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
Like many of my generation my knowledge of Vietnam is shaped by the harrowing images of the war in the 1970s. I wanted to know how Vietnam has moved on since that dreadful time and the extent to which it has managed to recreate and rebuild itself. I was also really curious to know about whether the communist system was managing to keep relevant and how, if at all, it seeks to promote its legitimacy and genuinely modernise the infrastructure and economy of the country. I reflect upon what I found during this recent BGIPU visit.
Our visit to Vietnam comprised a cross-party group of four MPs and two Peers which travelled the length of the country from Hanoi in the north, to Danang onwards to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. As Vietnam’s economy continues to grow and creates increased prosperity, it will be incumbent upon the country's many international partners like the UK to do their utmost to help Vietnam along a path of social and political change. This visit has hopefully ensured the friendship between our Parliaments has been truly deepened to assist that process.
The visit provided us with a great opportunity to learn about political, economic and social aspects of Cuba and I was especially struck by two or three things. The first was the exceptional cultural richness in Cuban society. The second was how little change seemed to have occurred since the death of Fidel Castro. Lastly, I remember impressive examples of bio-tech, medical research and drug development with pharmaceuticals being an areas where Cuba where there should be scope for British investment or joint ventures.
From 16 to 21 September 2018, a UK parliamentary delegation visited Cuba with the aim of further strengthening bilateral relations, including new opportunities for trade and cooperation, and to see how recent national developments were changing the country and its people. In Havana and visiting rural areas, the delegation gained a good understanding of the effect of the long-standing US embargo on everyday people’s lives and how this unnecessarily limits progress in Cuba and is detrimental to the everyday lives of Cuban people.
Globally, threats to journalists are the highest they have been in ten years. Following a landmark FCO conference over summer, the UK Parliament will host an International Parliamentary Seminar on Media Freedom under the auspices of the BGIPU. The Chair of the British Group of the IPU, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, has invited members of parliament from across the world to take part in this event at the Palace of Westminster in London from Monday 9th September to Wednesday 11th September 2019 and has hosted initial events.
Parliamentary dialogue and diplomacy were at the forefront of 140th IPU Assembly in Doha, Qatar, as over 800 MPs from 160 countries convened in the world’s biggest platform for global parliamentary exchange. In the final Doha Declaration endorsed at the Assembly, MPs from national parliaments underlined the critical role of education to enhance peace, security and the rule of law as well as support democracy and human rights.
At the 140th IPU Assembly in Doha, Qatar, the global parliamentary community strongly condemned human rights violations against MPs worldwide. At the Assembly, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the only international body with an exclusive remit to support MPs in danger, recommended action in the cases of 187 parliamentarians in a dozen countries whose human rights have been violated.
Over 1600 parliamentarians, UN partners and experts from around the world will meet in Doha, Qatar, for the 140th IPU Assembly from 6 to 10 April. Under the overarching theme of education for peace, the Assembly will also consider ways in which parliaments can boost gender equality- particularly in the region, take measures to counter terrorism, promote human rights and invest in renewable energy. The Qatar Shura Council will host delegates from around 160 countries including 80 Speakers of Parliament, 40 Deputy Speakers and over 800 MPs.