Month: September 2016


Tribute to IPU Founder Sir William Randal Cremer MP

BGIPU staff visited Hampstead Cemetery on 29 September to pay tribute to the life and work of the UK parliamentarian who founded the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Sir William Randal Cremer MP. His initiative with French counterpart, Frederic Passy, in 1889 created a global organisation now numbering 170 member parliaments spanning the globe.  The IPU facilitates inter-parliament dialogue to enhance global peace, promote democracy and end the scourge of war.

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Timely visit to Philippines highlights bilateral links

From 17-24 September 2016, a cross-party UK Parliamentary delegation visited the Philippines. This was a timely opportunity to enegage with the new government and finding out more about the priorities and plans of the new administration under President Duterte. The main areas of interest included the relationship between the Philippines and the UK following Brexit, trade opportunities, human rights and the proliferation of drugs in the Philippines.


Uruguay making drug policy reform efforts

Uruguay’s policy of taking national control of all production and sale of cannabis is still in a very early phase of implementation, and it remains highly controversial politically.  Uruguay interlocutors confirmed to the UK Delegation which visited the country in September 2016 that the policy was an experiment and it would be monitored carefully.  It would be changed if necessary and other countries might improve upon it but Uruguay was keen to be seen as a leader in drug policy reform efforts. 


Productive Uruguay visit beefs up bilateral relations

A five-member delegation of UK Parliamentarains visited Uruguay from 18-23 September led jointly by BGIPU Chair, Nigel Evans MP, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP.  The visit provided opportunities to meet Uruguay counterparts and explore key trade and economics aspects of this long-standing bilateral relationship.  This was very timely in light of the UK’s recent decision to leave the EU and Uruguay’s desire to capitalise on this to see trade relations between both countries flourish for the future.      


15 September is International Day of Democracy

IPU will be marking International Day of Democracy 2016 on 15 September with the theme ‘Democracy 2030’ – an invitation and challenge to all parliaments to think about the future of democracy.  Imagining the future is fundamental for building strong democracies that contribute to achieving sustainable development. International Day of Democracy is a key opportunity to challenge ideas, allow diverse voices to be heard and engage the general public.


More democracy key to achieving sustainable development by 2030

Marking IDD (15 September) with the theme “Democracy 2030”, IPU called on political leaders everywhere to strengthen connections between the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and citizens’ demands for greater transparency, accountability and inclusive decision-making.  “We are inviting and challenging all parliaments to think innovatively about democracy’s future, including from the perspective of ensuring the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development succeeds,” said IPU President Saber Chowdhury.


Albanian visit gives assurance of continuing partnership

From 12-14 September 2016, the Albanian Speaker Mr Ilir Meta MP visited UK Parliament, together with Mrs Arta Dade MP, Mr Gerti Bogdani MP, the Secretary General of the Albanian Parliament and other parliamentary officials. This timely and valuable visit gave the delegation better understanding of the debate around the UK’s vote to leave the EU and an insight into current UK’s political dynamics. There were strong assurances that Albania remains an important partner for the UK with firm commitments to strengthen bilateral relations.


Annual BGIPU Quiz in support of AMAR Foundation

BGIPU hosted a lively and competitive charity pub quiz on 6 September pitting teams of MPs, Peers and parliamentary staff against each other in a spirit of fun and conviviality. BGIPU’s guest Quizmaster this year was Andrew Gwynee MP, Member for Denton and Reddish.  The beneficiary of the proceeds of the quiz was the AMAR Foundation which is an award-winning charity that works in the Middle East, building and improving the lives and livelihoods through providing professional health and education on a sustained and lasting basis.


IPU hails decision by China and USA to ratify Paris climate deal

IPU welcomes the decision by China and the USA to formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement. The IPU has been mobilizing parliaments since the historic deal was signed in Paris back in December 2015. It has underscored the crucial role played by parliaments in ratifying international commitments made by governments and in overseeing their implementation nationally, including by allocating sufficient funds from the national budget in accordance with the IPU’s recently adopted the Parliamentary Action Plan on Climate Change.