Year: 2016


UN resolution on interaction between the UN, national parliaments & IPU breaks new ground

The United Nations General Assembly adopted on 25th July by consensus a resolution on Interaction between the UN, national parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. IPU President Saber Chowdhury welcomed the adoption saying the UNGA decision “recognizes the key role of parliaments and of IPU in helping build political will to tackle the world’s many challenges. I am confident that it will provide a valuable framework for taking our strategic partnership even further, for the good of our global community”.


Lord McConnell speaks on Global Goals at the Development Cooperation Forum

Speaking to the Development Cooperation Forum at UN HQ in New York, Lord McConnell stressed the need for more urgency in acting on the Global Goals and the danger in the search for perfect systems and outcomes, as that might block or stall basic progress. He called for more accountability within countries to national parliaments and to citizens with a bottom-up approach to engagement rather than simply international monitoring.  


New IPU-UN agreement charts way forward on cooperation

IPU President Saber Chowdhury has welcomed a new UN-IPU cooperation agreement signed on 21 July 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York. Building on the growing partnership and interaction between the two organizations, the agreement places the relationship on a stronger footing and will facilitate greater cooperation at the political and operational levels on behalf of “we the peoples”.  Among other things, the new agreement will ensure enhanced information exchanges and sharing of best practices in strengthening parliamentary capacity worldwide. 


BGIPU supports launch of "The Good Parliament" report

With the support of BGIPU, The Good Parliament report was launched in Parliament on 20 July 2016 by Professor Sarah Childs.  The report shows Parliament’s working practices still reflect the traditions and preferences of those who historically populated it and the report seeks to provide a blueprint for a more inclusive and representative UK Parliament.  In welcoming the report, the Speaker of the House of Commons announced the establishment of a “Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion” to give consideration to its findings.


IPU Secretary General visits UK Parliament to brief BGIPU

The Secretary General of IPU, Martin Chungong, visited London on 12 July 2016 at the invitation of the BGIPU Chair, Mr Nigel Evans MP, and IPU Executive Committee member, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, to brief the BGIPU Executive Committee on IPU priorities as identified in its Draft IPU Strategy 2071-21. During his visit he also met the Chair of the International Development Committee and FCO Minister David Lidington among other high-level calls.


Roundtable meeting on challenges facing the Balkans region

On the 5 July 2016, BGIPU hosted a roundtable on the Balkans, bringing together Members from both Houses and Ambassadors from the region. Chaired by BGIPU Vice-Chair and Foreign Affairs Committee Member Mike Gapes MP, participants exchanged views on the challenges facing Balkan countries and the threat posed by extremism and terrorist groups such as Daesh.  Members appreciated the opportunity to hear from representatives about the current political situation and challenges in their respective countries.


World e-Parliament Conference 2016 concludes in Chile

The World e-Parliament Conference, held in the Chamber of Deputies in Valparaiso, Chile, featured the launch of the World e-Parliament Report 2016 and discussion of its key findings. During the conference, policy and technical tracks provided a forum for participants to exchange experiences on how ICT helps to improve representation, law-making and oversight, and to increase parliament’s openness, accessibility, accountability and effectiveness.  The event drew just over 200 participants from more than 50 countries.


BGIPU sponsors EU Referendum Observation Mission

With the support of BGIPU’s Executive Committee, comprising members on all sides of the debate, BGIPU hosted a EU referendum observation mission from 22-24 June 2016. With outstanding assistance from staff of the Electoral Commission and borough polling officials, BGIPU welcomed parliamentarians and officials from IPU member parliaments in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland for a mission which responded to the strong interest of counterpart MPs to gain insights into the UK’s historic EU referendum on 23 June.


IPU deeply shocked at killing of British MP

Inter-Parliamentary Union SG Martin Chungong has paid tribute to Jo Cox MP saying “Like many MPs around the world, Jo Cox has worked tirelessly for democracy, peace and human rights….It is heartbreaking to learn that she has been killed while carrying out her democratic mandate. Violence has no place in any democracy.  On behalf of IPU and the global parliamentary community, I would like to pay tribute to a woman who embodied all that a parliamentarian should be – compassionate, courageous and committed.”


Parliamentary Conference on the WTO

More than 400 parliamentary delegates from around 60 countries attended the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO, co-chaired by the IPU and the European Parliament. The event, held in Geneva on 13-14 June, covered a wide range of topics under the theme “What Future for the WTO?”  Parliamentarians raised a whole series of concerns – the need to champion stronger labour standards, environmental protection and the role trade can play in sustainable development.