Year: 2015


132nd IPU Assembly adopts Hanoi Declaration on post-2015 SDGs

Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) have committed to taking the necessary action to carry forward proposed new sustainable development goals (SDGs) due to be adopted later this year. The success of the SDGs would transform the world and the lives of its people.  Parliaments from across the world reaffirmed their vision of sustainable development based on human rights, poverty eradication, peace and security in the Hanoi Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of the five-day 132nd IPU Assembly in the Vietnamese capital.

12 Plus Declaration on Ukraine

On 1 April 2015, the 12 Plus Geopolitical Group adopted a Declaration on Ukraine at the 132nd IPU Assembly in Hanoi Vietnam.  The 12 Plus Group declared it was deeply concerned about the current situation in Ukraine and expressed its strong support to the Ukrainian people and Government. It said Russia’s support to illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine, its financial, military and technical assistance to pro-Russian forces threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, destabilize regional stability and security in Europe and undermine the world order based on respect for international law.


Post-2015 SDGs and fight against global terrorism dominate Hanoi agenda

The 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly convened in Hanoi, Vietnam from 28 March to 1 April 2015 was attended by over 1,500 participants including 715 members from 132 parliaments, 51 Speakers and 201 women MPs. The key theme of “The Sustainable Development Goals: Turning words into action” saw adoption of the Hanoi Declaration in advance of the post-2015 sustainable development goals, in addition to an emergency item debate on the role of parliaments in addressing the scourge of global terrorism.


Parliamentary links support full restoration of UK-Iran relations

BGIPU, in close collaboration with Co-Chairs of the Iran All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Rt Hon Jack Straw MP and Mr Richard Bacon MP, hosted a parliamentary delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran from 9 to 13 March 2015 in return for a successful visit undertaken by the APPG to Tehran in January 2014. The visit was successful in strengthening inter-parliamentary relations between both countries in support of official government efforts to fully restore bilateral relations.

UK delegation members at CSW59

If women thrive so shall we all

This year CSW welcomed the largest contingent of 1100 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) from all over the world, composing 8600 women.   I led a delegation of UK parliamentary delegates including Gavin Shuker MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, and Diane Abbott MP for first week sponsored by the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU). It is a truly amazing conference on many levels.   Especially moving are some of the NGO events where one hears from human rights defenders often under threat on the ground.

Discussing most pressing issues with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Timely UK Parliament visit to Ukraine

A small delegation from the BGIPU visited Kyiv for 3 days in mid-February to establish links with new members of the Ukrainian Parliament, to help establish a British Friendship Group and to discuss how our two Parliaments might work more closely together to strengthen Parliamentary democracy and the accountability of Government in Ukraine. Inevitably the visit and meetings were dominated by the more urgent issue of the war in Eastern Ukraine and the fragile ceasefire that had been agreed in Minsk. 

DG R Azevêdo

Annual Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO

The Annual 2015 Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO took place in Geneva, on 16 and 17 February 2015. The WTO Director General, Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, addressed the meeting making a good case for the need to maintain momentum and to agree a clearly defined work plan by July 2015; before the ministerial meeting in Nairobi should finalise the Doha Round.  He emphasised that all discussions were being conducted on the most transparent basis, with all members represented by ambassadors at key meetings. The WTO Secretariat also explained to participants the steps for implementation of the Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement and how developing countries will be supported through assistance and grants for implementation.

Delegation and Aung San Suu Kyi

British and Burmese Women Parliamentarians Unite

This visit intended to strengthen women’s political participation at national level and engage current women MPs in Burma on political empowerment and gender-sensitive parliamentary practices through targeted workshops with UK counterparts. It was a standalone project, complementary to other parliamentary strengthening activities in the country, undertaken in partnership with the British Embassy in Rangoon.


Morocco Speaker visit underscores close relations with UK

BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from Morocco from 26 to 30 January 2015. This high level delegation was led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Rachid Talbi Alami MP. The delegation highlighted the strength of the bilateral relationship with the UK and the key role that Morocco plays in the Maghreb region. They were concerned that the situation in Western Sahara posed difficulties related to illicit arms and drugs trafficking and UK counterparts expressed support for peaceful resolution of this issue.