Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Secretary General Martin Chungong has urged Syria’s leaders to put in place an independent and politically representative parliament as a fundamental step in ending conflict and eventually stemming terrorism in the country. During discussions with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Speaker of the Syrian Parliament Mohammad Jihad al-Laham in Damascus this week, the IPU Secretary General highlighted the 2016 elections as a key opportunity to ensure a politically diverse parliament is returned. Parliament should be independent of government so as to be able to oversee it effectively. read more
IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is meeting in Geneva on 24-27 January to assess how to move forward on cases involving the human rights abuses of 301 MPs. The cases cover 40 countries in the world. Abuses include death, torture, threats, arbitrary arrest and detention, lack of fair trial, violation of freedom of expression or the unlawful suspension or loss of their parliamentary mandate. Most of the cases on the MPs have been with the Committee for less than five years, but others include allegations of violations that date back more than 10 years. There are also new cases from Africa and South America. read more
The Danish parliament and the French National Assembly have been the first to endorse the Common Principles for Support to Parliament. The Principles, put together by a group of parliaments and parliamentary development entities including organizations such as IPU, have also been endorsed by International IDEA and the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA). Offering clear guidelines for those receiving or providing support to parliaments, the Common Principles are the result of more than four decades of experience on parliamentary development. 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.
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