An IPU human rights delegation today (29 June) has begun a three-day mission to Malaysia which includes a prison visit to jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. A three-member IPU team from the Organization’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will assess the conditions in which Anwar is being held amid concerns that the 67-year-old is in increasingly frail health. A meeting will also be held with his wife and daughter. Anwar is serving a five-year prison term after losing a lengthy court battle to clear his name of sodomy charges. read more
– In a high-level and wide-ranging visit to Australia and New Zealand, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong has pushed forward on ways to strengthen IPU’s engagement with Pacific parliaments. The mission, which included talks with the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, the Speakers of both houses of parliament in Australia and New Zealand, the Speakers from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, as well as government and human rights officials, was the latest step by the IPU Secretary General in efforts to achieve universality for the Organization, a priority for his mandate. read more
Preparations for the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, taking place at UN Headquarters in New York from 31 August-2 September, are being finalized with a focus on placing democracy at the service of peace and sustainable development. The Conference Preparatory Committee, comprising some 25 Speakers, members of the IPU Executive Committee and the representative of the UN Secretary General, met in Geneva in June to agree to the agenda, format and main documents of the Conference. The meeting provided an opportunity for dialogue with Michael Møller, Acting Director General of the UN Office in Geneva, on avenues to further enhance the strategic partnership between the UN, parliaments and IPU. 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.
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