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News in brief

Benin parliamentary conference resolves to boost women’s participation

There should be more women in parliament: this was the consensus of a parliamentary conference organized by the IPU and the National Assembly in Cotonou, Benin, from 18 to 19 January 2018. Women’s representation in parliament has been traditionally low
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IPU Secretary General welcomes Ambassadors of Austria and Thailand

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong recently received the Ambassadors of Austria and Thailand at the Organization’s Headquarters. He has been actively reaching out to the diplomatic community in Geneva, considering the Permanent Missions in Geneva as a useful conduit between the IPU and parliaments back in the various capitals.
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Illegal immigrants rest on a beach after arriving on a makeshift boat in Fuerteventura, one of Spain's Canary Islands, October 10, 2004

IPU-UN Parliamentary Hearing to focus on migration

Today, 258 million people live outside their countries of birth. Managing migration to ensure benefits to both countries of origin and destination, as well as migrants themselves, is a formidable challenge. Responding to this, the United Nations is in the process of negotiating a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration that will be formally adopted at a conference in Morocco in December. This year’s Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations will contribute from a parliamentary perspective to the Global Compact.
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Participants

High-level IPU participation in Hanoi Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum

IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong and former IPU President Saber Chowdhury were in Hanoi recently to attend the 26th session of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, held from 18-20 January 2018.
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IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong and former IPU President Saber Chowdhury were awarded the Friendship Order by Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Chairperson of the Viet Nam National Assembly

Viet Nam awards the Friendship Order to IPU Secretary General and former IPU President

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong and former IPU President Saber Chowdhury were awarded the Friendship Order by Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Chairperson of the Viet Nam National Assembly in Hanoi on 19 January 2018.
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IPU Committee on MPs’ Human Rights has unusually a high number of new cases at its January session

The Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians , which is holding its 155th session in Geneva from 25 to 28 January 2018, has 66 new cases before it, 64 % of which come from Asia. This is an unusually high number for the first session of the year.
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Advisory Group members with children

Bangladeshi MPs work to end child marriage

A group of Bangladeshi parliamentarians travelled to four districts in the country to raise awareness about the problems associated with child marriage. The districts—Gaibandha, Naogaon, Satkhira and Sirajganj—have a high incidence of child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM).
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End-of-year message 2017 from IPU President and IPU Secretary General

2017 is slowly but steadily exiting and making way for a new year full of challenges and opportunity. As we look back on 2017, we can be proud of what we have accomplished together as the global organization of parliaments.
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IPU helps the National Assembly of Djibouti design a strategic plan

The National Assembly of Djibouti and the IPU are running a series of workshops to help parliamentarians and staff draw up a strategic plan. The first workshop took place from 12 to 14 December 2017 and saw MPs carry out self-assessment activities, based on the IPU’s three toolkits on democratic parliaments , gender sensitivity and engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . It also introduced the staff to the scope, importance and methodology for a strategic plan and how to implement it through the day-to-day work of the National Assembly.
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Young MPs from Nigeria and Ghana

Young MPs from Nigeria help their Ghanaian counterparts set up a youth forum

A group of young parliamentarians from Nigeria travelled to Ghana on 27 November to help their counterparts set up a forum of young MPs. This sharing of best practices followed on from the IPU Regional Conference of Young Parliamentarians of Africa, which took place from 27 to 28 September in Abuja. The conference inspired young MPs from Ghana to set up their own forum and they called upon their Nigerian peers for support.
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IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong speaking at Sweden’s celebration of 125 years of IPU membership.

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong joins Sweden’s celebration of 125 years of IPU membership

Sweden joined the IPU 125 years ago, making it one of the Organization’s longest-standing Members. To mark the occasion, on 30 November the Swedish Parliament organized a seminar on cooperation between national parliaments and the United Nations. Panellists discussed the achievements of this cooperation and current international challenges such as terrorism, human rights and gender equality.
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New IPU-UNDP MoU signals strengthened cooperation

The IPU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have worked together for over 40 years. This long-standing partnership was reinforced by the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 27 November 2017. At the signing ceremony last week in New York, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner reaffirmed their commitment to work together for stronger parliaments and for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They stressed the importance of governance which is crucial to achieving the SDGs and is at the heart of democracy.
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IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong with the Ambassadors of Slovakia  and Egypt

IPU Secretary General welcomes new Egyptian and Slovakian Ambassadors

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong recently received the Ambassadors of Egypt and Slovakia at the Organization’s Headquarters. On 22 November 2017, Mr. Chungong met with Mr. Juraj Podhorský, Ambassador of Slovakia. They talked about how IPU and Slovakia could cooperate
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Valletta

MPs from the Euro-Mediterranean region commit to promoting fair, smart and humane migration

Parliaments play a vital role in ensuring safe and humane migration through the ratification and effective implementation of international treaties. They can also help to change the negative discourse around migration by putting in place and strengthening legislation against xenophobia and racism and by promoting balanced and empirically sound public debate. These were among the conclusions of a conference for parliamentarians on smart and humane migration across the Mediterranean. The conference , co-organized by the IPU with the Parliament of Malta and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), took place in Valletta, Malta, from 16 to 17 November 2017.
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Inspiring the young leaders of tomorrow

The children of today will become the leaders of tomorrow, so it is important to inspire them while they are young. The IPU welcomed a group of children aged 10 and 11 to its Headquarters on 22 November 2017. The children were Year 6 pupils from the International School of Geneva, and the visit was part of their unit of enquiry on peace and conflict.
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IPU has a strong presence at Geneva Peace Week

The IPU actively took part during Geneva Peace Week by co-organizing two events, participating in a conference and a Facebook Live interview. The focus of the Peace Week, held from 6-10 November 2017, was on conflict prevention and effective pathways for implementation.
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Session at the meeting

MPs pledge to take action on climate change

Participants of the Parliamentary Meeting held during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn called on countries to undertake economy-wide reductions in emissions and strengthen mitigation efforts, given the “alarming gap” between the reductions needed and the national pledges made in Paris. The Parliamentary Meeting took place on 12 November 2017 and was co-organized by the IPU and the Parliaments of Fiji and Germany.
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Young MPs push for more youth inclusive societies, economies and democracies

More than 130 young MPs from all around the world, attending the Fourth Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians , will identify solutions to present-day democratic, economic and social divides and lay the groundwork for more inclusive economic
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IPU condemns court decision to ban opposition party in Cambodia

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) strongly condemns the ruling by Cambodia's Supreme Court to dissolve the country’s main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), and to ban 118 senior CNRP members from political life for five years, including 53
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IPU’s new President meets with Director of ICAN, Nobel Peace Laureate

The new President of the IPU, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, met with Beatrice Fihn, Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Portuguese MP Mr. Duarte Pacheco, Chair of the Twelve Plus geopolitical group, was also at the meeting, which took place on 14 November 2017. They discussed ways of ensuring a more robust engagement by parliaments and MPs in the abolition of nuclear weapons.
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