Activities: Outward Delegations

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.

Members of the UK delegation meet the Foreign Minister of Mongolia.JPG

Mongolia and the modern world

Mongolia is a unique country. It has a population the size of Wales and a land mass nearly three times that of France, and in terms of its history, geography, culture, natural resources and political position, there is no other country quite like Mongolia. This means that Mongolia faces distinctive challenges, which are in many ways peculiar to the country. 

UK delegation meets the President of Madagascar, His Excellency Rajaonarimampianina Rakotoarimanana.JPG

Warm welcome for UK delegation to Madagascar

During our week-long visit to Madagascar in November, UK members found a common theme being the great warmth shown towards the British. Madagascar is celebrating 200 years since the friendship treaty with the UK and there is a clear wish from the President down to pursue membership of the Commonwealth.  Indeed, the visit by the President to the UK earlier in the Autumn to open a new embassy further underlined the importance they placed on closer links with the UK which was also underscored by the way we were received during our timely visit.

Delegation meet members of Serbia-UK Friendship group in the Serbian National Assembly.JPG

Visit hopes to boost improving relations between UK and Serbia

A UK delegation to Serbia from 1 to 6 October was led by John Whittingdale MP and included Baroness D’Souza, David Drew MP, Baroness Northover and Baroness Barker.  The delegation met a wide range of members of the National Assembly experiencing considerable warmth towards the UK due to historic ties and people to people links.  The major topic underlying almost all our discussions was the declared ambition of Serbia to join the European Union with a target date of 2025 recently announced by the EU.

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UK delegation to Peru builds crucial links with counterparts

A UK inter-parliamentary delegation visited Peru from 17 to 22 September 2017 with the key objectives of building a positive relationship with the country as a key Pacific Alliance state.  The visit gave Members of the UK Parliament the opportunity to strengthen connections between our two parliaments and included very positive meetings with the Speaker of the Congress, the parliamentary friendship group and a number of congressional committees and senior Government representatives.  The delegation also travelled outside the capital to Cusco.

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Key perspectives on social issues in Peru from UK visit

During its recent visit to Peru the UK delegation looked at the impact of a range of social issues in Peru.  This included measures and social models to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in Peru.  The delegation also met with the Minister for Women’s Affairs to discuss womens rights and domestic abuse and heard about efforts to achieve justice for past abuse of indigenous peoples through forced sterilsation in the 1990s.  There was also discussion of the Ombudsman network designed to tackle human rights issues in the country.  

UK Delegation meet the President of Iceland.JPG

UK visit world’s oldest parliament in Iceland

A UK Parliamentary delegation visited Iceland from 18 to 22 September 2017 to meet counterparts and explore issues of mutual concern, particularly regarding political developments, UK-Iceland bilateral relations, economic opportunities for the future and the implications of Brexit  The UK delegation had fantastic access and contact at governmental and political levels, as well as other institutions, to hear first-hand how Iceland is progressing as a society despite what can only be seen as a topsy-turvy political landscape.

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Strong prospects for bilateral relations with Hungary after Brexit

A UK delegation led by Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP visited Budapest from 27 February to 2nd March to meet Hungarian counterparts. Much of the discussion focussed on Brexit and the likely future relations between Britain and Hungary, and the UK and the EU more generally. Hungary regards Britain as a strong ally in the EU.  While sharing many of the UK’s criticisms of the way that the Commission works, Hungary’s attitude to the EU is heavily influenced by the challenge they face from economic migration.

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Key role for UK in supporting Kosovo’s EU ambitions

Kosovo’s leaders show real desire to reach the governance standards demanded if they are to achieve their aim of EU membership. This will likely be a long process, not least given the potential for tense relations with Serbia to prolong the journey but they were committed to make significant efforts in support of the goal. The UK can have an effective role in supporting and guiding them towards becoming a fully-functioning Western-style democracy and our strong support for Kosovo continues to be important and widely welcomed in the country.

Delegation visiting Bundestag plenary

Reflections on the Domestic Political Situation in Germany

While the understandable primary focus of our visit to Berlin in February 2017 was on matters relating to Brexit, a topical theme for debate was the domestic German political situation in the run-up to the Bundestag elections in September this year. While there was no consensus on the result of September’s election, discussions with a wide range of politicians, commentators and journalists gave us a fascinating insight into the dynamics of domestic German politics and we shall observe the upcoming election campaign from a much more informed position.