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 in Benin. The conference therefore reviewed way in which to boost the percentage in view of impending elections in April 2019.
News in brief
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron and IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong look back at the past year and at upcoming challenges in 2018.
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.
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.