Region: Americas

Deputy Speaker Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP welcoming delegation to Parliament

BGIPU hosts historic visit from Cuba

In the run-up to the much anticipated elections in Cuba in early 2018, BGIPU hosted a historic visit by a Cuban parliamentary delegation from 27th November to 1st December. Given many members of the delegation had academic and/or medical backgrounds, the focus of the programme that stretched over three days in Westminster and two days in Reading/Oxford was on education and health.

The UK was represented at the 4th IPU Conference of Yopung Parliamentarains by Daniella Rowley MP and Ranil Jayawardena MP.JPG

Young MPs call for greater youth participation

Young MPs from 51 countries have defined a youth-centred action plan that promotes inclusive democratic and socioeconomic policies for all.  More than 120 young men and women MPs attended the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Fourth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Ottawa, Canada on 17-18 November adopting a united approach to end exclusion and marginalization of young people.  The UK was represented by Danielle Rowley MP and Ranil Jayawardena MP. 

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UK delegation to Peru builds crucial links with counterparts

A UK inter-parliamentary delegation visited Peru from 17 to 22 September 2017 with the key objectives of building a positive relationship with the country as a key Pacific Alliance state.  The visit gave Members of the UK Parliament the opportunity to strengthen connections between our two parliaments and included very positive meetings with the Speaker of the Congress, the parliamentary friendship group and a number of congressional committees and senior Government representatives.  The delegation also travelled outside the capital to Cusco.

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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.