Activities: Outward Delegations

Delegation Leader and APPG for Vietnam Chair, Wayne David MP, meets the Vice-President of the National Assembly in Hanoi.JPG

Deepening UK-Vietnam inter-parliamentary relations

Our visit to Vietnam comprised a cross-party group of four MPs and two Peers which travelled the length of the country from Hanoi in the north, to Danang onwards to Ho Chi Minh City in the south.  As Vietnam’s economy continues to grow and creates increased prosperity, it will be incumbent upon the country’s many international partners like the UK to do their utmost to help Vietnam along a path of social and political change.  This visit has hopefully ensured the friendship between our Parliaments has been truly deepened to assist that process.

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Some reflections on BGIPU visit to Vietnam

Like many of my generation my knowledge of Vietnam is shaped by the harrowing images of the war in the 1970s. I wanted to know how Vietnam has moved on since that dreadful time and the extent to which it has managed to recreate and rebuild itself. I was also really curious to know about whether the communist system was managing to keep relevant and how, if at all, it seeks to promote its legitimacy and genuinely modernise the infrastructure and economy of the country.  I reflect upon what I found during this recent BGIPU visit.

Delegation hosted by Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Yolanda Ferrer Gomez.jpg

UK delegation receive a unique insight into Cuban politics and society

From 16 to 21 September 2018, a UK parliamentary delegation visited Cuba with the aim of further strengthening bilateral relations, including new opportunities for trade and cooperation, and to see how recent national developments were changing the country and its people.  In Havana and visiting rural areas, the delegation gained a good understanding of the effect of the long-standing US embargo on everyday people’s lives and how this unnecessarily limits progress in Cuba and is detrimental to the everyday lives of Cuban people.

Delegation visiting the Latin American School of Medicine.jpg

Cuba: vibrant culture & huge potential, but slow change

The visit provided us with a great opportunity to learn about political, economic and social aspects of Cuba and I was especially struck by two or three things.  The first was the exceptional cultural richness in Cuban society.  The second was how little change seemed to have occurred since the death of Fidel Castro.  Lastly, I remember impressive examples of bio-tech, medical research and drug development with pharmaceuticals being an areas where Cuba where there should be scope for British investment or joint ventures.

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.

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Nepal determined to rebuild a positive path for the future

In a delegation visit to Nepal 6-12 May 2018 led by BGIPU Nigel Evans MP, UK MPs and Peers were impressed by the detemination of the people of Nepal after such hardship and misfortune to take positive and outward looking steps for its future. With its new political system in place and earthquake reconstruction efforts advancing, the delegation was given every expectation Nepal would be able to continue on a path to improving economic development and greater prosperity for all its people.

The UK delegation led by Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP meets with the President of Iraq, HE Fuad Massoum.JPG

UK delegation visits Iraq at pivotal time for its future

A UK parliamentary delegation which visited Iraq 13-16 February 2018 saw the country poised at a crossroads in which the upcoming elections will be crucial. The policy approaches and political stability of any government resulting from these elections will be a key determinant in whether a largely positive trajectory on the back of the victory over Daesh will continue. Political stability, addressing corruption and economic/social progress are pre-conditions for the full delivery of the $30 billion pledged recently to rebuild the country. 

UK Delegation led by John Whittingdale meets HE President Meta of Albania.JPG

EU accession remains key priority for Albanian Parliament

A BGIPU delegation, led by Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, visited Tirana from 12-15 February to meet with counterparts in the Albanian Parliament. The visit consolidated the close links between the UK Parliament and the Albanian Parliament, and the delegation met with various parliamentarians to discuss issues such as rule of law, EU accession and Albania’s initiatives to combat organised crime with EU accession being the clear priority for Albania in the coming years.