The BGIPU hosted a seminar in Westminster on Drug Policy Reform from 28 to 30 October. Around 50 members from 30 parliaments from Latin American, West African and Europe attended along with a range of expert speakers and observers.
The IPU convened its first meeting to specifically address abolition of the death penalty in Geneva on 10 October 2013 marking the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The meeting was convened in cooperation with the International Commission Against the Death Penalty (ICDP), a body founded in Spain in 2010, which brings together a number of distinguished abolitionists who have held high office in governments around the world.
The 129th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly took place in Geneva, from 7 to 9 October 2013 and was attended by nearly 1200 participants, including 580 parliamentarians from 131 countries. Members of the UK delegation played very prominent roles in the proceedings through chairing key committees, presentations to Standing Committees and bilateral exchanges. The UK’s active role was recognised by BGIPU Chair Robert Walter being elected to the IPU Executive Committee.
As part of ongoing work in the Balkans and Bosnia in particular, this was a visit for parliamentarians to see for themselves the issues and concerns surrounding the area. The programme was extremely busy for the 5 days we were there and we met many politicians and visited not only Sarajevo but Mostar and Banja Luka.