Theme: Political Empowerment

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UN resolution on interaction between the UN, national parliaments & IPU breaks new ground

The United Nations General Assembly adopted on 25th July by consensus a resolution on Interaction between the UN, national parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. IPU President Saber Chowdhury welcomed the adoption saying the UNGA decision “recognizes the key role of parliaments and of IPU in helping build political will to tackle the world’s many challenges. I am confident that it will provide a valuable framework for taking our strategic partnership even further, for the good of our global community”.

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New IPU-UN agreement charts way forward on cooperation

IPU President Saber Chowdhury has welcomed a new UN-IPU cooperation agreement signed on 21 July 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York. Building on the growing partnership and interaction between the two organizations, the agreement places the relationship on a stronger footing and will facilitate greater cooperation at the political and operational levels on behalf of “we the peoples”.  Among other things, the new agreement will ensure enhanced information exchanges and sharing of best practices in strengthening parliamentary capacity worldwide. 

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BGIPU supports launch of "The Good Parliament" report

With the support of BGIPU, The Good Parliament report was launched in Parliament on 20 July 2016 by Professor Sarah Childs.  The report shows Parliament’s working practices still reflect the traditions and preferences of those who historically populated it and the report seeks to provide a blueprint for a more inclusive and representative UK Parliament.  In welcoming the report, the Speaker of the House of Commons announced the establishment of a “Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion” to give consideration to its findings.

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World e-Parliament Conference 2016 concludes in Chile

The World e-Parliament Conference, held in the Chamber of Deputies in Valparaiso, Chile, featured the launch of the World e-Parliament Report 2016 and discussion of its key findings. During the conference, policy and technical tracks provided a forum for participants to exchange experiences on how ICT helps to improve representation, law-making and oversight, and to increase parliament’s openness, accessibility, accountability and effectiveness.  The event drew just over 200 participants from more than 50 countries.

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IPU 134: Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth

The IPU’s 134th Assembly held 19-23 March 2016 in Zambia, Lusaka had as its main theme “Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth”.  More than 670 MPs from 131 countries attended this Assembly which saw the re-entry of Comoros, Egypt and Guyana lifting the IPU to 170 members in total.  The IPU Assembly, deeply shocked by terror attacks in Brussels on 22 March, adopted resolutions calling for multi-facted responses to counter the global threat of terrorism and highlighted the threats posed to cultural heritage by conflict and terrorism.

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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.

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Young MPs Conference commits to enhancing oversight to achieve SDGs

More than 130 young MPs from across the world committed to enhancing transparency and oversight of public finances as a cornerstone of their fight against corruption at the conclusion of the 3rd IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Lusaka.  MPs set their sights on increased public scrutiny of state spending in a series of measures they would take to help achieve the SDGs which commit nations to ambitious targets on reducing inequalities, eradicating poverty, and promoting sustainable economic growth and climate action by 2030.

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IPU sees mixed results for women’s participation in parliament

An increase in the number of women Speakers of Parliament during 2015 and some regional successes were among the few highlights in what proved to be yet another disappointing year for women’s participation in parliament, says the IPU.  IPU’s “Women in Parliament 2015: the Year in Review” released ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, showed that for the second year in a row, the number of women MPs across the world rose by a worryingly low 0.5 percentage point with women just 22.6 per cent of the world’s MPs.

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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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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.