Year: 2013

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The WTO Delivers: Parliamentary Conference on the WTO

Jonathan Djanogly MP attended the joint European Parliament/IPU Parliamentary Conference on the WTO in Bali, Indonesia on 2 and 5 December 2013 convened in connection with the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference.  As the UK’s representative among some 270 MPs participating, he joined counterparts in urging governments to place development at the heart of the multilateral trading system, taking into full account the special needs and interests of developing counties, particularly the least developed.  The meeting helped ensure parliamentary views were registered as WTO members successfully negotiated a new multilateral trade deal which is anticipated to add around $100 billion a year to global trade, potentially creating an additional 21 million jobs.

BGIPU Chairman Robert Walter MP greets the President of the National Assembly of Haiti

Parliamentary delegation from Haiti highlights challenges to democracy

A delegation from Haiti undertook an inter-parliamentary visit to the UK Parliament from 18-20 November 2013 led by the President of the National Assembly, Hon Senator Simon Dieuseul Desras.  The visit provided an important opportunity to better inform UK parliamentarians of the deep-seated governance, social and economic challenges facing Haiti and to explore areas the UK might assist the country in its efforts to consolidate its security, prosperity and democratic governance.

Meeting the Head of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice and Human

BGIPU visit to Argentina – a shared perspective on human rights

Human rights was one of the issues the delegation decided to look at during the IPU visit to Argentina. We were interested in the current human rights situation there as well as stressing how successfully our two governments were working together on issues such as the banning of cluster munitions and support for the International Criminal Court.  Not least due its own recent past experiences, human rights issues are matters for very active debate in Argentine society and there are many human rights issues, such as women’s rights and the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, where there is scope for more co-operation between our governments and parliaments.

Resons to invest in Mendoza - presentation by provincial authority

Strengthening British-Argentine parliamentary ties

At the invitation of our Argentine counterparts following bilateral exchanges in the margins of IPU Assembly meetings, the visit aimed to provide an opportunity for expanding knowledge and enhancing links between parliamentarians on both sides, to better appreciate the bilateral relationship in all its aspects.  While well-known differences over the Falkland Islands were raised, we found the many common interests linking both countries, including extensive economic, social and historic links provided a broad basis on which we could share common perspectives and advance cooperation in many areas.

The Delegation discussing crop methods with farmers near Butajira

Reflections on Agricultural Development in Ethiopia

They are one of the few countries in Africa to implement the 2003 Maputo commitment to invest at least 10% of their GNI into agriculture.  They have consistently invested well in excess of 10% and there is no doubt about the Government commitment.  I also felt that the Minister of Agriculture’s plans were well intentioned in a country where not only do mountains and drought conspire against large scale production, but also where farm produce comes from a hugely diverse range of production zones and also is grown by distinctly diverse cultures and communities

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The African Union, Bilateral Engagement & Agricultural Development: Delegation to Ethiopia

The visit of the delegation to Ethiopia covered several interests and agendas and was envisaged as a coordinated effort between the BGIPU, the Africa APPG and the APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development.Therefore the three main aims of the visit were to; Deepen bilateral parliamentary relations, and establish greater understanding of the role of the AU in parliament, Explore the relationship between democracy and growth, both in the context of Ethiopia itself and through the African Union, Examine agricultural development in the country, in particular looking at examples of where investments and government policies in agriculture have had impacts on improved nutrition. 

UN Headquarters in New York

Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations: Re-thinking Sustainable Development

This Annual Parliamentary Hearing aimed to provide a parliamentary contribution to the on-going debate at the United Nations and in capitals on the development agenda after 2015, when leading development commitments are set to expire. Entitled Re-thinking sustainable development: the quest for a “transformational” global agenda in 2015, the Parliamentary Hearing was able to channel the views of parliamentarians directly into the UN’s deliberative process and build on the outcome of the 128th Assembly in Quito by considering the role of parliaments in the implementation of the new commitments for sustainable development as a universal agenda for both developed and developing countries.

The BGIPU, in partnership with the APPG on Trade out of Poverty, convened a briefing on 6 November by the Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, on the preparations for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial to be chaired by Indonesia in Bali from 3 to 6 December. 

WTO Ministerial in Bali: Prospects for a substantive outcome on Trade Facilitation

The BGIPU, in partnership with the APPG on Trade out of Poverty, convened a briefing on 6 November by the Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, on the preparations for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial to be chaired by Indonesia in Bali from 3 to 6 December.  The briefing was chaired by the BGIPU Chairman, Robert Walter MP and participants from both Houses had the opportunity to discuss key challenges and expected outcomes with Lord Green who will also be one of the Vice-Chairs (along with counterparts from Peru and Rwanda)  of the Bali Ministerial.