With the support of the Executive Committee of the BGIPU, comprising members on all sides of the EU referendum debate on whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union, BGIPU hosted a EU referendum observation mission from 22-24 June 2016. With outstanding assistance from staff of the Electoral Commission and borough polling officials, BGIPU welcomed parliamentarians and officials from IPU member parliaments in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland for a mission which responded to the strong interest of counterpart MPs to gain insights into the UK's historic EU referendum on 23 June 2016.
Inter-Parliamentary Union SG Martin Chungong paid tribute to Jo Cox MP saying “Like many MPs around the world, Jo Cox has worked tirelessly for democracy, peace and human rights....It is heartbreaking to learn that she has been killed while carrying out her democratic mandate. Violence has no place in any democracy. On behalf of IPU and the global parliamentary community, I would like to pay tribute to a woman who embodied all that a parliamentarian should be – compassionate, courageous and committed. Her death is a tragic reminder that many of the world’s 45,000 MPs put themselves at risk by making a stand for justice and democracy."
More than 400 parliamentary delegates from around 60 countries attended the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, co-chaired by the IPU and the European Parliament. The event, held in Geneva on 13-14 June, covered a wide range of topics under the theme "What Future for the WTO?" Parliamentarians raised a whole series of concerns – the need to champion stronger labour standards, environmental protection and the role trade can play in sustainable development.