Region: Asia-Pacific

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World MPs in drive to end extreme inequalities

Expressing grave concern with the extreme political, social and economic inequalities prevalent in the world, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has called for immediate action to reverse this trend and leave no one behind. In a declaration issued at the close of the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka, Bangladesh, IPU Members highlighted that “extreme inequalities” come at a high cost to society, stalling economic growth, undermining the democratic process and social cohesion and increasing the risk of violence and insecurity.

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Tajikistan benefits from UK engagement and assistance

Co-chair of the APPG Nigel Mills MP and John Mann MP visited Tajikistan between 23 and 29 October 2016. The aim of the visit was to advance UK-Tajik relations meeting parliamentarians and government officials, and to review the effectiveness of DFID’s strategy in the country.  Tajikistan is still transitioning from its Soviet past, while also facing the challenges of Islamic extremism and instability in neighbouring Afghanistan but UK engagement and assistance is valued and needed.

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Timely visit to Philippines highlights bilateral links

From 17-24 September 2016, a cross-party UK Parliamentary delegation visited the Philippines. This was a timely opportunity to enegage with the new government and finding out more about the priorities and plans of the new administration under President Duterte. The main areas of interest included the relationship between the Philippines and the UK following Brexit, trade opportunities, human rights and the proliferation of drugs in the Philippines.

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BGIPU hosts signing ceremony for 2017 IPU Assembly in Dhaka

The formal agreement between the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the National Parliament of Bangladesh on convening the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka was signed by The Hon Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, the Bangladesh Speaker, and the IPU Secretary General, Mr Martin Chungong, in the River Room of the UK House of Lords on 28 April 2016 in the presence of the BGIPU Chair and Officers.  This signing ceremony formalised the decision taken in Lusaka in March 2016 to hold the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka from 1 to 5 April 2017.  

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Nepal Speaker visit boosts bilateral dialogue

A delegation from Nepal led by the recently elected speaker of their Legislature Parliament, Rt. Hon. Onsari Gharti Magar, visited 18 to 22 April with a delegation comprising five MPs and two senior officials. In a wide-ranging programme the delegation met many UK counterparts boosting the bilateral relationship, including discussing the UK’s contribution to earthquake recovery, Prince Harry’s recent visit and constitutional reform in Nepal. The Speaker also met both her counterparts prior to visiting Northern Ireland to look at peace and reconcilliation.

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Mongolia visit highlights increasing engagement with UK

BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from the State Great Hural of Mongolia, led by former Prime Minister, HE Mr Amarjargal Rinchinnyam from 22 to 26 February 2016. The visit served to highlight increasing engagement between the UK and Mongolia across a wide scope of activity including growing trade and investment links.  The visitors participated in a series of bilateral events and meetings with counterparts in London, learning more about the work and perspectives of UK counterparts, before travelling to Cardiff for calls in the Welsh Assembly.

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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.