Young MPs call for radical responses to counter youth alienation and disengagement – A major international conference of the world’s young MPs in Tokyo has called for radical policies to end the alienation and radicalization of young people, including new education policies and employment quotas.
About 190 young MPs, 76 of them women attending the IPU Global Conference of Young MPs jointly organized by IPU and the Japanese Parliament, the National Diet, made a series of recommendations on addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the world’s 3.5 billion youth populations. These include unemployment, discrimination and conflict.
During the two-day conference on 27-28 may, the young MPs affirmed their belief that despite disillusionment, apathy, political disengagement and unrest, the world’s youth aspired to democratic, peaceful and prosperous societies and their inclusion into decision-making was critical.
The Conference underlined the need for a comprehensive rights-based framework of action against radicalization, such as guaranteed free education, including anti-violence and conflict-management programmes, laws to criminalize hate speech, and involving young people in all decisions relating to counter-terrorism. Read more.
Gearing up for the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament – Momentum is building towards the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, with the meeting of the Preparatory Committee in Geneva on 1-2 June.
The Committee, composed of about 25 Speakers of Parliament, members of the IPU Executive Committee and a representative of the UN Secretary General, will examine the agenda, background reports and draft outcome documents for the Speakers’ Conference scheduled to take place at UN Headquarters in New York from 31 August-2 September.
Michael Moller, Acting Director General of the UN Office in Geneva, will meet the Committee to look at the linkages between the Conference and the subsequent UN Summit on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As mandated by the UN General Assembly, the Speakers’ Conference is organized in close cooperation with the United Nations as part of the series of high-level meetings leading up to the UN Summit, and is expected to contribute in a significant way to the accountability and implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
IPU and its Member Parliaments have been bringing a comprehensive parliamentary perspective to the global talks, the most recent example being the Hanoi Declaration on the SDGs: Turning Words into Action. Follow the Speakers’ Conference build-up on Twitter using the hashtag #Speakersconf
Pakistan President calls for expanding partnership with IPU – IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong met the President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, in Islamabad on 25 May.
Their discussions centred on deepening the relationship between IPU and Pakistan. Areas considered for expansion are the strengthening of IPU capacity-building efforts with the national parliament and broadening Pakistani participation in IPU activities.
President Hussain stressed that democracy was firmly entrenched in Pakistan, and that closer engagement with IPU could further strengthen democracy and democratic institutions in the country.
The IPU Secretary General also met Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, during his visit. They discussed the vital role of parliaments in helping to achieve the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Aziz stressed the important role of IPU in helping parliaments to implement the SDGs, and their own importance for Pakistan, which is actively engaged in the process of defining them.
During both meetings, the IPU Secretary General expressed his appreciation of Pakistan’s active role in IPU and its commitment to taking part in IPU Assemblies and specialized meetings.
Central and Eastern European parliaments translate SDGs into action – Central and Eastern European parliaments will be looking at what concrete strategies and actions they can take to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At a meeting jointly organized by the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament and IPU, on 15 and 16 June in Bucharest, participants will examine how the SDGs and their targets may apply to Central and Eastern Europe and advance its development when they are adopted in September this year.
Special emphasis will be placed on the important role parliaments need to play in ensuring effective implementation of the SDGs.
Making progress on women’s and children’s health – Parliaments must be part of the efforts to improve women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health – that is the message sent by a meeting of African MPs in Johannesburg 5-7 May.
The meeting was part of the consultation process on an updated Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. The strategy, to be launched in September 2015, is a roadmap to end all preventable deaths of women, children, and adolescents by 2030 and improve their overall health and well-being.
It supports the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and builds on the 2010-2015 Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health launched by the UN Secretary-General.
The parliamentary session in Johannesburg strongly recommended that parliaments should be considered a vital participant in the strategy, that every effort should be made to strengthen parliamentary capacity to engage on issues linked to women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, and that IPU should be part of the future global accountability mechanism.
This message was reinforced by the IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong during his participation in a high-level retreat hosted by the UN Secretary-General in New York on 14-15 May.
The event gathered more than 100 senior leaders from a variety of sectors, including governments, UN agencies, the private sector and civil society, for a detailed conversation on the draft and direction of the strategy.
Guidance on national aid policies – Key questions such as why States should have a national aid policy and how to ensure that all participants in aid activities are held accountable are addressed in a new guidance note on development cooperation.
Analysis by IPU, the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Action Aid shows that many aid-recipient countries either do not have a proper national aid policy, or have policies that are not strong enough to include strong accountability mechanisms.
As a partner in the DCF, IPU commissioned the guidance note for development cooperation policymakers and practitioners as a tool to develop mutual accountability among all partners. The aim is to provide guidance on: working together to develop a clear set of commitments on aid management at the country level, become better advocates for the adoption or improvement of national aid policies, and how to effectively take part in their implementation.
With parliaments insufficiently involved in the aid policy process, the note , which draws on a detailed review of 26 national aid policies, is also meant to support greater parliamentary engagement and is available online only on the IPU website.