UK very active at IPU Assembly which sees key outcomes on future institutional governance
Key Policy Outcomes
At its 147th Assembly from 23-27 October 2023 in Angola, IPU members adopted the Luanda Declaration on Parliamentary action for peace, justice and strong institutions. The Declaration highlights the critical role that good governance plays as a means to achieving sustainable development.
It calls for parliamentarians to “strengthen trust and ensure the more active participation of citizens in institutions at all levels, beginning with our own parliaments, where women and youth, as well as the poor and other disadvantaged groups, deserve to be more equitably represented”.
In the Declaration, parliamentary leaders welcomed the IPU Indicators for Democratic Parliaments, a new tool designed to strengthen parliaments to deliver on sustainable development.
Extensive Parliamentary diplomacy
Some 700 parliamentarians from 130 countries came to Luanda, including delegations from countries at war or in conflict situations.
Ms. Carolina Cerqueira, Speaker of the National Assembly of Angola, the Host Parliament of the 147th IPU Assembly, said: “Social solidarity and aid for humanitarian crises have never been more urgent in order to save millions of human lives. Only by observing and enforcing this principle will justice be accomplished, and only justice leads to peace. There is no peace without justice, there is no justice without forgiveness, there is no forgiveness without love. So we must believe that every time is a time for renewal, it is a time to believe.”
The IPU Committee on Middle East Questions submitted a report to the Governing Council with recommendations on parliamentary action to take in light of the emergency situation and escalating tension in the region.
The IPU Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law examined urgent humanitarian crises around the world. The Committee called for international humanitarian law to be respected and for aid to be provided to affected people.
The IPU Task Force for the peaceful resolution of the war in Ukraine met parliamentarians from both the Russian Federation and Ukraine in a bid to explore parliamentary contributions to efforts aimed at ending the war.
Landmark IPU Governance Reforms
A key outcome of the 147th IPU Assembly was the election by the Governing Council of a new IPU President, Dr Tulia Ackson of Tanzania. After long consdieration and study by members of the Executive Committee, the IPU Governing Council also adopted for the first time in the IPU’s history a comprehensive Code of Conduct for IPU Governance Officials as well as an institution-wide anti-harassment policy to match the existing Code of Conduct for IPU personnel.
UK Delegation Activity
The UK delegation to the 147th IPU Assembly was led by the BGIPU Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP with Tim Loughton MP, Kate Osamor MP, Baroness Northover and Lord Rennard with Dan Carden MP also participating remotely in meetings of the IPU Executive Committee in his capacity as the President of the Board of Young Parliamentarians. In addressing the general debate theme of “Parliamentary action for peace, justice & strong institutions-SDG 16”, Ms Bradley MP highlighted the vital importance of strong representative parliaments to ensure democracy works for all citizens.
In addition to attending these formal parts of the meeting and standing committee sessions and numerous exchanges with 12 Plus geopolitical group counterparts, the UK delegation had dedicated bilateral meetings with delegations from Ukraine, Armenia, UAE and Morocco, met representatives of the World Health Organisation as well as hosting a very constructive working lunch with members of the delegation of Japan.
In cooperation with the UK Embassy in Angola, delegation members also made field visits to the Angola National Electoral Commission headquarters named after British diplomat Margaret Anstee and the UK Export Finance-funded Camama Maternity and Infant Hospital in Luanda. At a very well-attended reception at the UK Residence hosted by HE Ambassador Roger Stringer and Ms Bradley, the delegation and guests also saw a demonstration of the work of the UK-founded global landmines charity, the Halo Trust. The UK delegates were very grateful to Ambassador Stringer and his team, especially Ms Mavinda Andre, for the assistance provided to the UK delegation.