Year: 2017


End of Year message from IPU President and Secretary General

In an end-of-year message, reflecting upon increased threats to democracy in the world, the President and Secretary General of the IPU maintain that in promoting democracy and strong parliaments the work of the IPU is more important than ever. They said that parliaments are becoming ever more crucial in translating the peoples’ aspirations for peace, development and prosperity into reality.  They looked forward to the year ahead to make democracy work better for people in accordance with the IPU Strategy.

Lord Dubs with represented of the IPU's joint host, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Meditteraneanen, and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.JPG

MPs commit to promoting fair, smart and humane migration

A conference, co-organized by the IPU with the Parliament of Malta and PAM took place in Valletta, Malta, from 16 to 17 November 2017. It concluded Parliaments can play a vital role in ensuring safe and humane migration through the ratification and effective implementation of international treaties. They can also help to change the negative discourse around migration by putting in place and strengthening legislation against xenophobia and racism and by promoting balanced and empirically sound public debate.

The Conference was convened by the  IPU and the European Parliament and hosted by the National Congress of Argentina.JPG

MPs at world trade conference urge end to global trade inequality

An international gathering of MPs has called for renewed momentum to conclude international trade negotiations that foster sustainable development. The parliamentarians urged all WTO Members to show flexibility and the willingness to compromise in order to conclude this trade round that has already lasted too long.  Over 500 participants, including some 220 MPs from 56 countries, attended the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO from 9-10 December in Buenos Aires, which preceded the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference

Violations of the human rights of MPs in 2017.jpg

IPU links democracies in crisis & human rights abuses against MPs

Human rights abuses against parliamentarians reached a new high in 2017, according to IPU statistics. Parliamentarians from Cambodia, Maldives, Turkey and Venezuela alone, where the political situation has been worsening in recent times, account for 35% of the cases.  Cases of abuses against women MPs have also reached a record number this year, having tripled since 2014. The IPU’s annual review reports that, in 2017 the Organization’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians examined the cases of 507 MPs in 41 countries.

Re-elected Chair Nigel Evans MP addresses the AGM on key activites in 2017.JPG

Annual General Meeting elects 2017-18 Executive Committee

The Annual General Meeting of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union was convened on Wednesday 6 December 2017 in the IPU Room at the Palace of Westminster to adopt the 2017 Annual Report and elect the Executive Committee for 2017/18.  The AGM was presided over by the Speaker aof the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP in his capacity as Honorary President of the Group.

Deputy Speaker Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP welcoming delegation to Parliament

BGIPU hosts historic visit from Cuba

In the run-up to the much anticipated elections in Cuba in early 2018, BGIPU hosted a historic visit by a Cuban parliamentary delegation from 27th November to 1st December. Given many members of the delegation had academic and/or medical backgrounds, the focus of the programme that stretched over three days in Westminster and two days in Reading/Oxford was on education and health.

Lords Chamber.JPG

Lords Chamber Event debates international relations

The 2017 House of Lords Chamber Event took place on 1 December 2017. The event saw young people from around the UK as well as members of civic organisations, including the English-Speaking Union, coming together for an intergenerational debate on this topic : What are the challenges for international relations in the 21st Century?  The debate concluded with strong support for the UK continuing to engage with its international partners through regular dialogue and cooperation to achieve a better world for all. 

The UK was represented at the 4th IPU Conference of Yopung Parliamentarains by Daniella Rowley MP and Ranil Jayawardena MP.JPG

Young MPs call for greater youth participation

Young MPs from 51 countries have defined a youth-centred action plan that promotes inclusive democratic and socioeconomic policies for all.  More than 120 young men and women MPs attended the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Fourth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Ottawa, Canada on 17-18 November adopting a united approach to end exclusion and marginalization of young people.  The UK was represented by Danielle Rowley MP and Ranil Jayawardena MP. 

UK MPs, Chris Law, Clive Lewis, Alex Sobell and baroness Northover attend parliamentary meetings held in association with COP 23 in Bonn.JPG

UK delegation joins call for urgent action at COP 23 in Bonn

From 10-13 November, Chris Law MP (SNP), Clive Lewis MP (Labour), Alex Sobel MP and the Rt Hon Baroness Northover (Lib Dems) attended the IPU Meeting on the occasion of COP23 in Bonn, Germany, on behalf of BGIPU.  The delegation assessed that the US decision to leave the Paris Agreement has galvanised all the other nations of the world to work more closely together in tackling climate change head on and the world needs to go faster and further more quickly to save the planet from irreversible climate change.

The UK delegation led by Lord Howard at Mongolia's parliament, the Grand Hural.JPG

Mongolia visit underscores strong ties & cooperation with UK

From 3-11 November, Lord Howard led a six-member delegation to Mongolia in a reciprocal visit following the Mongolian delegation to Westminster in February 2016.  Both sides shared their enthusiasm at seeing new parliamentarians involved in developing the ties between Mongolia and the UK.  Mongolia is one of just six genuine democracies in Asia, a truly remarkable achievement given the fact that until 1990 it was, effectively, ruled for hundreds of years under the strong influence of either China or the Soviet Union.