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World’s MPs unite to promote peaceful dialogue

The opening press conference for the 137th Assembly. ©IPU/W. Finh Ramsey

Cultural pluralism and its contribution to peaceful societies and sustainable development is the focus of over 2,000 delegates, including over 800 MPs and 86 Speakers of Parliament, gathering in St. Petersburg for the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, on 14-18 October, 2017.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, new technologies and migration are breaking down old barriers and bringing people together in different ways. These developments are also paradoxically vectors of growing intolerance, xenophobia and extremism. MPs will look for solutions to manage this diversity.

The parliamentarians will also mark the 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Democracy by adopting a resolution reaffirming its principles and the firm commitment of parliamentarians the world over to defending and promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The Declaration is a milestone and encapsulates the essential elements of democracy.

During the Assembly, the world’s MPs will sign the IPU petition on promoting democratic societies. They will also discuss a range of issues, from the prohibition of nuclear weapons, to cyber-security, using science and research to achieve the highest health standards, engaging the private sector to help increase the use of renewable energy, and boosting the parliamentary dimension to the United Nations.

The threat of nuclear war and danger of a nuclear catastrophe – intentional or accidental, are very real, and all States must take urgent action before it is too late. A United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was opened for signature on 20 September 2017 provides a new chance for States to reject any use or threat of use of weapons of mass destruction.

The IPU Assembly will provide an opportunity for debate on “The UN process for the prohibition of nuclear weapons: What hope for nuclear disarmament?

As science and research develop, so does the need to push for eradication of certain diseases, including AIDS. The IPU Assembly will host a session on “Ending AIDS through sexual and reproductive health”.

In 2015, the international community agreed to take robust action on renewable energy through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. During the Assembly, MPs will look for ways to increase renewable energy use through engaging the private sector, using SDG Goal 7 as a benchmark.

The IPU’s Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs will examine developments over the past two decades in the shaping of a parliamentary dimension to the work of the United Nations, and will identify avenues to bring a more robust parliamentary contribution to the major global processes.

The Forum of Women Parliamentarians and the Forum of Young Parliamentarians will also meet at the Assembly, providing gender- and youth-related input to the global discussions.

At its 137th Assembly, Members Parliaments will also pay tribute to the outstanding work of their outgoing President, Mr. Saber H. Chowdhury, and elect a new President (please see two candidatures below):

Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron (Mexico)
Ms. Ivonne Passada (Uruguay)

For further information:

Watch the 137th Assembly live at from 14-18 October.

Follow or take part in discussions on Twitter using #IPU137.

Photos of the event will be made available on Flickr.

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.

For further information, please contact

Inter-Parliamentary Union
Jean Milligan
Tel.: +41 22 919 41 89
Mobile: +41 79 854 31 53
e-mail: [email protected]