Theme: Human Rights

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Uruguay making drug policy reform efforts

Uruguay’s policy of taking national control of all production and sale of cannabis is still in a very early phase of implementation, and it remains highly controversial politically.  Uruguay interlocutors confirmed to the UK Delegation which visited the country in September 2016 that the policy was an experiment and it would be monitored carefully.  It would be changed if necessary and other countries might improve upon it but Uruguay was keen to be seen as a leader in drug policy reform efforts. 

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IPU deeply shocked at killing of British MP

Inter-Parliamentary Union SG Martin Chungong has paid tribute to Jo Cox MP saying “Like many MPs around the world, Jo Cox has worked tirelessly for democracy, peace and human rights….It is heartbreaking to learn that she has been killed while carrying out her democratic mandate. Violence has no place in any democracy.  On behalf of IPU and the global parliamentary community, I would like to pay tribute to a woman who embodied all that a parliamentarian should be – compassionate, courageous and committed.”

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SDGs bring new optimism to the CSW 60 agenda

BGIPU sent a four-member delegation to CSW 60 led by Baroness Hodgson and including Baroness Northover, Gavin Shuker MP and Jo Churchill MP. Being the first year since adoption of the SDGs, looking ahead to 2030 with an agenda of leaving no-one behind, there was optimism about this new agenda for CSW 60. This was particularly in light of having achieved the hard fought for SDG Goal 5 on gender, as well as having gender mainstreamed across other goals although the Beijing Platform for Action remains the ‘gold standard’ for gender.

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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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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A view on Human Rights in Mexico

Throughout the recent inter-parliamentary BGIPU visit to Mexico in October 2015, the issue of Human Rights was a prominent and constant theme. It is now one year since of the disappearance of the 43 students in Guererro and not far from our hotel the photographs of the murdered dark haired young men and women lined a central reservation of a main road in Mexico City. But we soon realised that this was only one, although a very well-known example, of human rights abuses in Mexico.