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
A UK delegation led by Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP visited Budapest from 27 February to 2nd March to meet Hungarian counterparts. Much of the discussion focussed on Brexit and the likely future relations between Britain and Hungary, and the UK and the EU more generally. Hungary regards Britain as a strong ally in the EU. While sharing many of the UK's criticisms of the way that the Commission works, Hungary’s attitude to the EU is heavily influenced by the challenge they face from economic migration.
During a very productive bilateral visit, a delegation from the Sejm of Poland heard from UK counterparts of the strong commitment across the political spectrum to ensuring EU nationals would continue to be welcome to stay and contribute to the UK following Brexit. In return, the visiting delegation admitted that while Poland would be losing a key ally in the EU, the UK’s departure would not prevent both sides seeking to find new opportunities to expand and strengthen already strong bilateral relations for the future.
From 13 to 16 February the Rt. Hon Stephen Timms MP led a delegation to Berlin, accompanied by Mark Hendrick MP (Labour), Iain Stewart MP (Conservative) John Nicolson MP (SNP), Baroness Hooper, Lord Shinkwin (Conservative), and the Earl of Listowel (Crossbench). The aim of the visit was to discuss the future bilateral relationship in the context of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but also to get an insight into the German domestic political situation ahead of general elections in September 2017, and to discuss current global affairs.
While the understandable primary focus of our visit to Berlin in February 2017 was on matters relating to Brexit, a topical theme for debate was the domestic German political situation in the run-up to the Bundestag elections in September this year. While there was no consensus on the result of September’s election, discussions with a wide range of politicians, commentators and journalists gave us a fascinating insight into the dynamics of domestic German politics and we shall observe the upcoming election campaign from a much more informed position.
Women’s representation in political decision-making continues to rise slowly, with slight improvements since 2017, according to the data presented in the 2019 edition of the biennial IPU-UN Women map of Women in Politics. The map was launched at a press conference during CSW63 at the UN in New York. The map, which presents global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary government branches as of 1 January 2019, shows the proportion of women ministers is at an all-time high at 20.75%.
From 11 to 15 March 2019, the UK Parliament was represented at the 63rd session of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW 63) at the UN in New York by Baroness Hodgson, Baroness Gale and Baroness Watkins frim the UK House of Lords. The 63rd session had the priority theme of “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”.
Women’s leadership and the equal participation of women and men in public affairs and decision-making are matters of human rights which are key elements of democracy and lasting peace, and prerequisites for achieving sustainable development. Our societies will not enjoy human rights, peace, sustainable and inclusive development, if they are not grounded in effective gender parity, if they do not benefit from women’s leadership and the empowerment of women and girls as expressly recommended by the CEDAW Committee.
According to the IPU’s yearly analysis, the share of women in national parliaments increased by nearly one percentage point last year, from 23.4 per cent in 2017 to 24.3 per cent in 2018. This 0.9 percentage point increase confirms the continuing rise of women in parliament, at a slightly faster rate of change compared to previous years. Countries with well-designed gender quotas elected significantly more women to parliament than those without, respectively, 7 points more in single or lower chambers, and 17 points more in upper chambers.