IPU: 11 young MPs who are helping to rejuvenate parliaments worldwide

The IPU’s Forum of Young Parliamentarians is a unique global body created 10 years ago to boost youth participation in parliaments and to allow young lawmakers to network among their peers.

The Forum is all the more important as, according to the latest IPU figures, only 2.8% of MPs around the world are aged 30 or under, compared with around half the world’s population in the same age bracket.

The Forum’s work is guided by a Board composed of 12 people — one man and one woman from each of the IPU’s six geopolitical groups.

In the lead-up to the Ninth IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians from 15 to 17 September 2023 in Hanoi, Viet Nam, we discover the elected Board members:

Dan Carden – United Kingdom

Mr. Carden was elected President of the Board of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians at the IPU’s 146th Assembly in Manama, Bahrain. Following an earlier career in the trade unions, Mr. Carden was first elected to the UK parliament in 2017 and then reelected in 2019. He believes young people’s voices are “crucial to putting us on the path to a sustainable future”.

Mohamed Anouar Bouchouit – Algeria

Mr. Bouchouit is a deputy of the Algerian National People’s Assembly. He is active in youth and sports associations in his country. He is also a member of the Bureau of the IPU Standing Committee on International Peace and Security.

Hasmik Hakobyan – Armenia

A former TV broadcast journalist, editor and producer, Ms. Hakobyan also worked for the European Regional Educational Academy before she was elected as a member of the National Assembly in 2021, at the age of 33. She is part of her Parliament’s Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth and Sport.

Pamela Aguirre – Ecuador

Ms. Aguirre is Vice President of the Andean Parliament’s Second Commission of Education, Culture, Science, Information Technology and Communication and part of the Special Commission on Women and Gender Equity. Elected to parliament in 2017, aged 32, she is also a member of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly where she participates in the Women’s Forum.

Dyah Roro Esti – Indonesia

Elected in 2019 at age 27, Ms. Esti represents a region of East Java. Prior to her political career, she co-founded the Indonesian Energy and Environmental Institute, a Jakarta-based NGO dedicated to raising awareness of climate change.

Kamal Ait Mik – Morocco

Mr. Ait Mik was elected in 2016 to the Moroccan Parliament. He comes from a background in industry, real estate, logistics and services. He is among the 17.5% of Moroccan parliamentarians aged under 40, encouraged by a government youth quota. He is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of Casablanca-Settat.

Emma T. Muteka – Namibia

Ms. Muteka serves as Deputy Chief Whip in the Namibian National Council. Part of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, Social Welfare and Labour Affairs, with a legislative interest in reading and community development, she was first elected in 2015.

Wilson Soto – Peru

A law graduate with expertise in Constitutional, Civil and Human Rights law, Mr. Soto is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Constitutional Law and Human Rights. He has 16 years of experience in the public sector and was elected to Congress in 2021 at the age of 37 – one of Peru’s 33.3% of MPs under 45.

Fatafehi Fakafanua – Tonga

Speaker of the Tonga Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua was the youngest member of parliament ever elected when he took up his seat in 2008, aged 23. In 2012 he was elected as its youngest ever Speaker. A champion of gender parity, he launched a ‘practice parliament’ for women in 2014 to encourage more Pacific women to become MPs.

Olga Rudenko – Ukraine

Serving her second term as a Board member, Ms. Rudenko was elected to the Parliament of Ukraine in 2019, aged 40, after an earlier career in marketing. Ukraine is in the world’s top three for encouraging young parliamentarians, with more than 63% aged under 45. Ms. Rudenko is on the Foreign Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Cooperation Committee and co-head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Ukraine.

Sara Falaknaz – United Arab Emirates

Ms. Falaknaz was elected to the Federal National Council in 2019. Prior to her political career, she worked for a number of innovation start-ups and in real estate. She is also a member of the Bureau of the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and Security. Her previous work includes a focus on cybersecurity, most recently at the IPU’s 145th Assembly in Kigali.