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.
News in brief
Serbian MPs used the self-assessment toolkit produced by the IPU and UNDP to evaluate their capacity to contribute effectively to the implementation of the SDGs. Parliamentary oversight was a major focus of this exercise. The self-assessment exercise, which took place on 3 and 4 November 2017, was attended by members of the cross-party parliamentary Focus Group on the SDGs as well as clerks from four parliamentary committees.
The IPU hails the appointment of four women as members of the Shura Council of Qatar, the country’s Parliament. This is the first time that women will sit on the Shura Council, which is responsible for examining government policy, drafting laws and reviewing the state budget.
How can parliamentarians work to take the Paris Agenda forward? To discuss this, the IPU and the Parliaments of Germany and Fiji will jointly organize a Parliamentary Meeting during the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP23) on 12 November in Bonn.
The IPU is co-organizing two events during Geneva Peace Week, which this year focuses on “Prevention and effective pathways for implementation”.
In response to a longstanding invitation from the President of the National Assembly of Togo, the IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong, travelled to Lomé, from 30 September to 3 October, to attend the formal opening of the second ordinary session of the National Assembly in 2017. Mindful of the context marked by the socio-political crisis that Togo has been experiencing since August, the IPU Secretary General requested and held meetings with the different political parties representing the majority and the opposition in order to better understand the causes of the crisis.
Fijian parliamentarians took part in a self-assessment of their capacity to contribute effectively to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using for the first time the toolkit designed by the IPU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A total of 50 participants took part in the exercise, including 36 MPs and two Vice-Ministers, which took place in Suva from 2 to 6 October 2017.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) congratulates the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
“We have heard enough talk, it is time to step up efforts and take strong and bold action now!” With these words in the outcome document, young MPs at the Regional Conference of Young Parliamentarians of Africa declared their determination to increase the number of young people in parliament. IPU research shows that although young people under 30 make up approximately 70 per cent of the African population, they make up less than 1.5 per cent of all MPs. The Regional Conference, was co-organized by the IPU and the Parliament of Nigeria in Abuja, Nigeria, on 27 and 28 September 2017 and was attended by 200 participants from 15 countries.
Although many countries and people have benefited from global trade, work still remains to be done to make sure that these benefits are equally distributed and that no one is left behind. How can parliaments ensure this? To look at how parliaments can contribute to more sustainable trade, the IPU and the European Parliament organized a parliamentary session during the 2017 World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum on 26 September. The session focused on “Making trade fair: The contribution of parliaments”.