In conjunction with the FCO Leadership Week, BGIPU and the FCO held a joint briefing on the situation in North Africa and the Middle East on the 6th July. Chaired by FCO Minister Tobias Ellwood, who highlighted the UK’s strong involvement in region, Members had the opportunity to hear from a number of key Ambassadors to the region about the situation in their respective countries. During the exchange HMA Baghdad, HMA Yemen, HMA Libya and Consul General Jerusalem gave short presentations on the key issues and challenges their host countries were facing, and updated Members on the UK’s role and activities in the region.
On 1 July, BGIPU hosted young MPs to discuss IPU initiatives to advance political engagement of youth and improve the representativeness of parliaments. Gavin Shuker MP and Chloe Smith MP, who represented the UK Parliament in consecutive IPU Global Conferences of Young Parliamentarians, reported back to parliamentary colleagues on the IPU’s work and international efforts to enhance networks and support for young parliamentarians worldwide. MPs agreed the UK Parliament should play an active role in support of the IPU’s work.
A Special General Meeting (SGM) on 30 June elected Nigel Evans MP as the new BGIPU Chair in the wake of the recent 2015 General Election in the UK. The SGM also elected new members to fill a number of other Executive Committee vacancies along with the nomination of Ian Liddell-Grainger MP to fill the UK vacancy on the IPU’s Executive Committee.