The Annual General Meeting of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, presided over by the Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Honorary President of the Group, will be held in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House at 4.00pm on Wednesday 3 December 2014 to adopt the 2014 Annual Report and to elect the Executive Committee for 2014/15. In accordance with the BGIPU Rules, the BGIPU Annual Report for 2014 was released on 6 November 2014 in advance of the AGM.
This year’s Parliamentary Hearing at the UN, jointly convened by the IPU and the UN from 19-20 November, was entitled, "Ensuring a people-centred approach to the new SDGs: A shared responsibility". Key issues which drove the discussion included: how economic and social inequality, as well as discrimination, risked undermining people-centred development; the need to strengthen transparency and accountability to the people in both the public and private sectors; the responsibility of governments vis-à-vis the market; and how countries could deal more effectively with their human rights responsibilities and obligations.
A little bit of BGIPU history was made when a Parliamentary delegation from our Parliament visited Guatemala and Honduras in the second week of November. We had not sent a delegation to Guatemala since 2008 and Honduras had never had a visit from the BGIPU. The visit highlighted the key difficulties Guatemala and Honduras are facing in the light of the current security situation and social inequalities, in addition to seeing potential opportunities for British investment and economic engagement.