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International Day of Parliamentarism 2024, History and Significance

On June 30th, the world commemorates the International Day of Parliamentarism, a celebration of parliamentary governance systems. This observance, initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2018, highlights the significance and longevity of parliamentary democracy as a cornerstone of political representation.

International Day of Parliamentarism Day 2024

The day serves to acknowledge the distinctive nature of parliaments and their crucial role in democratic societies. It also emphasizes the importance of parliamentary self-assessment, encouraging these institutions to reflect on their achievements, confront obstacles, and develop strategies for improvement.

By recognizing this day, the international community reaffirms its commitment to parliamentary principles and their enduring value in modern governance. It provides an opportunity to explore how parliaments can evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of their constituents and address global challenges.

History of International Day of Parliamentarism 2024

The International Day of Parliamentarism was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2018 through Resolution 72/278. The date, June 30th, was chosen to commemorate the founding of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in 1889. The IPU, established by British MP William Randal Cremer and French MP Frédéric Passy, is the global organization of national parliaments and has played a crucial role in promoting democratic governance and cooperation among parliaments worldwide.

The creation of this day underscores the importance of parliaments as fundamental institutions of democracy. Parliaments, as representative bodies, are essential in ensuring that the voices of citizens are heard in the legislative process. They are tasked with making laws, overseeing the executive, and representing the electorate’s interests. Over time, parliaments have evolved from exclusive, limited bodies to more inclusive and diverse institutions that better reflect the societies they serve.

Why is the International Day of Parliamentarism Important?

The Core of Democracy

Parliaments serve as the central hub of democracies, where individuals convene to discuss crucial issues. The term “parliament” is derived from the French word “parler,” meaning “to talk.” This day highlights the importance of democratic participation and the ongoing struggle for many to have their voices heard. It advocates for the adoption and strengthening of parliamentary democracy worldwide.

Aiming for Improved Representation

The primary role of a parliament is to advocate for those who might otherwise be unheard. Although this is a challenging responsibility, the day emphasizes the necessity for inclusive representation in decision-making processes. It is a reminder to continually strive for better representation within the institutions that shape our societies.

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Significance of the International Day of Parliamentarism

Promoting Democratic Governance

The International Day of Parliamentarism serves as a reminder of the crucial role parliaments play in promoting democratic governance. Parliaments are the cornerstone of democracy, providing a platform for debate, dialogue, and decision-making. They ensure that government actions are scrutinized and that there is transparency and accountability in the political process. This day highlights the need for strong, effective, and inclusive parliaments that can respond to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Enhancing Representation and Inclusivity

One of the key themes of the International Day of Parliamentarism is the enhancement of representation and inclusivity in parliaments. Historically, many parliaments were composed of a narrow segment of society, often excluding women, minorities, and other marginalized groups. Today, there is a growing recognition of the importance of diverse representation in legislative bodies. The day provides an opportunity to celebrate the progress made in this area and to advocate for further reforms to ensure that parliaments truly represent the diversity of their populations.

Strengthening Parliamentary Institutions

The day also focuses on the need to strengthen parliamentary institutions to better perform their roles. This includes improving the capacity of parliaments to legislate effectively, conduct oversight, and engage with the public. International cooperation and the exchange of best practices are vital in this regard. The IPU plays a significant role in facilitating this cooperation, providing technical assistance, and promoting standards for democratic parliaments.

Addressing Contemporary Challenges

In 2024, the International Day of Parliamentarism comes at a time when parliaments worldwide face numerous challenges. The rise of populism, increasing polarization, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have tested the resilience of democratic institutions. Moreover, technological advancements and the digital age have transformed the way parliaments operate and engage with citizens. These challenges underscore the need for parliaments to adapt and innovate to remain effective and relevant.

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When do we celebrate International Day of Parliamentarism?

International Day of Parliamentarism is celebrated on 30 June every year.

What is the significance of International Day of Parliamentarism?

Students can read in detail about the significance of International Day of Parliamentarism in the above article.