Without peace and security, democracy cannot flourish and development is stalled. Our security, never to be taken for granted, is increasingly threatened by national and international crises.
The role of parliaments in building peace and preventing conflict is crucial. A democratic and representative political system not only helps prevent unrest, but is also key to restoring peace after conflict.
Our Committee on Peace and International Security, part of our overall commitment to policy area peace and security, provides our Member Parliaments the political framework for effective action on global threats. A key forum on the subject, it examines peace and security developments and helps identify and implement responses to these threats.
Its main objective is to promote peace and security in the world. Although its original remit was to focus on conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, changing times have meant readjusting its focus.
Terrorism, cyber security, nuclear proliferation as well as issues relating to governance that have given rise to regional conflicts whose impacts are being felt across the world, are just some of the more recent preoccupations of the Committee.
Like all our permanent committees, the Committee on Peace and International Security meets at our twice-yearly Assemblies. All Member parliaments are able to take an active role in putting forward items for the Committee agenda, bringing their perspective to the debates and the drafting of resolutions. Once a year, the Committee prepares a resolution for adoption by IPU Members.
The work of each Committee is guided by an 18-member Bureau with three representatives per geopolitical group –among the three, there must be at least one man and one woman. The Bureau helps to set the agenda for each session and proposes a work programme for the Committee.
At present, 36% of the elected Bureau members are women.