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Strong parliaments

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

The Swiss National Council © The Swiss Parliament

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
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
IPU President and Secretary General

130 years after the foundation of the IPU, the struggle for democracy continues

An end-of-year message from IPU leadership. We should never take democracy for granted. Many of our parents and grandparents fought for it in the Second World War and in battles for independence from colonial rule. In the 1990s we celebrated
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News in brief
Costa Rica information seminar

First IPU information seminar for parliamentary staff in Latin America

The IPU has held its first regional information seminar in Latin America on the functioning of the organization. The seminar was held in San José, Costa Rica, on 27 and 28 November 2019 in partnership with Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly.
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IPU President

Inclusive parliaments are democracy’s best hope

Opinion piece by Gabriela Cuevas, President of the IPU, on the occasion of International Day of Democracy on 15 September 2019.
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News in brief
Speaker of the Parliament of Djibouti, Mohamed Ali Houmed

Djibouti MPs join in celebrations for IPU’s 130th

The Speaker of Djibouti’s National Assembly, Mohamed Ali Houmed, opened an extraordinary session of the Parliament with a speech to mark the IPU’s 130th anniversary. The Prime Minister, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, was in the audience. The Parliament also helped raise awareness of the IPU and the anniversary by sending out the link to the video produced for the anniversary to all the MPs.
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News in brief
IPU Honorary President Saber H. Chowdhury, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Speaker of Parliament Shirin Chaudhury at the opening of the exhibition

Bangladesh PM opens IPU 130th anniversary exhibition

The Parliament of Bangladesh is currently displaying the IPU’s 130th anniversary exhibition. The exhibition was opened by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Speaker of Parliament Shirin Chaudhury and IPU Honorary President Saber H. Chowdhury were present at the opening, as were whips and other members of parliament.
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Strong parliaments
Latest publications on strong parliaments
The World e-Parliament Report is designed to help parliaments harness the power of new technology to become better and stronger institutions.
The second Global Parliamentary Report shines the spotlight on one of parliament’s critical functions: its power to hold governments to account for their actions.
The 2016 World e-Parliament Report identifies how parliaments are using information and communication technologies (ICT) to engage with citizens.
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Related events

San José
Costa Rica

The seminar is for parliamentary staff who serve as Secretaries of IPU Groups within Member Parliaments.
Nov 27 2019

Fourteenth Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians


United Kingdom

The Fourteenth Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians is organized by the Centre for Legislative Studies of the University of Hull. The workshop aims to bring together scholars and parliamentarians to discuss research findings which are likely to be of
Jul 27 2019


“Innovation” will be the theme running through the 2018 World e-Parliament Conference. The policy track will examine the impact of new tools on the job of a parliamentarian and on the institution of parliament.
Dec 03 2018
Strong parliaments