Year: 2015


New Year Message from IPU President and Secretary General

In a New Year’s message, the IPU reflect on its 2015 successes in facilitating parliamentary engagement in adoption of the Global Goals and the recent Paris outcome on tackling climate change.  They also identify the 4th World Conference of Speakers as a highlight in showing parliamentary solidarity and cooperation.   They reflected on the plight of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict zones and the scourge of terrorism as key challenges requiring us to redouble efforts in 2016 to protect and promote our values and defend fundamental freedoms.


Timely visit from Shura Council of Saudi Arabia

A parliamentary delegation from the Shura Council of Saudi Arabia had detailed exchanges with UK counterparts on bilateral and regional issues, including underscoring our common commitment in the fight against Daesh. Ongoing advances in the role of women in Saudi Arabia, including participation in local elections was also welcomed. The delegation engaged parliamentary counterparts on science, technology, innovation and business links to expand bilateral cooperation, culminating in a very productive visit to Oxford University.


IPU sees human rights violations against MPs on rise

Parliamentarians across the world continued to face too many dangers that prevented or hampered their work, representing a real and on-going threat to democracy that needed to be addressed, says the IPU ahead of Human Rights Day on 10 December.  During 2015, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians worked on cases involving 320 MPs in 43 countries, up from 311 cases in 40 countries in 2014. Overwhelmingly the targeted MPs are men (283) and more than two thirds of cases (71 per cent) are from the opposition (228).


Global parliamentary conference commits to climate action

MPs from nearly 90 countries have committed to using their parliamentary powers and responsibilities to vigorously fight climate change, whilst urging negotiators on a global accord to define a fair agreement that works for all.  Adopting a statement at the end of a two-day global conference organized by the IPU and the French Parliament in Paris, the MPs reiterated the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the increase in the average world temperature to less than 2 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels.

Speaker Guillaume Soro with Baroness Hooper

Economic challenges & post-conflict issues dominate Côte d’Ivoire visit

In late November 2015 the British Group hosted Speaker Guillaume Soro from the Côte d’Ivoire National Assembly for a three-day visit to Westminster and two days at the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast. He was accompanied by five Members of Parliament and while the programme in Westminster focussed on bilateral relations, the Belfast visit provided an opportunity for the Ivoirians to reflect on Northern Ireland’s experiences with national reconciliation and similar challenges they face in addressing issues in a post-conflict society.

Delegation with Speaker Moustapha Niasse

BGIPU explores challenges facing Senegal

In mid-November 2015, a BGIPU delegation went to Senegal for a four-day working visit. Following the visit of Senegalese parliamentarians to Westminster in 2013, the delegation’s aim was to learn more about Senegal’s parliamentary system, and to meet with counterparts in the National Assembly and key government representatives to hear about Senegal’s challenges and how both countries can strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.


Conference on a gender sensitive Parliament for the UK

BGIPU, in collaboration with Prof Sarah Childs (on secondment to the UK House of Commons from the University of Bristol), convened a one-day conference on 19 November to explore key perspectives on making the UK House of Commons a more gender sensitive Parliament.  The conference was opened by the Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and brought together international parliamentarians, academics and UK members and parliamentary staff to debate how a more gender sensitive House of Commons might be best achieved.


Annual Report of the BGIPU for 2015 published

The Annual Report of the BGIPU for 2015 has been published on 10 November in advance of the 13 January Annual General Meeting. The Annual Report highlights that in 2015 BGIPU has received delegations to the UK Parliament from five parliaments and sent delegations to six countries.  There have also been shorter visits by overseas MPs from nine countries to Westminster, UK participation in IPU Assemblies in Hanoi and Geneva and support for major inter-parliamentary events including the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.


BGIPU Chair welcomes Kosovo representative to the UK Parliament

Members of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU) welcomed a high ranking representative of the Government of Kosovo to the House of Commons on Wednesday 28 October.  Petrit Selimi, Kosovo’s Deputy Foreign Minister, discussed the Kosovo government’s political priorities, including plans to develop its international status, over a working dinner with MPs and Peers in the House of Commons Dining Room as a guest of Nigel Evans MP, BGIPU Chair.


133rd IPU Assembly to debate fairer, smarter & more humane migration

The world’s parliamentarians will meet in Geneva to examine the moral and economic imperative for fairer, smarter and more humane migration at IPU’s 133rd Assembly from 17-21 October. IPU Members will also adopt a resolution on democracy in the digital era and address other major issues including counter-terrorism, protecting cultural heritage and how to strengthen parliament’s oversight capacities. The 133rd Assembly will also convene the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians, IPU’s Forum of Young Parliamentarians, the Committee on Middle East Questions and the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.