Year: 2016


BGIPU/CPA UK Diplomatic Reception for State Opening

In partnership with CPA UK, BGIPU hosted its annual diplomatic reception on the occaision of the State Opening of Parliament on 18 May 2016. Speaking alongside his CPA UK counterpart, Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, the BGIPU Chair, Nigel Evans MP, took the opportunity to express gratitude for the support of the diplomatic corps for the work of UK inter-parliamentary bodies as well as thanking a representative of the FCO, PPS Pauline Latham MP, for the support provided by UK Ambassadors and diplomats abroad and FCO staff at home.


Estonia visit reinforces its importance in future of Europe

This was the first BGIPU visit to Estonia in 20 years and the focus was the UK’s shared defence and security concerns with the country and how Estonia is developing into a model in terms of embracing new and innovative technologies. Key outcomes of the visit were that the UK can ill afford to neglect these small, but dynamic, EU countries which are so important to the future of Europe. In the immediate future, the UK can also do much to help support their forthcoming first EU Presidency and we should grasp that golden opportunity. 


BGIPU hosts signing ceremony for 2017 IPU Assembly in Dhaka

The formal agreement between the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the National Parliament of Bangladesh on convening the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka was signed by The Hon Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, the Bangladesh Speaker, and the IPU Secretary General, Mr Martin Chungong, in the River Room of the UK House of Lords on 28 April 2016 in the presence of the BGIPU Chair and Officers.  This signing ceremony formalised the decision taken in Lusaka in March 2016 to hold the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka from 1 to 5 April 2017.  


Nepal Speaker visit boosts bilateral dialogue

A delegation from Nepal led by the recently elected speaker of their Legislature Parliament, Rt. Hon. Onsari Gharti Magar, visited 18 to 22 April with a delegation comprising five MPs and two senior officials. In a wide-ranging programme the delegation met many UK counterparts boosting the bilateral relationship, including discussing the UK’s contribution to earthquake recovery, Prince Harry’s recent visit and constitutional reform in Nepal. The Speaker also met both her counterparts prior to visiting Northern Ireland to look at peace and reconcilliation.


IPU 134: Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth

The IPU’s 134th Assembly held 19-23 March 2016 in Zambia, Lusaka had as its main theme “Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth”.  More than 670 MPs from 131 countries attended this Assembly which saw the re-entry of Comoros, Egypt and Guyana lifting the IPU to 170 members in total.  The IPU Assembly, deeply shocked by terror attacks in Brussels on 22 March, adopted resolutions calling for multi-facted responses to counter the global threat of terrorism and highlighted the threats posed to cultural heritage by conflict and terrorism.


SDGs bring new optimism to the CSW 60 agenda

BGIPU sent a four-member delegation to CSW 60 led by Baroness Hodgson and including Baroness Northover, Gavin Shuker MP and Jo Churchill MP. Being the first year since adoption of the SDGs, looking ahead to 2030 with an agenda of leaving no-one behind, there was optimism about this new agenda for CSW 60. This was particularly in light of having achieved the hard fought for SDG Goal 5 on gender, as well as having gender mainstreamed across other goals although the Beijing Platform for Action remains the ‘gold standard’ for gender.

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Young MPs Conference commits to enhancing oversight to achieve SDGs

More than 130 young MPs from across the world committed to enhancing transparency and oversight of public finances as a cornerstone of their fight against corruption at the conclusion of the 3rd IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Lusaka.  MPs set their sights on increased public scrutiny of state spending in a series of measures they would take to help achieve the SDGs which commit nations to ambitious targets on reducing inequalities, eradicating poverty, and promoting sustainable economic growth and climate action by 2030.

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British MPs visit Bolivia in support of closer relations

In early March 2016, a cross-party delegation visited La Paz, Bolivia. The delegation was led by Graham Stuart MP (Con), Chair of the Latin American APPG, Diana Johnson MP (Lab), Shadow Foreign Office Minister for Latin America, Mark Menzies MP (Con) and Nic Dakin MP (Labour), Shadow Minister for Schools. Supported by the UK Mission, the programme included meetings with counterparts, government representatives and civil society, as well as a visit to EU-funded projects in one of the legal coca growing regions.


Exchanges in France on EU referendum and migration

A cross-party delegation comprising Baroness Miller (LD), Baroness Janke (LD), John Nicolson MP (SNP) and Stuart Macdonald MP (SNP) visited Paris from 8 to 9 March to meet French counterparts in both Chambers on key issues in the UK-France relationship.  French interlocutors showed keen interest in discussing the mood in the UK in the lead-up to the EU membership referendum on 23 June.  There was also mutual appreciation of the vital importance of both countries working closely to address broader migration challenges. 


IPU sees mixed results for women’s participation in parliament

An increase in the number of women Speakers of Parliament during 2015 and some regional successes were among the few highlights in what proved to be yet another disappointing year for women’s participation in parliament, says the IPU.  IPU’s “Women in Parliament 2015: the Year in Review” released ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, showed that for the second year in a row, the number of women MPs across the world rose by a worryingly low 0.5 percentage point with women just 22.6 per cent of the world’s MPs.