Activities: Outward Delegations

addictions2.jpg

Uruguay making drug policy reform efforts

Uruguay’s policy of taking national control of all production and sale of cannabis is still in a very early phase of implementation, and it remains highly controversial politically.  Uruguay interlocutors confirmed to the UK Delegation which visited the country in September 2016 that the policy was an experiment and it would be monitored carefully.  It would be changed if necessary and other countries might improve upon it but Uruguay was keen to be seen as a leader in drug policy reform efforts. 

PrisonUru.jpg

Productive Uruguay visit beefs up bilateral relations

A five-member delegation of UK Parliamentarains visited Uruguay from 18-23 September led jointly by BGIPU Chair, Nigel Evans MP, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP.  The visit provided opportunities to meet Uruguay counterparts and explore key trade and economics aspects of this long-standing bilateral relationship.  This was very timely in light of the UK’s recent decision to leave the EU and Uruguay’s desire to capitalise on this to see trade relations between both countries flourish for the future.      

estonia.jpg

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. 

Delegation with Leader of Social Movements.jpg

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.

France1.png

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. 

Angela Smith MP in Action

Consolidating parliamentary democracy in Burma

Three British MPs write about their experiences in supporting the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNDP induction programme for the new parliamentarians that have been elected to the Hluttaw in Burma. This parliamentary strengthening programme was intended to be complementary to the ongoing assistance provided by the UK Parliament to strengthen and support the consolidation of parliamentary democracy in Burma and was part of a broader programme of international assistance supporting democratic reform in the country.

Delegation with Speaker Moustapha Niasse

BGIPU explores challenges facing Senegal

In mid-November 2015, a BGIPU delegation went to Senegal for a four-day working visit. Following the visit of Senegalese parliamentarians to Westminster in 2013, the delegation’s aim was to learn more about Senegal’s parliamentary system, and to meet with counterparts in the National Assembly and key government representatives to hear about Senegal’s challenges and how both countries can strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.

deputiesmex.png

UK Delegation to Mexico highlights strong bilateral bonds

A six-member inter-parliamentary delegation led by Rt Hon Sir Simon Burns MP visited Mexico from 3-9 October 2015 to meet parliamentary counterparts in the Congress of the Union. The visit included wide-ranging exchanges with Mexican Senators, a meeting with party whips from the recently elected Chamber of Deputies, a visit to Puebla State for meetings with university students and the State Governor and a number of cultural and trade events associated with the joint UK/Mexico dual year being held throughout 2015.

humanrights.png

A view on Human Rights in Mexico

Throughout the recent inter-parliamentary BGIPU visit to Mexico in October 2015, the issue of Human Rights was a prominent and constant theme. It is now one year since of the disappearance of the 43 students in Guererro and not far from our hotel the photographs of the murdered dark haired young men and women lined a central reservation of a main road in Mexico City. But we soon realised that this was only one, although a very well-known example, of human rights abuses in Mexico.

In the new Assembly Hall

UK parliamentary delegation sees advances in Angola

In early October 2015, a BGIPU delegation went to Angola for a five day working visit. The purpose of this visit was to learn more about the Angolan parliamentary system and to meet counterparts in the National Assemblies as well as members of the government from key ministries to discuss the challenges Angola is facing and how the UK and Angola can work more closely together. The delegation was led by Lord Steel and jincluded Pauline Latham OBE MP, John Mann MP, Baroness Hooper and Baroness Blackstone.