Our Forum of Young Parliamentarians was set up to spearhead our work to boost the participation of young people in parliaments and to help ensure young MPs play a full part in the work of parliament.
Although young people make up the majority of the world’s population, fewer than 3 per cent of all MPs are under the age of 30. We believe that democracies are stronger if parliaments are representative of all groups and voices in society.
The Forum also makes sure the youth voice is heard in global political decision-making both through greater participation of young MPs at our meetings, and through formal inputs into outcomes. It also ensures there is a youth perspective in all our work and builds bridges with outside organizations.
The Forum is represented at our annual Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians—a vital platform for empowering young leaders which focuses on how to draw more young people into the formal democratic process.
The adoption of a major IPU resolution in 2010 on boosting youth participation in democracy led to the creation of the Forum in 2013. It meets twice a year during our Assemblies. Although it is a space for young MPs, others are free to attend as observers.
The Forum is steered by a Board composed of 12 people—one man and one woman from each of our six geopolitical groups—who in turn elect a president. Both the Board and the President of the Forum are re-elected every two years.
At present, 50% of the members of the Board are women.