Taking decisive actions to end economic, political and social inequality will be the focus of deliberations for the more than 650 MPs from 132 countries meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1-5 April 2017.
Parliamentarians, including 53 Speakers of Parliament, will make concrete proposals on a range of issues, from ending rising inequality to promoting women’s access to financing, during the 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (#IPU136) hosted by the Bangladesh Parliament. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and children’s rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, will be the keynote speaker during the opening session of the debates on 2 April.
Kailash Satyarthi has spent many years tackling the tragic impact of inequality on children. He is expected to highlight the role and responsibility of parliamentarians in ending child labour and better protecting children from all forms of exploitation. Together with the IPU, he also will call on nations to end child trafficking and make every effort to protect the fundamental rights of children.
New estimates published by Oxfam show that just eight men own the same amount of wealth as 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. According to the IPU, the consequences of inequality are unsustainable, causing instability and undermining human rights.
In 2015, the international community agreed to take robust action on inequality. Goal 10of the Sustainable Development Goals calls on governments to “reduce inequalities within and among countries”. During the IPU’s Assembly, parliamentarians will concentrate on the impact of inequality on the poor, women and vulnerable groups.
Using the achievement of Goal 10 as the measure of success, they will potentially look at ways to assess the extent of economic, social and political inequalities and to ensure the needs of the poor and marginalized are addressed at all levels of decision-making.
IPU Members will adopt a resolution to guarantee the financial inclusion of women as drivers of development. The IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security will further examine, and possibly adopt a resolution of the issue of non-interference in the internal affairs of States, in the context of our world today.
The 136th IPU Assembly will host the 25th Session of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians (#womenMPs). More than 207 women MPs are due to attend the Dhaka meeting, which among other things, will focus on ending the gender gap in access to financial services.
The IPU’s Forum of Young P a r l i a m e n t a r i a n s (#youngMPs) will also meet at the Assembly, infusing a youth perspective into the deliberations.
The Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will examine cases involving the abuses of MPs’ human rights. Hearings are planned with national authorities or individuals.