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
Marking International Womens' Day 2018, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Senator Gabriela Cuevas Barron said the IPU proudly joins the worldwide efforts to achieve gender equality. As IPU President, she called upon male and female parliamentarians and men and women of all ages to join the fight for a better society marked by justice, equality and parity. In its work the IPU focuses on promoting gender equality and increasing the number of women parliamentarians worldwide.
The year 2017 saw some positive developments in women’s participation in elections, according to the Women in Parliament in 2017: The year in review, released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ahead of International Women’s Day. However, in global terms, the number of women in national parliaments has only increased by 0.1 percentage point from 2016, from 23.3% to 23.4%. A record number of women contested elections held in 2017, and more seats were won by women than in previous years: 27.1% compared with 22.3% in 2016.
BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from Estonia, led by the Chair of the Estonian IPU delegation, Ms Helmen Kuett. With many delegation members having strong interest in social affairs, much of the visit focused on health policy, pension reform and disability issues, but other topics such as security cooperation, e-government and the current Brexit negotiations were also discussed. There was mutual appreciation of the excellent state of bilateral relations between both countries.
The need for a global compact on migration was emphasized at the Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations in New York from 22 to 23 February 2018. The Hearing allowed MPs to provide a parliamentary perspective on the new UN Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM) currently under negotiation. Migration is a reality the world over, too often governed in an ad hoc manner. Migrants need more regular pathways to reduce irregular migration and ensure better integration in their host country and its labour market.
The United Nations is in the process of negotiating a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration that will be formally adopted at a conference in Morocco in December. This year’s IPU-UN Parliamentary Hearing will contribute from a parliamentary perspective to the Global Compact. The Hearing, on 22-23 February in New York, will build on a number of parliamentary debates since the landmark 2015 IPU Declaration on "The imperative for fairer, smarter and more humane migration".
UK members hosted a delegation from Norway led by Mr Ulf Leirstein, Head of the Norwegian’s IPU Delegation from 29-31 January 2018. Against the background of the ongoing parliament and public debate in the UK about relations with the EU after Brexit, UK MPs and Peers took the opportunity to discuss at length Norway's experiences dealing with its EU neighbours under EEA and EFTA provisions. The visit also explored key aspects of the long-standing bilateral relationship, particularly economic and security links between both countries.
In an end-of-year message, reflecting upon increased threats to democracy in the world, the President and Secretary General of the IPU maintain that in promoting democracy and strong parliaments the work of the IPU is more important than ever. They said that parliaments are becoming ever more crucial in translating the peoples' aspirations for peace, development and prosperity into reality. They looked forward to the year ahead to make democracy work better for people in accordance with the IPU Strategy.
Human rights abuses against parliamentarians reached a new high in 2017, according to IPU statistics. Parliamentarians from Cambodia, Maldives, Turkey and Venezuela alone, where the political situation has been worsening in recent times, account for 35% of the cases. Cases of abuses against women MPs have also reached a record number this year, having tripled since 2014. The IPU’s annual review reports that, in 2017 the Organization’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians examined the cases of 507 MPs in 41 countries.