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
The United Kingdom's close friendship with Norway, forged in the dark days of Norway's WWII occupation, remains strong despite the passage of time since 1945 and the dramatic change in Norway's situation now that oil and gas have made it one of the richest countries in the world. Indeed, our recent delegation visit to Norway found that the wartime experience was still a strong factor in Norwegian perceptions of the UK, and that Norway was happy to be investing parts of its wealth in the UK.
No conversation about the UK and its relationship with the European Union is complete without someone talking about Norway at some stage or another. We don’t want to be like Norway, say some whilst others suggest that Norway is an example of what the future for a United Kingdom outside the EU could look like. Norway is an economically successful country and not part of the EU. But not all is quite as straightforward as it seems as we found out on our visit to Oslo in September this year.
Firm political ties were in evidence throughout our visit to the UAE hosted by HE Mohammed Ahmed Al-Murr, Speaker of the Federal National Council. In roundtable discussions, there was a strong emphasis on the collective nature of their work, with members represented the UAE in their deliberations, not their individual emirates. The UAE is a developing democracy and the FNC demonstrated greater involvement for younger people than in the past by expanding the electorate from 7,000 hand-picked electors to over 100,000 in the near future.
The visit of a UK delegation to Nepal from 14-19 September provided an important opportunity to resume inter-parliamentary visits between Britain and Nepal with the establishment of its Constituent Assembly after successful democratic elections in November 2013. It was also timely as the 200th anniversary of bilateral relations approches in 2016 and provided insights into the main constitutional issues facing the country. The UK delegation also saw the major contributions to Nepal’s development being made by DFID and the Gurkha Welfare Scheme.
The IPU brought together more than 140 parliamentarians from 50 parliaments to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the annual High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York this week. The main theme of the 2019 session, held under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council, was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
Parliaments have a key role to play in implementing the SDGs. They can drive sustainable development by translating the SDGs into laws, monitoring implementation of those laws, adopting national budgets, and ensuring that their governments are accountable for progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. New IPU data paints a mixed picture of the role of parliaments in implementing the SDGs indicating scope for parliaments to go much further in terms of oversight.
On 30 June, International Day of Parliamentarism, the IPU celebrated its 130th anniversary in a ‘Quintet’ consisting of the Presidents of the most recent and future IPU Assemblies, the Speakers of Russia, Qatar and Serbia who joined IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas-Barron and IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong at the IPU’s Geneva Headquarters. The Speakers and IPU leadership discussed the ongoing relevance of the founding values and principles of the IPU 130 years on, results achieved at the previous Assemblies, and actions ahead.
A delegation of UK parliamentarians from both Houses led by the BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, visited Paris on 26-27 June to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) with members of the French IPU Group. This visit recognised the significant role played by both parliaments in the founding of the IPU, created on 30 June 1889. The delegations issued a joint declaration on their continuing commitment to the principles and values of the IPU.