OrderPaperToday- Lawmakers from across the world “will seek to address the critical question of how to rejuvenate democracy at a time of falling public confidence in the institutions of democracy” at the 134th IPU Assembly this week.

The global conference in Lusaka, Zambia and hosted by the Zambian Parliament from 19- 23 March will address “low levels of trust and disenchantment, particularly among young people”, according to a statement released by the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) today.

IPU President Saber Chowdhury said: “Our collective ability to meet the unprecedented challenges we all face today has a greater chance of success if democracy is more deeply rooted in our beliefs and practice. We as parliamentarians must ensure that we breathe new life into politics and parliaments, with young people at the heart of that process.”

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The statement said that the Members of Parliaments “will aim to identify ways to reverse low voter turnouts and a waning youth interest in formal politics – a critical step towards safeguarding and strengthening democracy in all cultures. It will also be an opportunity to explore innovative ideas that enhance and modernize democratic culture, institutions and practice.

“The Assembly will take place on the heels of IPU’s third Global Conference of Young MPs, which has a specific focus on the role of youth in delivering on the new generation of development goals agreed by world leaders in 2015.

“The Assembly will adopt resolutions on boosting global cooperation to combat terrorism and protecting the world’s cultural heritage.  IPU Members will also explore options for promoting environmentally sustainable, and open and accountable parliaments as well as preventing child and forced marriage”, it said.

The Union’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will also be delighted to “hold an estimated 10 hearings with authorities and MPs from various countries. It will also examine cases involving the abuses of the human rights of 123 MPs from 13 countries. Decisions on some of the cases will be adopted by the IPU membership.”

Women and youth parliamentarians will also hold a meeting, the “twice-yearly meeting as part of the Organization’s ongoing work to empower women and young MPs and strengthen their input into global decision-making.”

More than 650 MPs from around the world, including 82 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliament will be attending the Assembly this year, including for the first time ever, the Speaker of China’s National People’s Congress.

IPU Assemblies, held twice a year, bring together lawmakers from 167 IPU’s Member Parliaments to define policy on key international issues.



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