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News in brief

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News in brief
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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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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CSW

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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