In COVID-19 times, Parliaments and other government institutions are subject to the same social distancing measures as other public and private organizations. Yet, in a time of crisis, the role of parliament is more vital than ever to pass emergency laws, allocate resources and scrutinize government action. Some parliaments are modifying laws and procedures to allow for remote working, some have continued meeting physically and some have recessed altogether. The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is helping to facilitate inter-parliamentary coordination and solidarity by sharing examples of how parliaments can continue to legislate, debate and scrutinize the actions of government in a time of lockdown and social distancing.
June 30 is the day designated to celebrate the International Day of Parliamentarism. The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/72/278, recognized the role of parliaments in national plans and strategies and in ensuring greater transparency and accountability at national and global levels. It is also the date, in 1889, on which the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) — the global organization of parliaments — was established.
This Day celebrates parliaments and the ways in which parliamentary systems of government improve the day-to-day lives of people the world over. It is also an opportunity for parliaments to take stock, identify challenges, and ways to address them effectively.