Bridging the gap between global commitments and local realities, the IPU was at the opening of the 73rd UN General Assembly (UNGA73) last week to help mobilize parliaments and MPs around UN events. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), better nutrition, and access to health for women and children were at the top of the agenda.
News in brief
United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Dubravka Šimonovic, will present her report to the 73rd UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday 5 October. In the report, the Special Rapporteur analyses violence against women in politics, including in parliament, and makes recommendations on how to stop gender-based violence. The report draws extensively on IPU data, particularly a landmark IPU study in 2016 on the subject. On 16 October, the IPU will publish a new report on violence against women in European parliaments.
Gender equality and good governance were the main themes discussed at the first Regional Seminar on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Gender Equality to take place in the North Africa Middle East region. Organized jointly by the IPU, the Arab IPU, and the House of Representatives of Egypt, the seminar was attended by MPs from 15 countries in the Library of Alexandria, Egypt last week.
The IPU congratulates opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory in Sunday's presidential election. Provisional results show he received 58 per cent of the vote, defeating incumbent Abdulla Yameen who was seeking re-election for a second five-year term. The IPU calls for the results to be confirmed as soon as possible to respect the will of the people.
Following the torture of Ugandan opposition MPs Robert Kyagulanyi Seentamu, known as Bobi Wine, and Francis Zaake, the IPU joins the Ugandan Parliament in urging the authorities to arrest the military officers involved, to respect due process and to conduct a fair trial for the MPs whose cases are pending.
The IPU has not obtained evidence to support the decision of a special Afghan committee and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission to bar MP Fawzia Koofi from standing in parliamentary elections scheduled for 20 October. Despite the IPU’s request in August, the Afghan authorities have not provided any facts to support their decision to exclude Fawzia Koofi on account of her alleged involvement in illegal armed groups.
MPs from Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tanzania met to discuss how parliaments can effectively facilitate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a seminar that took place from 10-12 September in Beijing, China.
It is with great sadness that we learn that former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has passed away.
Djibouti’s new legislature is making great efforts to become more representative of the country’s people. Elections in February changed the composition of the National Assembly with an intake of 60 per cent of new MPs.
Long-standing efforts since 2013 to send a delegation of MPs to Venezuela have so far failed in the absence of clear authorization and cooperation from the country’s authorities.