Data on parliaments shows a mixed picture on 30 June, the first International Day of Parliamentarism. This date was chosen by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 72/278 as it coincides with the foundation of the IPU – the global organization of parliaments – in 1889. Using its unique, worldwide vantage point, the IPU can offer a snapshot of the state of parliaments in 2018.
The IPU has welcomed the historic Inter-Korean Summit held on 27 April in the town of Panmunjom by both leaders, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in. Congratulating the two leaders on this giant step towards peace and reconciliation of the Korean nation, IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas, invited both sides to pursue high-level dialogue at the parliamentary level at the House of Parliaments in Geneva under IPU auspices.
The Inter-Parliamentary-Union (IPU) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are working together to strengthen the role of parliaments in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism. The IPU’s High Level Advisory Group on Counter Terrorism is meeting in Abu Dhabi, on 2-3 May, to move ahead with operationalizing the Joint IPU-UNODC Programme. This meeting, organized jointly by the IPU and the UAE Federal National Council, will set targets for assisting parliaments with transforming, inter alia, UN and IPU resolutions on counter terrorism into national legislation, and promote parliamentary cooperation on the issue.
Female parliamentarians worldwide called for immediate reforms to stop sexism, harassment and violence against women in parliaments. This includes urging all parliaments to set concrete targets and deadlines to achieve equal representation of women and men. Taking part in the 12th Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament on 25-26 April, women MPs urged the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to lead global reform actions to end all forms of harassment in parliament. Participants specified that by the end of 2018, the IPU should collect best practices and issue concrete guidelines on promoting adequate responses by parliaments to sexism, harassment and violence against women MPs.
Women Speakers of Parliament will identify clear actions to eliminate barriers to women’s political participation, end harassment of female MPs, and promote inclusive parliaments. The 12th Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament, organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Chamber of Deputies of Bolivia, will bring together the most senior women parliamentary leaders to address gender issues in parliaments, and explore avenues for more inclusive political institutions where every voice counts.
Nearly 750 MPs worldwide condemned the discrimination and abuse of refugees and migrants at the conclusion of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva. The Assembly Declaration emphasized the critical role of parliaments in transforming the aspirations of the two Global Compacts – one on migrants and the other on refugees - into national laws.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) expressed serious concerns about the scale and type of alleged human rights violations of parliamentarians in Cambodia, the Maldives, Turkey and Venezuela with the effect of jeopardizing parliamentary democracy in these countries.
Parliamentarians from over 137 countries will seek to identify and agree upon parliamentary inputs to the UN-led reforms on the rights and protection of migrants and refugees. Meeting at the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva (24-28 March), more than 740 MPs, including 65 Speakers of Parliament and 216 women parliamentarians, will ensure that the interests of the 6.5 billion people they represent are part of the global negotiations on the new migration regime. MPs will look in detail at their contribution to ensuring domestic enforcement of the two related Global Compacts expected to be adopted by the UN community later this year.
Statement by Senator Gabriela Cuevas Barron, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
The year 2017 saw some positive developments in women’s participation in elections, according to the Women in Parliament in 2017: The year in review, released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ahead of International Women’s Day. However, in global terms, the number of women in national parliaments has only increased by 0.1 percentage point from 2016, from 23.3% to 23.4%.