Theme: Political Empowerment

UK delegation members at CSW59

If women thrive so shall we all

This year CSW welcomed the largest contingent of 1100 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) from all over the world, composing 8600 women.   I led a delegation of UK parliamentary delegates including Gavin Shuker MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, and Diane Abbott MP for first week sponsored by the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU). It is a truly amazing conference on many levels.   Especially moving are some of the NGO events where one hears from human rights defenders often under threat on the ground.

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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Election of new IPU President to take center stage of 131st Assembly

The election of a new IPU President will be one of the main highlights of a content-rich 131st Assembly in Geneva on 12-16 October. The new president will take over from Abdelwahad Radi, who ends his three-year mandate at the end of the event. Over 120 IPU Member parliaments involving more than 650 MPs have so far registered to attend the 131st Assembly. Among them, there are more than 75 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliament, as well as a significant percentage of women and young MPs.

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Harness the power of youth for democracy, urges IPU

Marking International Day of Democracy on 15th September, the IPU is urging bold action and changes in mindset if disillusioned and alienated youth the world over are to be engaged in political decision-making. The IPU says countries everywhere need to harness the power of youth in formal politics for the sake of democracy. Young people between 15-25 represent 20 per cent of the global population but parliamentarians below 30 accounted for less than two per cent of MPs. For those aged between 20-40 years, the figure increases to just 12 per cent.

Sudan delegation meets the Minister for Women

Sudan delegation highlights women’s role in politics and peace

BGIPU hosted an all-women parliamentary delegation from Sudan to Westminster from 23-27 June 2014. The visit was a key opportunity to engage with parliamentary counterparts from Sudan on developments in the country and to engage on specific gender issues relating to political empowerment and the role of women in peace efforts. The visit also provided an important opportunity to gain insights into human rights issues in Sudan with the delegation keen to present its perspectives on issues relating to religious freedom, women’s rights and justice issues.

The Speaker of the House of Commons addresses the World e-Parliament Conference

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.

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President of Tunisia discusses democratic transition with UK Parliamentarians

The President of Tunisia, HE Dr Moncef Marzouki, visited Parliament on Monday 26 November to meet with UK Parliamentarians for a BGIPU-hosted discussion entitled “Perspectives on Tunisia’s Democratic transition”. With the President providing a brief opening statement but preferring to respond directly to questions from the floor, the event was highly interactive and provided a unique opportunity to engage with a pivotal figure in the evolution of political transition following the events of the Arab Spring in Tunisia and the wider region.

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Marking the International Day of Democracy 2012

The international Day of Democracy 2012 was marked by statements and events from world leaders and politicians across the world and the BGIPU also held a series of events in Westminster to mark the occasion as part of BGIPU week in Parliament. The Chair of the BGIPU, Robert Walter MP, gave a statement to mark the Day at a reception for Diplomatic staff and parliamentarians on 11 September.