The IPU and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) brought together close to 20 Parliaments, dozens of MPs, representatives of civil society, and the wider international community to the second session of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law on 22-23 November in Geneva. The second session focused on the role that parliaments play in promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
News in brief
On the day of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s inauguration as President, the IPU welcomes the positive developments in the Maldives after years of political instability. The IPU has been actively involved in the peace-building process in Maldives, notably defending the rights of persecuted MPs including Ibrahim Mohamed Solih himself. Several of those MPs are now taking back their seats in the People’s Majlis, the Maldives Parliament, following Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s victory over President Abdulla Yameen in September’s election.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a blueprint for ensuring a better and sustainable future for everyone. Parliaments play a crucial role in driving that agenda and ensuring progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the global goals. The IPU, as the global convener of parliaments, has held almost 20 regional SDG seminars over the last few years, as well as several national ones. The next regional seminar in this series takes place in Jerusalem from 20 to 22 November 2018.
The IPU and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) published today Good practices in nationality laws for the prevention and reduction of statelessness, a new handbook for policy makers and legislators. The handbook is designed to help parliaments to effectively prevent and reduce statelessness.
Small island developing states (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to climate change: rising sea levels and extreme weather threaten their very existence. Earlier this month, on 5-6 November, parliamentarians from 10 Caribbean countries, including many island states, met at a regional seminar in Suriname to discuss measures to combat climate change. Participants included the Speakers from Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
The IPU is increasingly concerned about the ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka, triggered on 26 October by President Sirisena’s removal of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe followed by suspension of Parliament.
The IPU will be co-organizing two events during Geneva Peace Week from 5 to 9 November 2018.
In the run-up to the G20 Summit, Speakers of Parliament from the 20 leading economies of the world have committed to working together to address challenges such as the future of work, financing development, the fight against corruption, the empowerment of women and youth, education, and a renewed commitment to multilateralism.
Parliamentarians are good at taking the floor to speak. Indeed the origin of the word “parliament” comes from the French "parlementer”- to speak until you reach an agreement. However, beyond the words, IPU Member Parliaments also follow up on IPU assemblies, initiatives and resolutions with concrete actions. At the 139th Assembly in October 2018, IPU Member Parliaments reported on measures they had taken over the past years as a result of IPU activity.
The 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute the most ambitious UN plan ever to counter poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, and conflict.