Assassinations of MPs in Somalia and Yemen in recent days are just the latest cases of MPs paying the ultimate price for defending fundamental human rights and exercising their right to freedom of expression, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) as it marks Human Rights Day 2013. Somali MP Feisal Warsame Mohamed was killed on 6 December when a car bomb blew up his vehicle in Mogadishu. On 22 November, Yemeni MP Abdulkareem Jadban was gunned down in Sana’a in what seemed to be politically motivated attacks to silence two outspoken MPs. These two killings highlight a worrying ongoing trend around the world of MPs being persecuted, intimidated, attacked or even killed. [read more]
Nelson Mandela showed how courageous and visionary leadership can bring peace and democracy to a bitterly divided country and serves as a continuous inspiration to politicians everywhere on how politics can be done differently, says the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). “Despite what happened to him in the apartheid years, Nelson Mandela was committed to building a new democratic South Africa that included every person, regardless of race, religion, or skin colour,” said IPU President Abdelwahad Radi. “What made him especially remarkable was his vision and understanding that the future of South Africa lay in that inclusion. This could only be achieved through dialogue with all sides in the country. This included his oppressors.” [read more]
MPs from around the world urged governments to place development at the heart of the multilateral trading system, taking into full account the special needs and interests of developing counties, particularly the least developed. Meeting in Bali (Indonesia) on 2 and 5 December for the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization (PCWTO), some 270 MPs agreed that the last-minute negotiations at the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC9) also in Bali, must bring a tangible benefit for developing countries, increase their share of world trade, stimulate their economic growth and contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). [read more]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
IPU brings together parliamentarians from around the world to actively find solutions to global and regional problems.
You can find a list of Future Events here.
Bali, 2 and 5 December