Region: Americas

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Key perspectives on social issues in Peru from UK visit

During its recent visit to Peru the UK delegation looked at the impact of a range of social issues in Peru.  This included measures and social models to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in Peru.  The delegation also met with the Minister for Women’s Affairs to discuss womens rights and domestic abuse and heard about efforts to achieve justice for past abuse of indigenous peoples through forced sterilsation in the 1990s.  There was also discussion of the Ombudsman network designed to tackle human rights issues in the country.  

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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.

Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker the Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP hosting the delegation

Argentina visit shows improved bilateral relations

During the week of 30 January BGIPU hosted a high profile delegation from Argentina led by the Speaker of the Senate Senator Federico Pinedo who was accompanied by a cross party delegation composed of Senator Carmen Lucila Crexell, Senator Rodolfo Julio Urtubey, Ms Margarita Stolbizer MP, Mr Eduardo Amadeo MP, and Mr Alejandro Grandinetti MP. The visit focussed on the bilateral relationship, particularly with regards to trade, but also how cooperation in other areas, such as science and education, can be improved.

FCO Minister Sir Alan Duncan hosting Speaker Amarilla and Mr Gandini MP

Visit by Uruguayan Speaker highlights close friendship

On 16th and 17th January, BGIPU hosted the Speaker of the Uruguayan Lower House of Representatives, Dr Gerardo Amarilla, for a brief visit to Westminster. Speaker Amarilla was accompanied by Mr Jorge Gandini MP, who will take over the position as Speaker in 2018, as well as Mr Oscar Piquinela, Secretary of the IPU Group and Head of International Relations. The visit followed an outward BGIPU visit to Uruguay in September 2016, where Speaker Amarilla hosted the group in the Uruguayan General Assembly. 

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Dominican Republic keen to strengthen friendship with UK

From 6-11 November 2016, Gareth Johnson MP led a UK inter-parliamentary delegation to the Dominican Republic.  During the visit, the UK MPs and Peers were greatly impressed by the huge economic potential and charm of the country, albeit also hearing about challenges in managing relations with neighbouring Haiti, including in managing complex border issues.  In meetings with parliamentary counterparts, students and officials the delegation also discussed the future of bilateral trade post-Brexit.

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APPG seeks to expand links with Brazil

Three Parliamentarians, Laurence Robertson MP (Conservative), Graham Brady MP (Conservative) and Lord (Dave) Watts (Labour) travelled to Brazil from 3-9 November 2016 on behalf of the Brazil APPG with funding support from the BGIPU.  It is clear that Brazil is going through an uncertain time following President, Dilma Rousseff, recently being impeached.  Against this background, the APPG met with a wide range of parliamentary and government counterparts to encourage better understanding and stronger inter-parliamentary links. 

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Uruguay making drug policy reform efforts

Uruguay’s policy of taking national control of all production and sale of cannabis is still in a very early phase of implementation, and it remains highly controversial politically.  Uruguay interlocutors confirmed to the UK Delegation which visited the country in September 2016 that the policy was an experiment and it would be monitored carefully.  It would be changed if necessary and other countries might improve upon it but Uruguay was keen to be seen as a leader in drug policy reform efforts. 

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Productive Uruguay visit beefs up bilateral relations

A five-member delegation of UK Parliamentarains visited Uruguay from 18-23 September led jointly by BGIPU Chair, Nigel Evans MP, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP.  The visit provided opportunities to meet Uruguay counterparts and explore key trade and economics aspects of this long-standing bilateral relationship.  This was very timely in light of the UK’s recent decision to leave the EU and Uruguay’s desire to capitalise on this to see trade relations between both countries flourish for the future.      

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World e-Parliament Conference 2016 concludes in Chile

The World e-Parliament Conference, held in the Chamber of Deputies in Valparaiso, Chile, featured the launch of the World e-Parliament Report 2016 and discussion of its key findings. During the conference, policy and technical tracks provided a forum for participants to exchange experiences on how ICT helps to improve representation, law-making and oversight, and to increase parliament’s openness, accessibility, accountability and effectiveness.  The event drew just over 200 participants from more than 50 countries.

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British Argentine APPG welcomes Senate delegation

With support from BGIPU, the British Argentine All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) hosted on 7 June at the Palace of Westminster a delegation from the Senate of Argentina led by the Provisional President of the Senate, Senator Frederico Pinedo and including Senator Lucila Crexell and Senator Carlos Espinola. The Chair of the British Argentine APPG, Mark Menzies MP, warmly welcomed the Senate delegation which had wide-ranging talks on bilateral and other issues with counterparts from both Houses of the UK Parliament.