BGIPU Chair and Officers visit Geneva to meet with IPU SG and Secretariat staff
On 24 and 25 January, recently elected BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP accompanied by Vice-Chair Alex Sobel MP , Vice-Chair Rt Hon Vicky Ford MP and Treasurer Dan Carden MP visited Switzerland to meet the Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General, Martin Chungong and senior staff of the IPU Secretariat at the House of Parliaments in Geneva.
Over the course of a two-day programme, the Officers also met the new President of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, Samuel Cogolati of Belgium, and his committee members in the margins of their ongoing deliberations and discussed key UK priorities in the IPU, particularly in addressing violence against women in politics and the safety and human rights of members of parliament worldwide.
They also raised these priorities in subsequent discussions with the Secretary General and IPU staff, in addition to addressing key challenges on the IPU’s agenda including parliamentary action to hold government’s to account in addressing climate change and the important role parliaments’ can play in addressing global peace and security threats, including in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine. Senior IPU staff also gave detailed presentations of the IPU’s budget and structure and how these were geared to meet its current priorities by delivering key programmes in line with its 2022-27 Strategic Plan and how BGIPU and UK parliamentarians might best contribute to these efforts.
While visiting Geneva, the BGIPU delegation also met with Antonio Cisneros from the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) to discuss global human rights priorities and the role of the Human Rights Council and held discussions with senior staff of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on key challenges regarding global migration and human trafficking.
The delegation was also welcomed to Geneva for exchanges with UK Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Simon Manley, Deputy PR and UK Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French and Deputy Head of Political and Human Rights, Laura Callaghan-Pace. BGIPU Officers were accompanied on this mission by BGIPU Director, Rick Nimmo, Deputy Director, Dominique Rees and Multilateral Programme Manager, Rhiannon Edwards.