Region: Asia-Pacific

Angela Smith MP in Action

Consolidating parliamentary democracy in Burma

Three British MPs write about their experiences in supporting the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNDP induction programme for the new parliamentarians that have been elected to the Hluttaw in Burma. This parliamentary strengthening programme was intended to be complementary to the ongoing assistance provided by the UK Parliament to strengthen and support the consolidation of parliamentary democracy in Burma and was part of a broader programme of international assistance supporting democratic reform in the country.

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Young MPs meet in Tokyo to counter youth alienation and disengagement

A major international conference of the world’s young MPs in Tokyo in late May has called for policies to end the alienation and radicalization of young people, including new education policies and employment quotas. About 190 young MPs attended the IPU Global Conference of Young MPs making a series of recommendations on addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the world’s 3.5 billion youth populations including unemployment, discrimination and conflict.  Gavin Shuker MP represented the UK Parliament at the event.

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132nd IPU Assembly to lead on sustainable development

More than 700 MPs from 127 countries, including almost 50 Speakers, are now registered to attend the 132nd IPU Assembly in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The Assembly will look at concrete ways parliaments can implement the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) when they are adopted later this year. The Assembly, which takes place on 28 March to 1st April, aims to adopt a declaration on the role of Parliaments in supporting the achievement of the post-2015 SDGs at its conclusion.

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132nd IPU Assembly adopts Hanoi Declaration on post-2015 SDGs

Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) have committed to taking the necessary action to carry forward proposed new sustainable development goals (SDGs) due to be adopted later this year. The success of the SDGs would transform the world and the lives of its people.  Parliaments from across the world reaffirmed their vision of sustainable development based on human rights, poverty eradication, peace and security in the Hanoi Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of the five-day 132nd IPU Assembly in the Vietnamese capital.

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Post-2015 SDGs and fight against global terrorism dominate Hanoi agenda

The 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly convened in Hanoi, Vietnam from 28 March to 1 April 2015 was attended by over 1,500 participants including 715 members from 132 parliaments, 51 Speakers and 201 women MPs. The key theme of “The Sustainable Development Goals: Turning words into action” saw adoption of the Hanoi Declaration in advance of the post-2015 sustainable development goals, in addition to an emergency item debate on the role of parliaments in addressing the scourge of global terrorism.

Delegation and Aung San Suu Kyi

British and Burmese Women Parliamentarians Unite

This visit intended to strengthen women’s political participation at national level and engage current women MPs in Burma on political empowerment and gender-sensitive parliamentary practices through targeted workshops with UK counterparts. It was a standalone project, complementary to other parliamentary strengthening activities in the country, undertaken in partnership with the British Embassy in Rangoon.

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APPG for Thailand delegation visit

Roger Godsiff MP led a delegation of UK parliamentarians including, Graham Brady MP and David Amess on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Thailand which visited Bangkok at the invitation of the Thai Government from 10-15 November 2014. This was the APPG’s first trip to Thailand since its inception and took place against the backdrop of the military coup in Thailand in May 2014 and the political and economic uncertainty resulting from it.

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APPG delegation visit to Kyrgyzstan encourages democracy building

Following an invitation from the Kyrgyzstan Speaker, John Mann MP, Chairman of the APPG for Kyrgyzstan accompanied by Andrew Rosindell MP visited Kyrgyzstan from 20-27 September 2014. The key objectives of the visit was to encourage democracy building and advance UK-Kyrgyzstan relations meeting counterpart parliamentarians and government officials. The visit was particularly timely in the run up to Kygyzstan’s parliamentary elections in October 2015.

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UK delegation to Nepal highlights 200 years of relations

The visit of a UK delegation to Nepal from 14-19 September provided an important opportunity to resume inter-parliamentary visits between Britain and Nepal with the establishment of its Constituent Assembly after successful democratic elections in November 2013.  It was also timely as the 200th anniversary of bilateral relations approches in 2016 and provided insights into the main constitutional issues facing the country.  The UK delegation also saw the major contributions to Nepal’s development being made by DFID and the Gurkha Welfare Scheme.

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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.