42nd Annual Forum of Parliamentarians for Global Action
16-17 Dec 2021 |
Organized By : Parliamentarians for Global Action
Day 1 (16 December): The Antidote to Authoritarianism: Parliamentarians as champions of democratic principles and institutions
The years 2020 and 2021 have been characterized by the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments have taken emergency measures in the name of curtailing the spread of the virus which have included violations of human rights (including civil and political rights) and resulted in further discrimination and oppression of vulnerable populations and contributed to the erosion of democratic principles and institutions and the rise of authoritarianism.
Globally, democracy is in decline. This trend is aggravated by the dangerous rise in disinformation, the dismantling of protections for press freedom, including the weaponization of the media to attack individuals or groups perceived as a threat, and the decreasing independence of the judiciary.
In certain regions, authoritarian regimes have gained momentum in the political arena by leading their populations with fear, which has contributed to the radicalization of the political landscape. At the same time, social media has fundamentally shifted the nature of the public discourse and the way information is shared between the citizenry and their government; authoritarian governments have also capitalized on the use of social media platforms to spread misinformation and propaganda. Media freedom has become increasingly important to ensure that populations are informed and, consequently, can act to protect fundamental as well as civil and political rights.
Day 2 (17 December): International Parliamentary Oceans Day
The global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted fisheries and aquaculture food systems. Necessary and life-saving protective measures taken by governments have disrupted national and international seafood supply chains. Fisheries management processes have been adversely impacted in an industry already challenged by hazardous working conditions and other human rights violations. Parliamentarians are in the best position to provide long-lasting solutions that protect fish workers, empower impoverished fishing communities, and secure the right to food.
The Oceans absorb nearly one-third of carbon dioxide emissions and roughly 90% of the excess heat retained by greenhouse gases. Establishing Marine Protected Area networks is critical to maintaining climate change resilience and rebuilding ecological and social resilience. PGA has therefore engaged in a new partnership with the Blue Nature Alliance, highlighting combined efforts to protect 30% of the Oceans by 2030.