Every country in the world has some form of parliament. Parliamentary systems fall into two categories: bicameral and unicameral. Out of 193 countries in the world, 79 are bicameral and 114 are unicameral, making a total of 272 chambers of parliament with over 46,000 members of parliament. IPU membership is made up of 179 national parliaments. Discover the world's national
The IPU has been collecting data on parliaments since its inception in 1889, including information on women’s participation in politics since 1945. In this section, discover the IPU's knowledge bank for and about parliaments.
The current global health crisis is an unprecedented wake-up call that is showing us how crucial it is for countries to have policies and legislation ensuring crisis preparedness and prevention. The socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are uncovering stark asymmetries and structural imbalances in our societies, such as the prevalence of poverty, unequal access to health services, weak health-care systems, persistent inequalities, and weak regional and global cooperation.
As countries are now resetting their priorities and reallocating resources to deal with the pandemic, parliaments should be in a position to influence policies and budgets to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic responses and recovery strategies embrace and incorporate the SDG framework in its entirety. Parliaments should also monitor policy implementation and ensure that the needs and concerns of the whole of society are given due consideration, with no one left behind.
In order to assist parliaments with these difficult efforts, the IPU is partnering with the United Nations Economic Commissions in the organization of a series of regional webinars for parliaments on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in time of a pandemic. Jointly organized by the IPU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), this webinar will provide parliaments with up-to-date information on the status of SDG implementation in Africa by taking stock of the progress made and the challenges which must be addressed. It will also allow parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to exchange national experiences and discuss the prospects for the future with respect to building back better. The webinar is intended for African parliaments and is open to all parliamentarians and parliamentary staff.