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Monday, December 4, 2023

Meeting in Bahrain of parliamentarians from around the world

The 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will be held in Bahrain from March 11 to 15. Some 110 parliaments, including delegations from countries in conflict situations, will take part in the event. The meeting will see the launch of a mobilization campaign to take action on the climate emergency.

At the invitation of the Parliament of Bahrain, hundreds of parliamentarians are expected in the capital, Manama, to take part in the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). This year's debates will focus on the general theme of "Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies; Combating intolerance".

Founded in 1889, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world organization of national parliaments. It was created to encourage cooperation and dialogue between all nations.

The world is currently at its lowest point in terms of peace in the last 15 years. This is supported by the Global Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an Australian-based think-tank. The world is witnessing an upsurge in hate speech, targeting minorities and attempting to undermine confidence in governments. Access to information is declining, as is the diversity of subjects covered and the range of media. Religious discrimination, racism and xenophobia are on the worrying rise.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union believes that as guardians of the rule of law, citizenship, human rights and justice, parliaments are part of the solution. During the Assembly, the IPU will provide opportunities to exchange best practices aimed at promoting inclusion and encouraging peaceful coexistence, a prerequisite for the emergence of resilient, cohesive and democratic societies.

The IPU Working Group on the Peaceful Resolution of the War in Ukraine, created in March 2022, will meet with high-level representatives of the Russian and Ukrainian delegations to continue reflecting on the possibilities for the peaceful resolution of disputes, in strict compliance with international law, the UN Charter and territorial integrity. Composed of eight parliamentarians, the group visited Kyiv and Moscow in July 2022.

The Committee on Middle East Questions and the Group of Facilitators for Cyprus will also be meeting to take stock and propose measures to resolve the situation in these regions.

The Assembly will see the launch of a new IPU campaign, Parliaments for the Planet, designed to mobilize parliaments and parliamentarians to take action on the climate emergency. The campaign will encourage parliaments and those who work in them to reduce their carbon footprint and become greener institutions. It will also support parliaments in their efforts to implement the Paris Climate Agreement through legislation, budgeting and oversight of government action.

The Assembly is also expected to adopt the resolutions Cyberattacks and cybercrimes: new risks to global security and Parliaments taking action to reduce the carbon footprint of forests. All IPU parliamentary bodies will meet, including the Organization's four thematic standing committees, the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, the Forum of Young Parliamentarians and the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.

The IPU currently has 178 member parliaments and 14 regional parliamentary bodies. It is expected to move closer to its goal of universality by increasing the number to 179. One of the founding members, Liberia, which has not belonged to the Union since 2011, has now rejoined.