Month: October 2014


Election of new IPU President to take center stage of 131st Assembly

The election of a new IPU President will be one of the main highlights of a content-rich 131st Assembly in Geneva on 12-16 October. The new president will take over from Abdelwahad Radi, who ends his three-year mandate at the end of the event. Over 120 IPU Member parliaments involving more than 650 MPs have so far registered to attend the 131st Assembly. Among them, there are more than 75 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Parliament, as well as a significant percentage of women and young MPs.

UK Delegation thank Outgoing President Radi

131st IPU Assembly highlights gender equality & global threats

The 131st IPU Assembly met in Geneva from 12 to 16 October 2014 with over 1,500 participants including 725 parliamentarians from 144 parliaments, with 113 Speakers or Deputy Speakers and 234 women MPs, and welcomed back Madagascar and Guinea bringing total IPU membership to 166 of the world’s parliaments.  In an Assembly which saw S H Chowdhury elected as the new IPU President, key issues addressed including gender equity and violence against women, the current Ebola crisis and the threat of terrorism and extremism.


Panel discussion on UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security

On 15 October, BGIPU co-hosted with civil society organizations Womankind and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), a lunchtime panel discussion on “Implementing the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security: How parliamentarians can engage.” Drawing on the recently launched UK National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security, participants highlighted the importance of recognising the role women can play in addressing conflict and the differing impacts of violent conflict on women and girls, including the need to address sexual violence in conflict.

Delegation at Oslo Uni.JPG

Relations with the EU: The Norway example

No conversation about the UK and its relationship with the European Union is complete without someone talking about Norway at some stage or another. We don’t want to be like Norway, say some whilst others suggest that Norway is an example of what the future for a United Kingdom outside the EU could look like. Norway is an economically successful country and not part of the EU. But not all is quite as straightforward as it seems as we found out on our visit to Oslo in September this year.

Meeting with Norwegian Deputy Speaker.JPG

UK’s close friendship with Norway remains strong

The United Kingdom’s close friendship with Norway, forged in the dark days of Norway’s WWII occupation, remains strong despite the passage of time since 1945 and the dramatic change in Norway’s situation now that oil and gas have made it one of the richest countries in the world. Indeed, our recent delegation visit to Norway found that the wartime experience was still a strong factor in Norwegian perceptions of the UK, and that Norway was happy to be investing parts of its wealth in the UK.