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 Parliamentary delegation from the Netherlands led by the President of the Senate made a timely visit to the UK from 25 to 27 February to discuss bilateral relations against the background of the UK's imminent departure from the European Union. The programme ensured the delegation met with as many relevant Select Committees as possible and that they heard from many UK Parliamentarians across the full scope of views regarding Brexit. Exchanges showed that bilateral relations remained very close and strong.
On 21 and 22 February, the IPU and the United Nations, represented by the President of the General Assembly, brought together some 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 focused on the key emerging challenges posed to the future of multilateralism.
From 18 to 21 February, a BGIPU delegation visited Ethiopia as part of a scoping mission with the aim of boosting interparliamentary relations, including through inviting a parliamentary delegation from Ethiopia to visit London. The delegation, comprised Rt Hon Baroness Anelay DBE, Baroness Barker and Pauline Latham OBE MP, who saw that the UK continues to be a trusted partner for the country as Ethiopia undergoes profound political transition alongside economic and social transformation under the reform policies of Prime Minister Abiy.
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.
On 30 June 2019, the IPU will be celebrating its 130th anniversary, on International Day of Parliamentarism. We believe our anniversary is an opportunity to tell the story of the IPU – linking its past with what it does today – to show that we have never been more relevant and that strong and effective parliaments are part of the solution to the problems the world faces today.
From 22nd-23rd May BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from the Republic of Kosovo, led by the Chairwoman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Diaspora and Strategic Investment, Professor Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, four other colleagues and officials. This visit was a success in consolidating the already strong bilateral relationship enjoyed between the UK and Kosovo and how parliament to parliament links play a vital role in ensuring that bilateral relations continue to grow and adapt to changing circumstances.
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.