GENEVA, 30th June, 2020 (WAM) — On 30 June, on the third edition of International Day of Parliamentarism, the IPU concluded its 130th anniversary year with the publication of a book outlining its achievements over the past 13 decades and including contributions from dozens of its Member Parliaments.
The IPU was founded in Paris on 30 June 1889 as the first political multilateral organisation in the world, encouraging parliamentary cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Since that first meeting of a small group of parliamentarians from just nine countries, the IPU has grown into the global organisation of national parliaments with 179 Member Parliaments and 13 Associate Members.
“The IPU has lived through a century of major wars and humanitarian disasters, and today it has been plunged into one of the most serious global pandemics in history,” said IPU President, Ms. Gabriela Cuevas. “In the midst of this crisis, authoritarian temptations are there for all to see. We must not forget that our institution is founded on the existence and defence of democracy. Our current challenge is therefore even more important: not only to promote and develop democracy, but to return to our roots, not least to combat authoritarianism.”
The anniversary book describes the IPU’s milestones in promoting peace, democracy, human rights, gender equality and parliamentary diplomacy over the past 130 years. It also mentions more recent IPU goals to empower younger parliamentarians and to mobilize parliaments around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The book contains inputs from dozens of the IPU’s Member Parliaments on their contributions to the IPU and parliamentarism as well as their vision for the future development and role of the organization.
“The International Day of Parliamentarism is a timely occasion to honour the pivotal role of Parliaments in giving people a voice and influence to shape policy,” said United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres in a video message. “As a former Parliamentarian, I am deeply conscious of the responsibility and privilege of representing people and delivering on their aspirations. Parliaments have a special duty to advance human rights and promote sustainable development. More than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of these vital tasks.”
“This pandemic is changing our world beyond recognition,” said IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong. “It is hammering our economies, destroying jobs, and exposing our inequalities. And we still have massive challenges to come. How will this crisis affect trade, globalization, and economic production, for example? How will we take care of those who have lost their jobs? As we celebrate the IPU’s anniversary and International Day of Parliamentarism, I remain convinced that parliamentary democracies do a better job of answering those questions than any other system.”
In the past 12 months, Member Parliaments celebrated the IPU’s 130th anniversary milestone in various ways.
This year, despite the pandemic, IPU Members have also found creative ways to celebrate International Day of Parliamentarism