National MP Anne Tolley will join a small delegation of MPs to travel to Geneva, Switzerland today to attend the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union.
As well as the General Assembly of 178 countries, Mrs Tolley will join Rt Hon David Carter and Labour MP Louisa Wall in attending a number of other side meetings focused on the likes of Democracy and Human Rights, Peace and International Security, as well as meetings of the Committee for Women Parliamentarians, and a Forum for Young Parliamentarians.
As a former senior Cabinet Minister and current Deputy Speaker, Mrs Tolley says she is looking forward to discussions about how to promote women into political and parliamentary roles.
“It is a great privilege to represent the New Zealand Parliament in this international forum to discuss with parliamentary colleagues important issues such as how to maintain peace in conflict-riven countries and how to support long term development.
“I’m also interested in hearing from others on how they engage the private sector in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is to reduce poverty by 50% and is of great interest to New Zealand.
“I also look forward to meeting with fellow women parliamentarians to discuss practical ways to ensure their representation in Parliaments across the world continues to grow in number and influence.
“In between attending the IPU forum and a number of side meetings during the Assembly, there’ll be a number of opportunities to discuss the contribution women make to the major issues debated at the Assembly, and also how we support one another to grow the influence of women in our Parliaments.
“New Zealand has an enviable reputation for our participation at these international fora, our practical solutions and our fair-minded actions, and I am honoured to be part of the delegation,” Mrs Tolley says.