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News in brief

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News in brief
Ms. Rojas and Mr. Caroni

Parliament’s role in peacebuilding highlighted at key UN meeting

Although parliaments have a crucial role to play in building and sustaining peace, they are often missing from key UN debates and reports, said Mexican MP Laura Rojas, a member of the Bureau and former President of the IPU’s Committee on Peace and International Security. She was speaking at the Dialogue on Strategic Partnerships with the United Nations, as part of the High-Level Meeting (HLM) of the General Assembly on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace, which took place from 24 to 26 April 2018 in New York.
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Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO reaffirms its support for multilateral trade

The Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization (PCWTO) reaffirmed its support for “an open and rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core”, saying that it believed that “free and fair trade is a powerful engine for growth”. The Parliamentary Conference is a joint initiative of IPU and the European Parliament. In a statement issued at its 41 st session held in Brussels on 24 and 25 April 2018, the Committee the Committee urged the filling of existing vacancies in the Appellate Body of the WTO to allow it to do its work effectively.
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IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron speaking at the Parliamentary Symposium on Jobs.

IPU President calls for better legislation to ensure jobs for youth

Young people worldwide are having trouble finding work: around 70 million of them are unemployed, according to Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the IPU. She was speaking at the Parliamentary Symposium on Jobs during the Global Parliamentary Conference 2018, which took place in Washington DC on 16-17 April 2018. Ms. Cuevas Barron was the guest speaker at a session on Challenges of Youth Employment Today. She stressed the need for better legislation to ensure jobs for young people, one of the targets of SDG8: full and productive employment and decent work for all, including for young people, by 2030.
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UN Environment and IPU agree to work on climate change

The IPU and the United Nations Environment Programme will be working together to ensure that parliaments have the tools they need to be able to tackle climate change and environmental degradation effectively. On 12 April 2018, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong, and UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out their joint cooperation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those related to environment and climate change, as well as the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its associated treaties, including the Paris Agreement.
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Roundtable on Common Principles draws up an operational guide

The Common Principles for Support to Parliaments designed by the IPU set out the fundamental principles for planning and implementing programmes to strengthen parliaments, balancing the delivery of external technical assistance with the needs and expertise of local actors. On 29 March 2018, the IPU organized the Second Expert Roundtable on the Common Principles on “Proactive parliaments: Bolstering self-development”.
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The IPU is committed to facilitating direct dialogue and practical cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian MPs, including through the work of its Committee on Middle East Questions.

Global parliamentary community expresses solidarity with the Palestinian people

In a resolution adopted during the 138 th IPU Assembly in Geneva, the IPU membership called for the rejection of any unilateral decisions to modify United Nations resolutions and other international agreements dealing with the status of Jerusalem. The membership also urged the international community to make every effort to preserve and maintain the historical heritage of Jerusalem. The IPU resolution concluded by encouraging all sides to relaunch the peace process with the aim of achieving a two-State solution on the basis of the 1967 borders.
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Bringing a parliamentary dimension to CSW 62

The IPU had a strong presence at the 62nd session of the Commission for Women (CSW). Apart from holding a parliamentary meeting, the IPU also held a series of side events on 14 March 2018.
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IPU gathers parliaments to discuss empowering rural women and girls at the Commission on the Status of Women

Although rural girls and women made up 40 per cent of all the women in the world in 2015, according to the United Nations, they lack a voice in decision-making. In many countries, they are either not taken into account in national laws and policies, development strategies and budgets, or their needs are insufficiently addressed. To draw attention to this, the priority theme of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which took place in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018, was the empowerment of rural women and girls. On 13 March, the IPU, in cooperation with UN Women, held a parliamentary meeting at the CSW , entitled “Parliaments deliver for rural women and girls”.
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Seminar participants

MPs of Burkina Faso meet to tackle child labour and trafficking

A country’s future depends on the education and nurturing of its children, and child trafficking and labour go against this. To tackle this very real issue, MPs from the National Assembly of Burkina Faso took part in a seminar organized by the IPU in Ouagadougou from 9 to 10 March 2018. The seminar was a follow-up to one held in 2016 at the ECOWAS Parliament, which called for information sessions on the issue to be organized in member country parliaments.
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Seminar session

Parliament of Namibia steps up efforts to become more gender sensitive

The Parliament of Namibia has made substantive gains in women’s participation, with a significant number of women holding leadership positions. This was one of the conclusions of a self-assessment exercise on gender-sensitive parliaments carried out in Windhoek from 27 February to 1 March 2018. However, work still remains to be done in terms of work-life balance and expectations about the roles of men and women in parliament.
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Seminar participants

Zambian MPs take action on child, early and forced marriage

Men and women MPs from Zambia met to tackle child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) at a parliamentary seminar organized jointly by the IPU and the National Assembly of Zambia. This was the first time in the country that male MPs joined their female counterparts in acting on this issue. The seminar, which took place on 24 and25 February 2018 in Lusaka, discussed effective parliamentary responses to CEFM in terms of legislation, oversight, budget allocation and representation.
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Time is now to scale up women’s rights and nutrition activism in Africa

Today, as we mark International Women’s Day, we celebrate not only all women, but especially the activists – rural and urban, men and women – who are transforming women’s lives. Right now, women and men across Africa are part of a movement sweeping across the world for women’s rights, equality and justice.
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IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák and IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong

IPU convenes MPs on migration at the United Nations

Migration is a reality the world over, too often governed in an ad hoc manner. Migrants need more regular pathways to reduce irregular migration and ensure better integration in their host country and its labour market. The need for a global compact on migration was emphasized at the Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations in New York from 22 to 23 February 2018. The Hearing allowed MPs to provide a parliamentary perspective on the new UN Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM) currently under negotiation.
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Seminar session

IPU carries out a needs assessment for the Parliament of Vanuatu

As part of its work to help strengthen parliaments, the IPU carried out a mission from 12 to 16 February to Port Vila to assist the Parliament of Vanuatu to assess its needs.
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One year in detention: IPU renews its call for the immediate release of Philippines Senator Leila de Lima

24 February 2018 marks one year since Philippines Senator de Lima has been in detention. The IPU is deeply concerned about her long incarceration and, through its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, renews its call for her release.
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IPU President and Secretary General meet with UN Secretary-General to discuss future cooperation

Parliaments have a critical role to play in addressing some of the issues on the global agenda and helping to translate international commitments into national realities. This makes the partnership between the IPU and the UN a natural one. On 22 February 2018, IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron and Secretary General Martin Chungong met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to review the status of UN-IPU cooperation and examine opportunities for further engagement. The meeting took place in New York in the context of the 2018 Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations on migration.
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WHO Director-General meets with IPU Secretary General

Mr. Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General, welcomed Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), at the IPU Headquarters. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus took up his post as Director-General in May 2017, and this was his first official meeting with Mr. Chungong.
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IPU High-Level Group on counter-terrorism meets for the first time

The IPU High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism (HLAG) has been established to serve as the global focal point for parliamentary activities related to counter-terrorism. At its first meeting in Geneva on 4-5 February 2018, the Group approved a programme to be implemented in partnership with the United Nations Office for Drug Control (UNODC).
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Malian MPs carry out self-assessment on implementing SDGs

Parliaments are instrumental in ensuring the implementation of the SDGs and therefore should be closely involved in the process. It was in this context that a self-assessment exercise on SDGs was carried out by the Malian National Assembly, using the
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Advisory Group being briefed

IPU Advisory Group on Health is impressed by health care in Rwanda

The IPU Advisory Group on Health visited Rwanda to learn what the Parliament has been doing on reproductive health, to document good practices to share with the global parliamentary community and make recommendations to the Parliament on strengthening its work on reproductive health. The visit took place from 24 to 27 January 2018.
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