Finding ways to curb the growing threat of terrorism and ensuring the success of a new set of development goals to be adopted later this year will be the key priority of more than 700 MPs from 127 countries meeting in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, later this week.
The MPs, including nearly 50 Speakers of Parliament, will take a wide range of decisions on issues that impact on global peace and security at the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly hosted by the Vietnamese Parliament on 28 March – 1 April.
With the recent attacks in Tunis and Paris, the ongoing atrocities committed by Boko Haram in Nigeria and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle East and North Africa and the destruction of cultural heritage etched on global consciousness, five of the six proposals for an emergency resolution tabled so far by various IPU Members relate to terrorism. A sixth proposal from Jordan focuses on respect for religions and religious symbols as well as freedom of speech.
As the countdown to the adoption of a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a UN Summit in September gathers pace, international focus is increasingly turning to questions on how best to implement them. With the SDGs set to frame the global development agenda for years to come, their effective implementation will also dominate the Hanoi Assembly.
MPs and parliaments will play a fundamental role in the eventual success of the SDGs through their ability to turn the voluntary commitment to the SDGs into enforceable laws, to hold their governments to account on development policy choices and strategies, and the adoption of national budgets. An outcome document capturing the global parliamentary community’s commitment to SDG implementation will be adopted at the conclusion of the Hanoi gathering.
In addition, IPU Members are expected to make a call for action on tackling the threat posed to global peace and security by cyber warfare, and on shaping a new system of water governance. They will similarly take a position on international sovereignty, non-intervention in internal affairs of States, and human rights.
The 132nd IPU Assembly will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians (#womenMPs). A valuable opportunity to bring women MPs together, the Meeting has not only provided women MPs a platform to make their voice heard in international political decision-making, it has also empowered them to take a shared vision for gender equality to their national parliaments over the years and put it into action.
Nearly 200 women MPs are due to attend the Hanoi meeting which will discuss what still needs to be done to meet the goals set out in the Beijing Declaration and Plan of Action 20 years ago.
IPU’s Forum of Young Parliamentarians (#youngMPs) will meet ahead of an IPU-Japanese Parliament global conference of young MPs in Tokyo in May, and provide the youth perspective into the decisions taken at the Hanoi Assembly.
The 132nd IPU Assembly will cover many additional issues. These include looking at the threat to privacy and individual freedoms in the digital age; the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 25 years after its adoption; parliamentary action on maternal and child health and eliminating risks of nuclear war by accident, cyber-attack or conflict escalation.
IPU’s Committee on Middle East Questions will meet to assess next steps in efforts to facilitate dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian MPs, while the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will examine cases involving the abuses of MPs’ human rights. Hearings are planned with national authorities or individuals from 14 countries in a bid to make progress on resolving more intractable cases.
Find out about the many other issues and events of the 132nd Assembly by accessing the agenda and background documents.
Take part in or follow the Assembly debates through Twitter using #IPU132
Picture editors: Photos from the Assembly will be available for free download and use at: http://www.ipu.org/132pics
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.