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 Geneva, 13 March 2014IPU Logo-bottom

Key commitments on safer world and election of new Secretary General to dominate 130th IPU Assembly

More than 715 parliamentarians from 141 countries will commit to efforts to make the world free from nuclear weapons and elect a new Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the130th IPU Assembly in Geneva.

They will be just two of the several key decisions that IPU Members will be taking during the 16-20 March Assembly with significant implications on the world or the Organization.

With more than 17,000 nuclear weapons believed to exist in the world and many on launch standby, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation remain an urgent priority in making the world a safer place.

Global security will also underpin other resolutions. This includes mitigating the risks to global development from disasters, including tackling demographic challenges, as well as protecting the rights of children, particularly migrant children, during war and conflict. Proposals for a resolution on an emergency item so far include the threat of cyber warfare to global security, IPU’s role in securing peace in Syria through a political solution and restoring peace consolidating democracy in the Central African Republic.

The situation in Ukraine has also been put forward as an emergency item proposal by the Ukrainian parliament.

During a particularly high-level Assembly with 53 Speakers of Parliament attending, IPU Members will also elect a new Secretary General on 20th March to take over from Anders B. Johnsson. He will retire on 30th June after 16 years in the post and 22 years working for the Organization.

Candidates include former members of parliament (MPs) Barbara Contini (Italy), Kimmo Roobert Kiljunen (Finland) and Geert Versnick (Belgium), current IPU Deputy Secretary General Martin Chungong (Cameroon), and Shazia Rafi (Pakistan),former Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action.

The election will have a pivotal impact on IPU which also formally celebrates its 125th anniversary on 30th June. The landmark anniversary of the world’s oldest multi-lateral body will be at the core of the Assembly discussion on renewing IPU’s commitment to peace and democracy.

“As an Organization that since 1889 has been dedicated to peace and strengthening democracy, our eye is firmly on the future and how to most effectively deal with the challenges to human security and democratic values by harnessing the power of those that represent the global citizenry,” says IPU President Abdelwahad Radi. 

Tonga is also expected to formally apply for membership to IPU, which would make it the 164th Member of the Organization.

The 130th Assembly will also bring together women parliamentarians from across the world in the first of their bi-annual meetings at IPU. The meeting, the 19th of its kind, will examine amongst other things women’s priorities for the next ten years. These would then be integrated into their individual work in their national parliament.

IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will similarly meet to tackle new and existing cases involving the human rights abuses of MPs, hold hearings including with Oman, Venezuela and Zambia, as well as submit resolutions for adoption by IPU’s Governing Council.

The Forum of Young Parliamentarians, formally established a year ago, will continue its work to provide a youth perspective into the decision-making process of IPU’s work. This includes hearings with the shortlisted candidates for the post of IPU Secretary General.

Take part in the Assembly debates through Twitter using #IPU130

For full details on Assembly agenda, please click here

Journalists wanting accreditation to attend 130th IPU Assembly, please contact

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The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.

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