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News in brief
Fawzia koofi

IPU urges Afghan authorities to give Fawzia Koofi a fair chance to run in elections

The IPU has not obtained evidence to support the decision of a special Afghan committee and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission to bar MP Fawzia Koofi from standing in parliamentary elections scheduled for 20 October. Despite the IPU’s request in August, the Afghan authorities have not provided any facts to support their decision to exclude Fawzia Koofi on account of her alleged involvement in illegal armed groups.
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© Shen Hong/Xinhua

IPU and NPC of China intensify cooperation on SDGs

MPs from Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tanzania met to discuss how parliaments can effectively facilitate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a seminar that took place from 10-12 September in Beijing, China. The
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Djibouti women voters

Wind of change in Djibouti

Djibouti’s new legislature is making great efforts to become more representative of the country’s people. Elections in February changed the composition of the National Assembly with an intake of 60 per cent of new MPs. Women are better represented, making
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Venezuela MPs

IPU calls for Venezuelan authorities to allow parliamentary fact-finding mission

Long-standing efforts since 2013 to send a delegation of MPs to Venezuela have so far failed in the absence of clear authorization and cooperation from the country’s authorities. Following the ongoing repression of opposition MPs by the Venezuelan government, the
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Photo from the summit

Third South Asian Speakers’ Summit discusses green growth

Speakers of South Asian Parliaments agreed to a number of action points including: prioritizing green growth strategies and climate change adaptation; strengthening access to education; and promoting the social inclusion of marginalized, vulnerable groups and differently-abled people. The Speakers of Parliament of Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka met in Colombo from 11-12 July 2018 to discuss progress on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their region. The focus of the meeting—the third of its kind—was on sustainable, equitable and green economic growth and on creating decent work for all, including young people and persons with disabilities.
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Whale made out of plastic at the UN High Level Political Forum, July 2018

Helping MPs to help achieve the Global Goals

With only 12 years to go before the deadline for the 2030 Global Goals, the IPU brought together MPs from North and South at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York from 9 to 18 July 2018. This year’s theme was linked to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 on consumption and production patterns. According to the UN, domestic material consumption is increasing worldwide, rising from 1.29 kg per dollar of GDP in 2000 to 1.41 kg in 2015. This level of consumption is not only draining finite resources but also causing environmental degradation and climate change.
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A prisoner looks out from prison cell of Lukyanivska prison in Kiev on July 6, 2018

Parliaments stand up for human rights

Parliaments around the world are increasingly prioritizing human rights and rightly so. Parliaments are uniquely positioned to close the gap between the work of UN human rights mechanisms and implementation at the national level. A recent report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on parliaments’ contributions to the work of the Human Rights Council highlights some good practices to help parliaments better protect and promote human rights.
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Mexican polling booth

Mexican Parliament achieves gender parity

Last Sunday’s elections in Mexico resulted in gender parity in the Parliament: with almost all the results counted, there are 246 women (48.6%) and 254 men (51.2%) in the Chamber of Deputies and 65 women (50.78%) and 63 men (49.22%)
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Photo from the seminar

Georgia Parliament leads in implementing global goals in Eastern Europe

Georgia is among the countries at the forefront of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. The Government has established national indicators and targets to monitor progress. The Parliament plays a crucial role in achieving the targets through its oversight of the Government’s efforts and by ensuring that the most vulnerable populations are not left behind. The Parliament has also adopted the Open Government Partnership Declaration underlining its commitment to openness, transparency and citizen engagement.
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Nigeria youth

Nigeria brings in fresher faces to its Parliament

Young people are vastly under-represented in political decision-making. Although 51 per cent of the world’s population is under 30, young people under 30 make up less than 2 per cent of the world’s MPs. This is largely due to laws
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MPs commit to combating poverty and promoting health care

With only 12 years to go, members of parliament from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia met in Belgrade last week to discuss how they can accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. They focused
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Participants at the technical briefing

Harnessing the power of parliaments to expand universal health coverage

What role can parliaments play in achieving universal health coverage and global health security? A vital one - according to a technical briefing co-organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) at the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva.
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UN resolution strengthens the role of parliaments in global governance

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted its latest resolution on the interaction between the United Nations, parliaments and the IPU. The resolution, co-sponsored by over 90 UN Member States, reaffirms the commitment of all parties to continue efforts to bridge the democracy gap between the international agenda and its implementation at the national level. The resolution recognizes particularly the work of the IPU in mobilizing parliamentary action to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
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Anwar Ibrahim and Mrs. Ibrahim at the IPU

IPU welcomes the release and full pardon of Anwar Ibrahim

The IPU welcomes the news of the release and full pardon of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Mr. Anwar was released from prison today after being granted a full royal pardon. The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which has been defending Mr. Anwar’s case since the 1990s, has consistently maintained that Mr. Anwar was the victim of an unfair trial and has lobbied intensively over the years for his release.
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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 41st 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 138th 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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