Voices is part of a new IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position.
News in brief
Rayya al-Manthari, young MP from Oman, is a member of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians. We interviewed her on the occasion of International Youth Day on 12 August.
Marta Grande, young MP from Italy, is a member of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians. We interviewed her on the occasion of International Youth Day on 12 August.
Statement by Melvin Bouva, President of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Suriname on International Youth Day: International Youth Day is a recognition of one of humanity’s most valuable resources: the enthusiasm, ingenuity, fresh perspectives and vitality of our world’s young women and men. Youth have much to offer to help address the global challenges we face today – from tackling climate change to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet our potential is largely untapped. This is not only a waste of all we could contribute, but also leads many to lose trust in our democratic institutions.
On 12 August, International Youth Day, the IPU celebrates young parliamentarians and youth participation in political life. According to the most recent IPU report on youth participation, the global proportion of MPs under 30 increased from 1.9 per cent in 2016 to 2.2 per cent in 2018. Despite this small uptick, when compared with the half of the world’s population that is under 30, the data reveals a sizeable deficit in the political representation of youth worldwide. The report also shows that the proportion of MPs under 40 went up from 14.2 per cent to 15.5 per cent, and the proportion of MPs under 45 from 26 per cent to 28.1 per cent.
The IPU brought together more than 140 parliamentarians from 50 parliaments to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the annual High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York this week. The main theme of the 2019 session, held under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council, was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
New IPU data paints a mixed picture of the role of parliaments in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While examples of good practice have emerged, with some parliaments playing a very active role, the data also shows that implementation of the SDGs and involvement in the voluntary national review process – the mechanism by which national governments report on progress on the SDGs to the United Nations – remain primarily government-led. There is therefore scope for parliaments to go much further in terms of oversight.
IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron paid official visits to Cyprus and Iran in June 2019.
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.
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.