Month: June 2018

IPU President Cuevas Barron with UN Secretary General Guterres

World to celebrate International Day of Parliamentarism

In 2018, for the first time, the international community will be celebrating the International Day of Parliamentarism on 30 June. The International Day of Parliamentarism will be an opportunity to recognise the important role played by parliaments as the core institution of democracy. It will also be an key opportunity to promote the values that we hold dear, namely: strong parliaments, gender equality, human rights, sustainable development, peace and security, global governance and youth.

House of Parliaments.jpg

#WorldParliamentDay: Are parliamentary democracies in danger?

As the world celebrates for the first time, on 30 June, the International Day of Parliamentarism, data on parliaments shows a mixed picture.  The International Day of Parliamentarism is an opportunity to celebrate parliaments as the cornerstone of democracy and as institutions designed to improve the lives of the people they represent.  In an age of many problems – from climate change, mass movements of people, to the rise of populism and autocracy – the world needs its parliaments more than ever before.

Delegation with Mark Menzies MP

Visit by Uruguayan Speaker consolidates close bilateral relations

From 18-20 June, BGIPU hosted the Speaker of the Uruguayan House of Representatives, Mr Jorge Gandini, for a 3 day programme at Westminster. Mr Gandini was accompanied by his party colleague Mr Gustavo Penades MP and Mr Roberto Chiazzaro MP, Member of the ruling Frente Amplio Party. The visit reinforced the already close relationship between the two countries and showed how helpful and important regular personal contact remains in the field of parliamentary diplomacy.

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UK Parliament welcomes Anwar Ibrahim after pardon

At an event arranged by the Chair of the APPG for Human Rights, Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP, and attended by members of the APPG for Malaysia led by its Chair, Sir William Cash MP, the UK Parliament warmly welcomed the recent full pardon of Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.  In his comments to MPs and Peers, Mr Anwar recognised the important role parliamentarians had played in supporting his struggle for justice, particularly through the work of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.  

UK delegation visit the historic Mostar Bridge.JPG

UK commitment to Balkans to the fore in visit to Bosnia & Herzegovina

A BGIPU delegation, led by our Chair Nigel Evans MP, visited Bosnia & Herzegovina during the Whitsun Recess (27th May – 1st June) to meet with parliamentary counterparts.  This visit consolidated the close links between the UK Parliament and the various Parliaments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was an important precursor to BGIPU’s upcoming International Seminar on the Western Balkans in September.

Chairman of the Council of the Republic, Mr Mikhail Myasnikovich, explaining features of Belarus

Belarus – A Country That Defies Neat Categorisation

Belarus is a country of contradictions. On this visit I had expected to be see a drab, dour and austere country, redolent of so many east European countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall. What I found was an attractive country and a well maintained and occasionally picturesque capital city. There is, however, another side to Belarus, which at first glance is not so apparent, but is very real. Below the ‘skin’ of Belarus, there is a country that is still a presidential dictatorship.

Delegation in front of the House of Deputies (Lower House)

BGIPU visit explores stronger links with Belarus

From 28th May to 1st June BGIPU Vice-Chair Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP led a cross-party delegation of six MPs to Belarus, the second only since Independence. The programme was busy and varied, including meetings with counterparts, government representatives, and visits to manufacturing facilities, the Opera House, Nesvizh Castle and meetings civil society. The delegation left with the impression that Belarus is a country somewhat overlooked by the UK both politically and economically and were determined to change that.