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The Swiss National Council © The Swiss Parliament

Strong parliaments

We help strengthen parliaments to make them more effective and representative.
Swiss National Council

Strong parliaments are the cornerstone of democracy and essential for development. They represent the people, pass laws and hold governments to account. As an organization made up of nearly all the world’s national parliaments, the IPU helps parliaments become more representative, gender-balanced, younger, transparent, accessible, accountable and effective.

To do this, the IPU pools the collective expertise and experience of its Members to establish common standards and guidelines  on parliaments. We encourage parliaments to lead their own development through tools such as our Common Principles for Support to Parliaments.

We also help parliaments harness the power of new technology through the Centre for Innovation in Parliament, a partnership between the IPU and parliaments to develop and share good practices in digital innovation and tools such as social media.

The IPU’s democratic ideals have been enshrined in two important declarations. In 1994, IPU Members adopted the Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections  followed by the Universal Declaration on Democracy three years later. 

IPU Members also have a dedicated Committee on Democracy and Human Rights  that meets at every Assembly.
 

Setting standards
136
Number of national parliaments which have endorsed the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments
Explore strong parliaments
We pull together common values and principles of parliaments' work into sets of standards and guidelines that present a vision of democratic parliaments and describe good practices.
We work actively throughout the world to help develop strong, well-functioning parliaments that can rise to modern challenges.
The International Day of Democracy is celebrated around the world on 15 September each year. Its sister day, the International Day of Parliamentarism, is celebrated worldwide on 30 June.
Contact us for more information on how we can support your parliament
Latest news and stories on strong parliaments
Voices
Beatriz Arigmòn

A conversation with...Beatriz Argimòn, MP, Uruguay

As part of a new IPU series called 'A conversation with...', we interview parliamentarians from all over the world to find out who they represent and what motivates them. In this edition, we discover Beatriz Argimòn, President of the General
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Press releases
social media

IPU publishes new social media guide book for parliaments

To provide guidance in what can sometimes be a challenging and even dangerous space, the IPU has published a new Social Media Guide for Parliaments and Parliamentarians. The guide is designed as a practical tool on how to use social
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Voices
US capitol

Democracy wins. Again.

On 6 January 2021, the world watched in horror as a mob waged an outrageous assault on the US Capitol building. Congress was in session, performing the usually calm and orderly ritual of confirming the election results and certifying the
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Statements
Myanmar

IPU Statement on Myanmar

The IPU strongly condemns the military coup in Myanmar on the day the new Parliament (the Hluttaw) was due to reopen. We call for the immediate release of those detained unlawfully and for respect of democratic institutions. Any disputes over
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Voices
Duarte Pacheco

IPU President: “The human rights of parliamentarians should be the core business of the IPU."

Mr Duarte Pacheco, a Portuguese Member of Parliament since 1991, was elected to the IPU Presidency in an historic virtual vote in November, winning 56 per cent of the votes in the first round. In his first video interview for
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Strong parliaments
Latest publications on strong parliaments
This comparative research paper looks at the governance of parliamentary administrations. Parliamentary administrations – responsible for providing the organizational, day-to-day, budgetary and technical functions of parliaments – play a key role in effective functioning of parliaments by offering administrative expertise
The Guidelines seek to provide parliaments and parliamentarians and those who work with them with a common understanding of development cooperation and offer ideas on what they can do to promote more effective and accountable use of aid in particular
The IPU 130th anniversary book describes the IPU’s milestones in promoting peace, democracy, human rights, gender equality and parliamentary diplomacy over the past 130 years. It also mentions more recent IPU goals to empower younger parliamentarians and to mobilize parliaments
Strong parliaments
Related events
IPU Partnership Event
UN Chamber Music Society Virtual Concert in Celebration of International Day of Parliamentarism and the Foundation of the IPU in 1889. 9:00am EST
Jun 30 2021
Virtual event
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The World e-Parliament Conference is the leading international forum for exchanging good practices and building inter-parliamentary cooperation in the area of innovation and digital technology in parliaments.
Jun 16 2021
Virtual event
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In order to increase awareness of the IPU, every year the Secretariat organizes an Information Seminar for parliamentary staff who serve as Secretaries of IPU Groups or are responsible for the relationship of their respective parliaments with the IPU.
Jun 07 2021
Strong parliaments