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Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation and Covid-19

Published date: 28 Apr 2020

The New Zealand Parliament is a member of inter-parliamentary organisations and networks. These global and regional forums bring together parliamentarians to discuss global issues, propose solutions to international developments, debate world events, and promote democratic ideals and practices. These activities don’t stop in a time of global crisis. During the Covid-19 pandemic knowledge sharing is an important function of such forums.

Many inter-parliamentary activities that would take place face to face, have migrated online. By virtual means, parliamentarians and parliamentary staff continue to exchange best practice and ideas to continue the important scrutiny function of Parliaments.

Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is gathering information from Parliaments all around the world. This shows that parliamentarians are working together in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its campaign Parliaments in a time of pandemic, the IPU is helping to facilitate inter-parliamentary coordination and solidarity by collating and sharing examples of how parliaments can continue to legislate, debate and scrutinise the actions of government in a time of lockdown and social distancing.

The IPU has produced resources to assist Parliaments, including:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

Likewise, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is connecting its network of national and sub-national legislatures.  The CPA Headquarters Secretariat has conducted research and produced a forward-looking Toolkit for Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and delivering parliamentary democracy. This toolkit provides various measures and recommendations that can be adopted by both Parliaments and Parliamentarians in order to continue to deliver on the Legislatures’ role of scrutinising legislation and delivering democracy during a global pandemic

Asia Pacific Parliamentarians Forum on Global Health

Building on the success of its regional meeting in Fiji in 2019, the Asia Pacific Parliamentarians Forum on Global Health (APPFGH) held a webinar. APPFGH connected parliamentarians with experts from the World Health Organisation to provide technical advice.

New Zealand's Hon Michael Woodhouse MP participated in the webinar, which he discussed with Radio NZ's The House programme. You can hear his interview here.

A stethoscope around a globe on a blue background
A view looking up at the flags of many nations flying against a blue sky.