International Day of Parliamentarism

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Image Credit: Instagram/@aipa.secretariat

The International Day of Parliamentarism is celebrated every year on 30 June, the date is 1889 on which the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) was founded. The Day was established in 2018 through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. 

Background

At this critical time for parliamentary democracy, when people are losing trust in political institutions and democracy itself is facing challenges from populist and nationalist movements, Instituting an international day for parliaments is particularly importantInstituting an international day for parliaments is particularly important. For a thriving democracy, the parliaments, as the cornerstone of functioning democracies, need to be strong, transparent, accountable, and representative.

The International Day of Parliamentarism is a time to review the progress that parliaments have made in achieving some key goals to be more representative and move with the times, including carrying out self-assessments, working to include more women and young MPs, and adapting to new technologies.

The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/72/278, recognized the role of parliaments in national plans and strategies and in ensuring greater transparency and accountability at national and global levels.

What parliaments do?

Strong parliaments are a cornerstone of democracy. They represent the voice of the people, pass laws, allocate funds to implement laws and policies, and hold governments to account. They work to make sure that policies benefit all people, especially the most vulnerable.

Parliaments also link international and national agendas, ensuring that governments implement international treaties and agreements that they sign up to. They play a vital role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has been working closely with them to help build their capacity in doing so.

In countries emerging from conflict, robust parliaments can help make possible a peaceful transition to a functioning democracy by healing divisions in society through dialogue and cooperation.

Source: United Nations 

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