From 26 to 30 November 2021, the Autumn Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union will take place in Madrid, Spain. The main focus of the Assembly will be 'Contemporary challenges to democracy: Overcoming division and building community'. Three members of the National Council and one member of the Council of States will represent Switzerland at the meeting.

The Spanish Parliament will host the 143rd IPU Assembly from 26 to 30 November 2021, in Madrid, where delegates will meet in person for the first time since October 2019. More than 120 national delegations, including 43 parliamentary speakers, will attend. This session will focus on the current challenges to democracy posed by the erosion of public trust in political systems, the increasing polarisation of debates and the spread of disinformation on social media.

Delegates will consider a draft resolution on legislation worldwide to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse. They will also adopt a new IPU strategy for 2022‒2026. This identifies key priorities for the next five years, namely: action on climate change, democracy, human rights and gender equality; peace and security; and sustainable development. Members will also consider the situation of some of the organisation's member parliaments that have been dissolved, are not functioning, or whose functioning has been affected by political crises. Finally, the Twelve Plus, one of the seven geopolitical groups within the IPU, will table a request for an emergency motion on the situation in Belarus. The full programme of the 143rd Assembly can be found here.

The Spanish authorities and the IPU have put in place robust and comprehensive health measures to ensure a safe Assembly, including temperature checks, regular testing, limits on the numbers of delegates and mandatory face masks.

During the event, the Swiss delegation will take the opportunity to hold discussions with its UK counterpart. It will also hold a courtesy meeting with José Luis Martínez-Almeida, Mayor of Madrid, and be introduced to the Madrid Norte project. Finally, a reception will be held with young Swiss citizens living in Madrid, also to be attended by members the Liechtenstein delegation, including Albert Frick, President of the Landtag and President of the IPU delegation, and delegate Dagmar Bühler-Nigsch.

Besides the delegation president, Christian Lohr (National Council, The Centre/TG), the Swiss delegation comprises:

  • Daniel Jositsch (Council of States, SP/ZH), delegation vice chair,
  • Laurence Fehlmann Rielle (National Council, SP/GE), member of the IPU Executive Committee,
  • Laurent Wehrli (National Council, FDP/VD), member of the IPU Committee on Middle East Questions and of the bureau of the Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs.

Philippe Schwab, Federal Assembly Secretary General and outgoing President of the Association of Secretaries General, will also attend.

More information can be found on the IPU website:

143rd Assembly and related meetings | Inter-Parliamentary Union (

The IPU is the global organisation of national parliaments. It was founded more than 130 years ago as the first multilateral political organisation in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, the IPU comprises 179 national Member Parliaments and 13 regional parliamentary bodies. It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced and more diverse. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee made up of MPs from around the world. Twice a year, the IPU convenes over 1,500 parliamentary delegates and partners in a world assembly, bringing a parliamentary dimension to global governance, including the work of the United Nations and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.