Activities: Policy Seminars & Events

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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.

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BGIPU sponsors EU Referendum Observation Mission

With the support of BGIPU’s Executive Committee, comprising members on all sides of the debate, BGIPU hosted a EU referendum observation mission from 22-24 June 2016. With outstanding assistance from staff of the Electoral Commission and borough polling officials, BGIPU welcomed parliamentarians and officials from IPU member parliaments in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland for a mission which responded to the strong interest of counterpart MPs to gain insights into the UK’s historic EU referendum on 23 June.

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BGIPU/CPA UK Diplomatic Reception for State Opening

In partnership with CPA UK, BGIPU hosted its annual diplomatic reception on the occaision of the State Opening of Parliament on 18 May 2016. Speaking alongside his CPA UK counterpart, Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, the BGIPU Chair, Nigel Evans MP, took the opportunity to express gratitude for the support of the diplomatic corps for the work of UK inter-parliamentary bodies as well as thanking a representative of the FCO, PPS Pauline Latham MP, for the support provided by UK Ambassadors and diplomats abroad and FCO staff at home.

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Challenges to European security: Parliamentary perspectives and responses

BGIPU and Wilton Park hosted an international seminar on challenges to European security from 15-17 February 2016, bringing together some 50 UK and international parliamentarians, government officials, NGO representatives, and academic experts. Parliamentarians from a wide range of European countries, engaged both with each other and experts with discussion focussed on key challenges facing European security; increasing migration, a Russia seeking to degrade European cohesion, and the continued need for robust parliamentary democracy.

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Conference on a gender sensitive Parliament for the UK

BGIPU, in collaboration with Prof Sarah Childs (on secondment to the UK House of Commons from the University of Bristol), convened a one-day conference on 19 November to explore key perspectives on making the UK House of Commons a more gender sensitive Parliament.  The conference was opened by the Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and brought together international parliamentarians, academics and UK members and parliamentary staff to debate how a more gender sensitive House of Commons might be best achieved.

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IPU welcomes UN adoption of the Global Goals

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has welcomed the adoption of a new sustainable development agenda for the world as a turning point in efforts to shape our future and commits to doing its utmost to help achieve success.  The IPU recognises the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formally adopted at a UN Summit at its Headquarters in New York (25-27 September), as ground-breaking commitments to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty within 15 years, reduce inequalities and secure both prosperity and the planet for future generations.

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BGIPU/FCO Briefing on Middle East and North Africa

In conjunction with the FCO Leadership Week, BGIPU and the FCO held a joint briefing on the situation in North Africa and the Middle East on the 6th July. Chaired by FCO Minister Tobias Ellwood, who highlighted the UK’s strong involvement in region, Members had the opportunity to hear from a number of key Ambassadors to the region about the situation in their respective countries.

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Roundtable on Eastern European Security

On 17 June 2015 BGIPU hosted a roundtable on Eastern European Security that brought together Members from both Houses, Ambassadors and Embassy representatives from relevant countries and academic experts. Chaired by Steve Pound MP, the event gave Members who had recently participated in BGIPU visits to the region (Armenia, Georgia, Poland and Ukraine) the opportunity to report back and highlight some of the outcomes and hear from Ambassadors about the current situation and priorities in their country.

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BGIPU Information Stand for New and Returning Members

The BGIPU Secretariat had an information stand in the Portcullis House Atrium on 20 May to outlline its work in promoting the UK Parliament’s role in inter-parliamentary affairs, particularly through the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). This outreach activity provided an opportunity to promote the important role parliamentarians can play in international relations and the contribution made by IPU in promoting parliamentary perspectives on key global issues, including at major international meetings.