult challenges facing many governments in addressing the current refugee crisis in Europe stemming from developments in the Middle East and North Africa.

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IPU President marks International Day of Democracy

The IPU President says democracy is only as strong as the political participation of citizens and this must be increased for world peace, social cohesion and development, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).  Marking the International Day of Democracy on 15 September, IPU is calling for a major stepping-up of efforts to involve the public more deeply in formal political processes and institutions, including parliaments. It is also urging parliaments to be more open and accessible to their citizens, and representative of society as a whole.

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Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament

BGIPU will be facilitating the participation of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and the Lord Speaker, the Rt Hon Baroness D’Souza CMG, at the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament at the UN Headquarters in New York from 31 August to 2 September. The Conference, organized by IPU every five years and supported by the UN, will adopt a declaration which will feed into the UN SDGs Summit.  The Lord Speaker will also participate in the 10th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament prior to the conference.