Activities: Policy Seminars & Events

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International Parliamentary Seminar on Media Freedom

Globally, threats to journalists are the highest they have been in ten years. Following a landmark FCO conference over summer, the UK Parliament hosted an International Parliamentary Seminar on Media Freedom under the auspices of the BGIPU from 9-11 September 2019. The Chair of the British Group of the IPU, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, hosted members of parliament from across the world along with relevant experts to explore parliamentary perspectives on Defending Media Freedom.

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UK Parliament marks 130th Anniversary of the IPU

With the generous support of the Speaker of the House of Commons, BGIPU invited members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords to attend a diplomatic reception in Speaker’s House on 25 June 2019 to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the IPU.  BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, joined the Speaker and the Leader of the Opposition, in paying tribute to the legacy of the IPU’s UK co-founder, Sir William Randall Cremer MP saying the IPU’s work remained as relevant today as when it was first founded on 30 June 1889. 

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International Parliamentary Seminar on the Western Balkans

Following the UK Government’s hosting of the Western Balkans Summit, BGIPU convened an International Parliamentary Seminar on the Western Balkans from 10-12 September 2018 at UK Parliament.  By bringing together parliamentarians from across the Western Balkans Region to discuss the outcomes of the Western Balkans Summit, BGIPU sought to ensure that regional issues and priorities are not just being discussed at the Executive level but that the Berlin Process is also better understood and scrutinised at the Parliamentary-level.  

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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.  

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Lords Chamber Event debates international relations

The 2017 House of Lords Chamber Event took place on 1 December 2017. The event saw young people from around the UK as well as members of civic organisations, including the English-Speaking Union, coming together for an intergenerational debate on this topic : What are the challenges for international relations in the 21st Century?  The debate concluded with strong support for the UK continuing to engage with its international partners through regular dialogue and cooperation to achieve a better world for all. 

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BGIPU Members discuss priorities with UK Ambassadors

Taking advantage of the presence in London of British Ambassadors for the annual FCO Leadership Week, BGIPU arranged roundtable meetings on 12 July 2017 for MPs and Peers to discuss recent developments in key African and Latin American countries on our forward programme. This was a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to engage directly with the UK’s senior diplomatic representatives to receive updates on national priorities, hear recent developments in bilateral engagement and learn more about key regional trends.

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Tribute to IPU Founder Sir William Randal Cremer MP

BGIPU staff visited Hampstead Cemetery on 29 September to pay tribute to the life and work of the UK parliamentarian who founded the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Sir William Randal Cremer MP. His initiative with French counterpart, Frederic Passy, in 1889 created a global organisation now numbering 170 member parliaments spanning the globe.  The IPU facilitates inter-parliament dialogue to enhance global peace, promote democracy and end the scourge of war.

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Annual BGIPU Quiz in support of AMAR Foundation

BGIPU hosted a lively and competitive charity pub quiz on 6 September pitting teams of MPs, Peers and parliamentary staff against each other in a spirit of fun and conviviality. BGIPU’s guest Quizmaster this year was Andrew Gwynee MP, Member for Denton and Reddish.  The beneficiary of the proceeds of the quiz was the AMAR Foundation which is an award-winning charity that works in the Middle East, building and improving the lives and livelihoods through providing professional health and education on a sustained and lasting basis.

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BGIPU supports launch of "The Good Parliament" report

With the support of BGIPU, The Good Parliament report was launched in Parliament on 20 July 2016 by Professor Sarah Childs.  The report shows Parliament’s working practices still reflect the traditions and preferences of those who historically populated it and the report seeks to provide a blueprint for a more inclusive and representative UK Parliament.  In welcoming the report, the Speaker of the House of Commons announced the establishment of a “Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion” to give consideration to its findings.

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Roundtable meeting on challenges facing the Balkans region

On the 5 July 2016, BGIPU hosted a roundtable on the Balkans, bringing together Members from both Houses and Ambassadors from the region. Chaired by BGIPU Vice-Chair and Foreign Affairs Committee Member Mike Gapes MP, participants exchanged views on the challenges facing Balkan countries and the threat posed by extremism and terrorist groups such as Daesh.  Members appreciated the opportunity to hear from representatives about the current political situation and challenges in their respective countries.