Region: Africa

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APPG on Somaliland delegation to Hargeisa

From 3-6 April 2018, a UK Parliamentary delegation visited Somaliland with support from BGIPU.  It concluded that over the past 27 years since declaring independence, Somalilanders have built a peaceful, stable and democratic independent state, including a multi-party political system with three presidential elections and a parliamentary election, a constitution, legislature and judiciary. Failing to recognise Somaliland is to deny it financial and economic opportunities as well as ignoring wider strategic interests for the UK in the region.

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Warm welcome for UK delegation to Madagascar

During our week-long visit to Madagascar in November, UK members found a common theme being the great warmth shown towards the British. Madagascar is celebrating 200 years since the friendship treaty with the UK and there is a clear wish from the President down to pursue membership of the Commonwealth.  Indeed, the visit by the President to the UK earlier in the Autumn to open a new embassy further underlined the importance they placed on closer links with the UK which was also underscored by the way we were received during our timely visit.

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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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MPs respond to looming famine in Africa and Yemen

The global parliamentary community has called for urgent international action to save millions of people from famine and drought in parts of Africa and Yemen.  In an emergency item adopted 4 April at the 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Organization’s Members committed to pressuring their governments to fund humanitarian relief operations to avert this crisis.

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IPU & AWEPA Parliamentary Forum at HLM2

BGIPU was represented at the 2nd High level Meeting of the GPEDC in Nairobi, including the IPU/AWEPA hosted Parliamentary Forum, by Lord Chidgey, of Hamble-le-Rice. In recent years, international discussions on aid and development have shifted their focus away from the delivery of aid to the effectiveness of development cooperation as a whole, known as the development effectiveness agenda with parliamentarians playing key roles in such deliberations.

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Parliamentary Meeting at UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh

A meeting jointly organised by the IPU and the Moroccan Parliament, bringing together parliamentarians from all over the world, was held on 13th November 2016 in Marrakech, one week into the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22).  The aim was to involve parliamentarians in promoting awareness of the issues being discussed at COP22, so that they could better hold their Governments to account for delivering on commitments made at COP21 in Paris in December 2015.

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Opportunities and challenges for Cabo Verde

The UK parliamentary delegation to Cabo Verde was given the opportunity to understand the political, economic (and some of the) sustainability opportunities and challenges facing the country.  It was clear that there was a desire to strengthen formal links with UK but the UK should be prepared to offer much more in terms of technical assistance and capacity support, not just an ever increasing number of tourists which creates good opportunities for growth, but also some risks.

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Joint visit by BGIPU to Portugal and Cabo Verde

From 6-12 November 2016 BGIPU-Chair Nigel Evans MP led a delegation to both Portugal and Cabo Verde. While the 2 days spent in Lisbon focussed mostly on the future bilateral relationship between the UK and Portugal in the context of Brexit, the second part of the visit in Cabo Verde gave the delegation an opportunity to learn more about a small country off the West African coast that is mostly known as a tourist destination, but deserves more credit for its political stability and democratic credentials in an otherwise troubled region.

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IPU 134: Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth

The IPU’s 134th Assembly held 19-23 March 2016 in Zambia, Lusaka had as its main theme “Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth”.  More than 670 MPs from 131 countries attended this Assembly which saw the re-entry of Comoros, Egypt and Guyana lifting the IPU to 170 members in total.  The IPU Assembly, deeply shocked by terror attacks in Brussels on 22 March, adopted resolutions calling for multi-facted responses to counter the global threat of terrorism and highlighted the threats posed to cultural heritage by conflict and terrorism.

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Young MPs Conference commits to enhancing oversight to achieve SDGs

More than 130 young MPs from across the world committed to enhancing transparency and oversight of public finances as a cornerstone of their fight against corruption at the conclusion of the 3rd IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Lusaka.  MPs set their sights on increased public scrutiny of state spending in a series of measures they would take to help achieve the SDGs which commit nations to ambitious targets on reducing inequalities, eradicating poverty, and promoting sustainable economic growth and climate action by 2030.