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Harness the power of youth for democracy, urges IPU

Countries everywhere need to harness the power of youth in formal politics for the sake of democracy, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Marking International Day of Democracy on 15th September, 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. “It is a cliché to always link youth to the future. Young people not only have the power to define the future, but also decide on the present,” says IPU President Abdelwahad Radi. “However, they are largely absent from formal decision-making politics and this has to change.” [read more] [More on International Day of Democracy]

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Orfelina Liseloth Arias Medrano, MP, Dominican Republic
"Equality and social justice"
Héctor Tajam, MP, Uruguay
"Being an MP means guaranteeing citizens’ rights to participate in executive decisions."
Paradzai Chakona, MP, Zimbabwe
"I want to represent my people in developing new laws and to promote peace, democracy and development in my country."
Anette Trettebergstuen, MP, Norway
"Young people should be given positions in politics. It makes decisions better and representative."
Yang Sem, MP, Cambodia
"I am in politics because I believe in freedom, equality, liberty and human rights for all, especially the vulnerable and the unfortunate."

Climate Summit 2014 – the parliamentary perspective

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong will take part in the Climate Summit 2014 on 23 September in New York where world leaders will push forward efforts to reach an ambitious and legally binding global agreement on climate change. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from government, parliament, finance, business and civil society to this event to galvanize climate action. He has asked for bold announcements and actions to be announced at the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) session in Paris in 2015. By the end of the Paris meeting, all nations, including the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, would be bound by a universal agreement on climate change for the first time in more than 20 years of UN negotiations. [read more]

Human rights mission to Zambia seeks to make progress on cases

An on-site mission to Zambia on 22-25 September led by the President of IPU´s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians Juan Pablo Letelier will complete investigations on 18 cases involving opposition members of the National Assembly. The cases have to be seen in the context of the rise to power in 2011 of the Patriotic Front. IPU is concerned by incidents of alleged police harassment, including the arbitrary detention of parliamentarians and allegations that opposition MPs cannot fully exercise their right to freedom of assembly. In a resolution adopted in March 2014, IPU highlighted the cases of opposition MPs Kenneth Konga and Garry Nkombo. Konga allegedly collapsed during prolonged interrogation by law enforcers and suffered a stroke as a result whilst Nkombo, was reportedly attacked by a government minister in full view of the police. [read more]

The global organization of parliaments, IPU works to establish democracy, peace and cooperation among peoples.

Representative Democracy

A strong and efficient parliament is critical to democracy. IPU works to make parliaments more effective in fulfilling their government oversight and legislative roles, in guaranteeing people’s rights and liberties and in securing peace and development.

Women in Politics     

Democracy means all voices are heard. IPU is committed to ensuring that women - half of the world’s population - are able to participate equally in politics. Its unique research and data on women’s political participation is a widely used barometer on progress.

International Peace and Security

IPU’s primary goals are peace and democracy. It gives special priority to preventing and eliminating conflict through political dialogue. It responds to crises which affect world or regional security and monitors certain conflict situations.

Promoting Human Rights

Parliament has a special responsibility to ensure human rights are respected. IPU provides protection and redress to MPs at risk of abuse and helps parliaments to make human rights a reality for everyone.

Sustainable Development

Parliaments play a critical role in social and economic development. IPU supports parliaments on key international development goals, on making development aid more effective and on strengthening parliamentary action on climate change.

Cooperation with the UN

IPU works closely with the United Nations and other multi-lateral bodies to ensure there is a parliamentary dimension to international cooperation, global governance as well as in the resolution of major international issues.