Activities: Outward Delegations

Delegation at the Defence Ministry.jpg

UK-Romania ties set to further strengthen

A UK delegation led by Bob Blackman MP visited Romania 21-25 September to meet parliamentary counterparts and explore mutual bilateral interests. The delegation included Lord Davies of Stamford, Lord Harrison of Chester, Stephen Pound MP, Graham Jones MP and Philip Hollobone MP.  Members concluded that there is perhaps too little knowledge in the UK about Romania but ties between both countries look set to strengthen, not least due to shared energy and defence interests and Romania’s increasing enthusiasm for English.

Discussing most pressing issues with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Timely UK Parliament visit to Ukraine

A small delegation from the BGIPU visited Kyiv for 3 days in mid-February to establish links with new members of the Ukrainian Parliament, to help establish a British Friendship Group and to discuss how our two Parliaments might work more closely together to strengthen Parliamentary democracy and the accountability of Government in Ukraine. Inevitably the visit and meetings were dominated by the more urgent issue of the war in Eastern Ukraine and the fragile ceasefire that had been agreed in Minsk. 

Delegation and Aung San Suu Kyi

British and Burmese Women Parliamentarians Unite

This visit intended to strengthen women’s political participation at national level and engage current women MPs in Burma on political empowerment and gender-sensitive parliamentary practices through targeted workshops with UK counterparts. It was a standalone project, complementary to other parliamentary strengthening activities in the country, undertaken in partnership with the British Embassy in Rangoon.

Meeting with Congress Representative in Honduras

UK Delegation gains new insights into Guatemala & Honduras

A little bit of BGIPU history was made when a Parliamentary delegation from our Parliament visited Guatemala and Honduras in the second week of November. We had not sent a delegation to Guatemala since 2008 and Honduras had never had a visit from the BGIPU. The visit highlighted the key difficulties Guatemala and Honduras are facing in the light of the current security situation and social inequalities, in addition to seeing potential opportunities for British investment and economic engagement.

Prison in Honduras

Why Human Rights in Guatemala and Honduras Matter

It’s difficult to comprehend the size of the human rights issues that face people in Guatemala and Honduras, as well as related countries. It’s often difficult to see how state funded and run human rights groups can effectively put pressure on national governments and one is left with the view that strengthened civil society and effective democracy will be much more effective.

Delegation at Oslo Uni.JPG

Relations with the EU: The Norway example

No conversation about the UK and its relationship with the European Union is complete without someone talking about Norway at some stage or another. We don’t want to be like Norway, say some whilst others suggest that Norway is an example of what the future for a United Kingdom outside the EU could look like. Norway is an economically successful country and not part of the EU. But not all is quite as straightforward as it seems as we found out on our visit to Oslo in September this year.

Meeting with Norwegian Deputy Speaker.JPG

UK’s close friendship with Norway remains strong

The United Kingdom’s close friendship with Norway, forged in the dark days of Norway’s WWII occupation, remains strong despite the passage of time since 1945 and the dramatic change in Norway’s situation now that oil and gas have made it one of the richest countries in the world. Indeed, our recent delegation visit to Norway found that the wartime experience was still a strong factor in Norwegian perceptions of the UK, and that Norway was happy to be investing parts of its wealth in the UK.

Welcome Reception at the Federal National Council

UK’s deep relations and history in the Gulf reflected in visit to UAE

Firm political ties were in evidence throughout our visit to the UAE hosted by HE Mohammed Ahmed Al-Murr, Speaker of the Federal National Council. In roundtable discussions, there was a strong emphasis on the collective nature of their work, with members represented the UAE in their deliberations, not their individual emirates. The UAE is a developing democracy and the FNC demonstrated greater involvement for younger people than in the past by expanding the electorate from 7,000 hand-picked electors to over 100,000 in the near future.

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UK delegation to Nepal highlights 200 years of relations

The visit of a UK delegation to Nepal from 14-19 September provided an important opportunity to resume inter-parliamentary visits between Britain and Nepal with the establishment of its Constituent Assembly after successful democratic elections in November 2013.  It was also timely as the 200th anniversary of bilateral relations approches in 2016 and provided insights into the main constitutional issues facing the country.  The UK delegation also saw the major contributions to Nepal’s development being made by DFID and the Gurkha Welfare Scheme.

BGIPU Delegation in Discussions with the Georgian Foreign Minster Dr Maia Panjikidze .JPG

Georgia – part of the wider European family?

While Ukraine’s troubles have captured world attention, another of Russia’s neighbours which suffered two annexations only six years ago – Georgia – has almost escaped notice. Every UK visitor to Georgia, however, is reminded of that country’s long-standing application to join not only the EU but NATO. Georgia has lost 29 soldiers in Afghanistan where it has made the largest human contribution to ISAF of any non-NATO country.