Encouraging communication between parliaments and their citizens
The recently published Global Parliamentary Report (GPR) aims to encourage open communication between parliaments and their citizens. It examines the various initiatives being undertaken worldwide to engage and inform the public on parliamentary activities. These include the use of interactive websites, open days, and social media. This truly global report has contributions from 125 parliaments and more than 600 individual members of parliament.
Published by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the GPR was launched at the 126th IPU Assembly in Kampala, Uganda, which was attended by a delegation from New Zealand.
The GPR provides an important step forward in assisting parliaments and politicians to better understand and respond to the pressures they face, as they come under greater public scrutiny than ever before. The GPR argues that in order for parliaments to address the current low levels of trust in them, they must engage with their citizens, stay closely attuned to their needs and expectations, and make every effort to meet them.
This joint work by the IPU and UNDP represents both organisations’ attempts to strengthen parliaments and promote democracy throughout the world. The IPU was established in 1889 and is an international organisation of parliaments of sovereign States. It currently has more than 150 national parliaments as members, including the New Zealand Parliament. Its main areas of activity are representative democracy, international peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and humanitarian law, women in politics, and education, science, and culture.
The UNDP is the United Nations’ global development network and is currently led by New Zealander the Rt Hon Helen Clark. Since 1966 the UNDP has been working in five main areas: poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, environment and energy, and HIV/AIDS. It also encourages the protection of human rights, capacity development, and the empowerment of women.
The compatible and complementary aims and objectives of these two organisations are now in evidence in the Global Parliamentary Report. To read the report, go to the related link on this page.