Year: 2014

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Parliamentarians commit to ending sexual violence in conflict

In partnership with CPA UK, BGIPU co-hosted an international parliamentary event on the fringe of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 12 June which was chared by Baroness Hodgson of Abinger. The event – “Implementing the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative” – focused on concrete actions that could be taken by parliamentarians, bringing together parliamentary delegates to the Summit, British MPs and civil society experts to share examples on legislation, private members’ bills, and committee work aimed at addressing sexual violence issues.

Roundtable with UK counterparts

Portugal MPs reaffirm close partnership with UK in Europe

In close cooperation with the APPG for Portugal, we hosted a parliamentary delegation from Portugal to the Palace of Westminster from 9-11 June 2014. The visit served to highlight the long-standing and historic nature of relations between Portugal and the United Kingdom and the many common perspectives and interests shared by parliamentarians in both countries. Portuguese delegates expressed strong support for the UK remaining an EU member, including as an active partner for Portugal and others in pursuing EU reform efforts.

Lord Griffith and UK Ambassador meet President Martelly

BGIPU and APPG Chair visit Haiti

A joint BGIPU Haiti APPG delegation led by APPG Chair, Lord Griffiths, visited Haiti from 26 to 30 May 2014. The delegation met President Martelly, the President of the Senate and President of Chamber of Deputies at a time when tensions between these branches of government posed obstacle to consolidating democracy in the country. The delegation also met with Haitian civil society groups and representatives of the UK, Canada, EU, US and the UN peacekeeping operation, MINUSTAH to better determine potential areas where the UK Parliament might be able to assist Haitian counterparts in response to their visit to London in late 2013.

The Speaker of the House of Commons addresses the World e-Parliament Conference

Using technology to enhance democracy – World e-Parliament Conference

More than 360 MPs and parliamentary staff from 90 national parliaments, including the UK led by the Speaker of the House of Commons, attended the 2014 World e-parliament Conference in Seoul from 8-10 May exploring how to make information and communications technology (ICT) work better for democracy.  The Conference, jointly organised by IPU and National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, built on progress made by parliaments in the use of ICT in recent years and looked at how to overcome current hurdles in parliamentary use of new technologies.

Lord McConnell

High-level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation

The High-level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation took place in Mexico City on 15-16 April 2014 with BGIPU represented by Lord Chidgey and Lord McConnell. Attended by 1500 development leaders from 130 countries, the Mexico City HLM brought together national government representatives, parliamentarians, civil society groups and other organisations to share knowledge about governance, transparency, improving domestic resource mobilisation and broader development co-operation questions.

BGIPU delegation meet with Deputy Marshall of the Polish Sejm

Poland: Timely conversations on the EU, the bi-lateral relationship and Ukraine

The BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, led a delegation to Poland from 31 March to 4 April, the first by a formal Parliamentary delegation since 1996.  Key issues during the visit were the bi-lateral relationship, in the future of the EU and our respective positions and developments affecting Ukraine and the broader implications for European security.  The delegation met with parliamentary counterparts, key government officials and included a visit to Krakow to learn more about inter-governmental relations between the central government and the regions. 

Uruguay Delegation with Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle MP

Uruguay Parliament keen for deeper relations with the UK

The BGIPU hosted a inter-parliamentary visit from the General Assembly of Uruguay from 24-27 March 2014 led by Mrs Maria Elena Laurnaga of the Chamber of Deputies. The delegation underscored that the Uruguay Parliament strongly supported efforts to deepen relations with the United Kingdom based on the long-standing and mutually beneficial ties existing between both countries and our shared values and common interests.

IPU Assembly in Genva

UK active in pursuing strong outcomes for 130th IPU Assembly

The 130th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly was convened in Geneva from 16 to 20 March 2014 with around 1,450 participants comprising some 726 parliamentarians from 141 parliaments, including over 50 Speakers and 223 women MPs.  This was a landmark meeting of the world’s parliaments in marking the IPU’s 125th anniversary which also saw the election of new Secretary-General, Mr Martin Chungong, who will replace at the end of June 2014, Mr Anders B. Johnsson, who was widely praised for his 16 year leadership of the organisation. 

Women Parliamentarians at CSW58

CSW 58 outcomes critical to post-2015 development agenda

“We cannot achieve a world of dignity for all until we end gender inequality in all its forms” – stated the UN Secretary General at the Opening of CSW 58, which I was privileged to be sent to by the BGIPU this March. This year CSW was of particular significance as the theme was “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”.   Thus there was particular focus on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment, both in terms of taking stock of the MDGs effectiveness and looking ahead to the post 2015 agenda.

CSW Report Back

Political empowerment & support for standalone MDG on gender key CSW58 outcomes

As a delegate from the BGIPU access was easier and broader than my past experiences of representing the UK NGO’s at CSW. Discussion not only on numbers of women involved in decision making bodies but around what they actually get to do when they are elected and equally importantly what difference, if any their presence in government may make to the lives of ordinary women in the country.