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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.
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Latest news and stories on strong parliaments
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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The President of the National Assembly, Richard Ferrand, welcomed delegations from France and Britain, with Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General

Statement by the French and British Groups of the IPU for the 130th anniversary

Gathered in Paris to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the first meeting of the IPU on 29 and 30 June 1889, the French and British Groups of the IPU reaffirm in the following statement their commitment to the IPU.
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News in brief
Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow

British IPU group celebrate 130th anniversary in Speaker's House

On 25 June, as part of the IPU's 130th anniversary celebrations, the Chair and Executive Committee of the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU) invited members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords to attend a diplomatic reception in Speaker’s House. Members of the Diplomatic Corps, key stakeholders in the UK Parliament and a visiting delegation from the Italian Parliament were also invited (Italy was one of the nine original member countries of the IPU, along with the co-founders United Kingdom and France).
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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

Fourteenth Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians

Wroxton, 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
Geneva, Switzerland
Dec 03 2018
Strong parliaments