The global parliamentary community has condemned today the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority in the Northern Rakhine state of Myanmar. MPs have called upon the Government of Myanmar to end immediately the violence and forced displacement of the Rohingya and the blatant violations of their human rights.
Cultural pluralism and its contribution to peaceful societies and sustainable development is the focus of over 2,000 delegates, including over 800 MPs and 86 Speakers of Parliament, gathering in St. Petersburg for the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, on 14-18 October, 2017.
A delegation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has expressed deep concern about the flawed justice, torture and intimidation in the investigation of the 1998 assassination of the parliamentarian and Minister of Infrastructure Zorig Sanjasuuren. Sanjasuuren is regarded by many as the leader of the democratic movement in Mongolia in the early 1990s.
To mark the dual milestones this year of the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Democracy on 15 September and the 20th anniversary of the adoption of IPU’s Universal Declaration on Democracy, the IPU campaign, Get engaged now, calls for people to take action to strengthen democracy. Such actions can mean voting in elections, speaking out against human rights violations, opposing restrictive laws on freedom of expression and joining a civil society organization
The IPU once again condemns ongoing attempts to strip the National Assembly of its power and to harass its leadership and members. It is deeply concerned over reports that the Constituent Assembly called for the prosecution of several MPs on charges of treason.
Members of Parliament from the Middle East, including Israel and Palestine, have declared that access to clean water should not be politicized and should not be used as a weapon in regional conflicts. In a second roundtable, organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Committee on Middle East Questions, MPs from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates have also agreed concrete measures to tackle the water crisis that threatens to further aggravate regional instability. The areas earmarked for action include: mapping those communities most threatened by water scarcity, establishing a regional parliamentary network on water governance and supporting MPs’ on shaping equitable and sustainable legislation on water management.
The IPU condemns in the strongest terms the recent attack on the National Assembly in Venezuela. The Organization deplores the assault on members of parliament and the physical integrity of the institution itself. The incident follows an earlier assault on several parliamentarians on 27 June, including a member of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, Delsa Solórzano, who sustained serious injuries. “Any attack on parliament is an assault on democracy,” said IPU President Saber Chowdhury, reaffirming the sanctity of parliament. Noting that President Maduro has also condemned the 5 July attack, the IPU is urging restraint by all sides in the escalating crisis in Venezuela and a return to calm.
On 23 June, the UN Human Rights Council adopted without a vote a resolution in support of stronger cooperation with parliaments. The resolution encourages States to involve parliaments in all stages of the Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), under which the Council examines the human rights situation of each UN Member State.
More than 50 young parliamentarians from Asia-Pacific countries have gathered in Sri Lanka today and tomorrow to discuss their role in advancing inclusive and peaceful societies and preventing violent extremism in the region. During the two days, young MPs will collaborate with global experts and key civil society actors in developing strategies that engage their peers on the role parliaments and political participation can play in addressing violent extremism.