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Driving democratic change – IPU at 125 and beyond
30 Jun 2014 -  Background
Over the past 125 years, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has been the conduit and platform for national parliaments to work for peace and democracy across the globe and so make tangible differences to the lives of ordinary citizens. For nearly 70 of those years, the United Nations has transformed international relations through the involvement of its Member States. For both organizations, finding shared solutions to shared problems is the key to success. IPU’s fundamental tenet of “dialogue”: bringing all voices to the table to prevent and resolve conflicts – espoused by its Founding Fathers – is as relevant today as it was back in 1889. A world grounded in respect for human rights and equality for all is a major goal of both the IPU and the UN. As the entity that represents the people, parliament is critical to the successful translation of international agreements, particularly on these issues, into daily realities for citizens. The IPU, using its unique power of parliamentary collective thought, influence and action, has for 125 years been driving democratic change that has made a real difference to people’s lives.

Objective
To mark its 125th anniversary year that begins on 30 June, a half-day event will take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Bringing together the diplomatic, parliamentary, civil society and media communities, the event will chart and spotlight some of the many achievements made since 1889 in shaping a radically different world where peace, human rights, equality and human development underpin a desire for greater democracy. It will also discuss some of the many challenges that democracy faces. The 30 June event will kick-start an initiative to make IPU, its work and its complementarity with the UN better known and understood in the lead-up to the 70th anniversary of the UN in 2015. It is also the date on which the official handover from the outgoing to the incoming IPU Secretary General will take place, at a reception to be held at IPU Headquarters afterwards
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