Year: 2016


Women Speakers set clear goals to respond to global challenges

Women Speakers of Parliament from across the globe agreed to rapidly develop parliamentary objectives and action plans that put at the core the integrity of our planet and peace and prosperity.  At the conclusion of the two-day Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament, women Speakers unanimously adopted the Abu Dhabi Declaration that defines concrete steps to tackle geopolitical, socioeconomic, environmental and technological challenges to ensure a more gender sensitive and inclusive world and a better quality of life for generations to come.


Disquieting spike in human rights violations against MPs

This year has seen a sharp increase in the number of parliamentarians who have suffered or who have alleged violations of their fundamental rights.  In an overview of cases being examined by the IPU’s Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, 459 parliamentarians from 42 countries were investigated in 2016 in comparison to 320 parliamentarians in 2015 and 311 parliamentarians in 2014. This outcome underscores the dangers MPs face across the world in exercising their mandate and their right to freedom of expression.


Annual General Meeting elects 2016/17 Executive Committee

The Annual General Meeting of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union was convened on Wednesday 7 December 2016 in the IPU Room at the Palace of Westminster to adopt the 2016 Annual Report and elect the Executive Committee for 2016/17. It was presided over by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP on behalf of the House of Commons Speaker who is Honorary President of the Group.


Iraq delegation keen to highlight unity and partnership with UK

BGIPU hosted from late November a delegation from Iraq led by the Chair of the Iraqi-British Parliamentary Committee, Dr Hanan Saeed Mohsin, with seven parliamentary collegues representing all the key factions of the Iraqi Parliament.  The delegation sought deeper engagement with UK counterparts with the key message being that for the first time in decades all Iraqis were united in securing the future with current efforts to liberate Mosul from the control of Daesh being a decisive and important step.


IPU & AWEPA Parliamentary Forum at HLM2

BGIPU was represented at the 2nd High level Meeting of the GPEDC in Nairobi, including the IPU/AWEPA hosted Parliamentary Forum, by Lord Chidgey, of Hamble-le-Rice. In recent years, international discussions on aid and development have shifted their focus away from the delivery of aid to the effectiveness of development cooperation as a whole, known as the development effectiveness agenda with parliamentarians playing key roles in such deliberations.


Gender-sensitive reforms in parliaments needed to eliminate VAW

Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, IPU is launching an innovative self-assessment toolkit which assists parliaments in reviewing their functioning and working methods, and how these contribute to gender equality.  This is a follow-up to the IPU’s landmark study on sexism against women MPs as part of the IPU’s commitment to advance gender-sensitive reforms in parliaments.  BGIPU has been active in promoting the IPU’s work and sees the launch as a vitally important contribution to such efforts.

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Parliamentary Meeting at UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh

A meeting jointly organised by the IPU and the Moroccan Parliament, bringing together parliamentarians from all over the world, was held on 13th November 2016 in Marrakech, one week into the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22).  The aim was to involve parliamentarians in promoting awareness of the issues being discussed at COP22, so that they could better hold their Governments to account for delivering on commitments made at COP21 in Paris in December 2015.

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Joint visit by BGIPU to Portugal and Cabo Verde

From 6-12 November 2016 BGIPU-Chair Nigel Evans MP led a delegation to both Portugal and Cabo Verde. While the 2 days spent in Lisbon focussed mostly on the future bilateral relationship between the UK and Portugal in the context of Brexit, the second part of the visit in Cabo Verde gave the delegation an opportunity to learn more about a small country off the West African coast that is mostly known as a tourist destination, but deserves more credit for its political stability and democratic credentials in an otherwise troubled region.


Opportunities and challenges for Cabo Verde

The UK parliamentary delegation to Cabo Verde was given the opportunity to understand the political, economic (and some of the) sustainability opportunities and challenges facing the country.  It was clear that there was a desire to strengthen formal links with UK but the UK should be prepared to offer much more in terms of technical assistance and capacity support, not just an ever increasing number of tourists which creates good opportunities for growth, but also some risks.

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Dominican Republic keen to strengthen friendship with UK

From 6-11 November 2016, Gareth Johnson MP led a UK inter-parliamentary delegation to the Dominican Republic.  During the visit, the UK MPs and Peers were greatly impressed by the huge economic potential and charm of the country, albeit also hearing about challenges in managing relations with neighbouring Haiti, including in managing complex border issues.  In meetings with parliamentary counterparts, students and officials the delegation also discussed the future of bilateral trade post-Brexit.