Through its programme of activities, the BGIPU seeks to engage Parliamentarians in key global issues and works to expand awareness and understanding of foreign relations and the contribution to be made by the UK Parliament to consolidate parliamentary democracy worldwide.
Here you can read the reports of our activities, including our Outward Delegations, IPU conferences and events and inward visits to Westminster.
You can search for specific reports by using keywords, themes, categories or date using the fields on the right.
You can also view our work by geographical location here
On 21 and 22 February, the IPU and the United Nations, represented by the President of the General Assembly, will bring together 240 parliamentarians from nearly 40 countries, as well as ambassadors, representatives from UN organizations, and experts for their annual parliamentary hearing in New York. The hearing will focus on the emerging challenges to multilateralism.
The first Preparatory Committee for the Fifth Conference of Speakers was held in Geneva from 8 to 9 February 2019. The BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, is representing the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, on this Preparatory Committee. The Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments is scheduled to take place in 2020 and is expected to build on the outcomes from the previous sessions and further reinforce the parliamentary dimension of global governance.
The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has released its latest decisions after considering the cases of 417 MPs from 37 countries at a meeting in Geneva last week. The Committee, the only international body with a special remit to defend persecuted MPs, took decisions on 126 MPs, most of which concern opposition MPs in Venezuela.
The IPU expresses its grave concern about the escalating crisis in Venezuela. It reminds the authorities of their duty to guarantee the basic human rights of the people, including those of peaceful demonstration. The IPU continues to monitor carefully for any attacks against parliamentarians. The IPU appeals to all sides to intensify efforts, including meaningful dialogue, to find a peaceful and non-violent solution to the crisis, and to ensure humanitarian access for all Venezuelans.
At an event arranged by the Chair of the APPG for Human Rights, Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP, and attended by members of the APPG for Malaysia led by its Chair, Sir William Cash MP, the UK Parliament warmly welcomed the recent full pardon of Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. In his comments to MPs and Peers, Mr Anwar recognised the important role parliamentarians had played in supporting his struggle for justice, particularly through the work of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.
From 28th May to 1st June BGIPU Vice-Chair Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP led a cross-party delegation of six MPs to Belarus, the second only since Independence. The programme was busy and varied, including meetings with counterparts, government representatives, and visits to manufacturing facilities, the Opera House, Nesvizh Castle and meetings civil society. The delegation left with the impression that Belarus is a country somewhat overlooked by the UK both politically and economically and were determined to change that.
Belarus is a country of contradictions. On this visit I had expected to be see a drab, dour and austere country, redolent of so many east European countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall. What I found was an attractive country and a well maintained and occasionally picturesque capital city. There is, however, another side to Belarus, which at first glance is not so apparent, but is very real. Below the ‘skin’ of Belarus, there is a country that is still a presidential dictatorship.
A BGIPU delegation, led by our Chair Nigel Evans MP, visited Bosnia & Herzegovina during the Whitsun Recess (27th May – 1st June) to meet with parliamentary counterparts. This visit consolidated the close links between the UK Parliament and the various Parliaments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was an important precursor to BGIPU’s upcoming International Seminar on the Western Balkans in September.