Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a global organization of parliaments has said that strong institutions require international collaboration and widespread political support. IPU made this known on its website while pointing out that it has been contributing to the discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly Goal 16 which recognizes the importance of strong institutions
As the twenty-first century got underway, the world faced a formidable set of issues, including climate change, terrorism, and growing inequality. But global leaders began to rise to the challenge when they agreed on a set of goals, the Millennium Development Goals, and their successors, the SDGs.
The IPU had contributed to the discussions on the SDGs particularly Goal 16 which recognizes the importance of strong institutions. ‘’But such an ambitious agenda would not be easy to achieve. It would require international collaboration and widespread political support’’, the global body stated.
The IPU had long promoted multilateralism. By building awareness of the SDGs within national parliaments, the IPU could also help to build political support. Parliaments have a key role to play in implementing the SDGs, by fixing national budgets or shaping political agendas.
Youth often have the most to win or lose from the decisions of their governments, but remains under-represented. In 2019, more than half the world population is under 30 years of age, but only 2.2 percent of parliamentarians are under 30.
In 2010, the IPU urged parliaments to focus more on youth. It also set up an international framework for youth participation in democracy and a Forum of Young Parliamentarians. Its data on youth in parliament helps to fuel reflections and promote greater youth participation in democracy.
Finally, in 2017, the IPU elected its youngest ever President, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, a parliamentarian from Mexico.
In the meantime, accelerated by social media, the world appears to be changing at an ever-faster pace. The Arab Spring and rising populism have shown the price of failure for governments that do not deliver widely. Trust in parliaments is falling.
And so, besides supporting parliaments to deliver more effectively, the IPU says it supports parliaments to build trust, including by becoming more representative of their citizens. ‘’The IPU has been a leader on gender issues since its Stockholm Conference in 1921. And in the twenty-first century, it began to focus on youth’’, it said.