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
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.
On 2-3 July BGIPU hosted a small cross party delegation from Austria for a timely visit to see a snapshot of the state of the UK’s Brexit process moving forward and hear a wide variety of perspectives on the likely end state for a post-Brexit Britain. It was equally useful for UK members to hear about the key issues and challenges being experienced by Austria including the socio-economic impacts and political changes being created by migration pressures on Europe.
From 18-20 June, BGIPU hosted the Speaker of the Uruguayan House of Representatives, Mr Jorge Gandini, for a 3 day programme at Westminster. Mr Gandini was accompanied by his party colleague Mr Gustavo Penades MP and Mr Roberto Chiazzaro MP, Member of the ruling Frente Amplio Party. The visit reinforced the already close relationship between the two countries and showed how helpful and important regular personal contact remains in the field of parliamentary diplomacy.
From 28th May to 1st June BGIPU Vice-Chair Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP led a cross-party delegation of six MPs to Belarus, the second only since Independence. The programme was busy and varied, including meetings with counterparts, government representatives, and visits to manufacturing facilities, the Opera House, Nesvizh Castle and meetings civil society. The delegation left with the impression that Belarus is a country somewhat overlooked by the UK both politically and economically and were determined to change that.
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.