Region: Americas

Round Table Discussion with Minister Swire.jpg

Exchange with Honduras highlights reform efforts and security challenges

The British Group hosted a visit from a Honduran parliamentary delegation, led by the President of the National Congress of Honduras, Mr Mauricio Oliva Herrera. UK counterparts were interested to hear the success of efforts in Honduras to address levels of violence and crime and provide more stable governance. The delegation called for increased UK trade and investment to enhance economic growth and new opportunities for youth. A visit to Northern Ireland provided an opportunity for Honduran MPs to reflect on Northern Ireland’s experiences and similar challenges they face in addressing conflict issues and advancing police reform.

Meeting with Congress Representative in Honduras

UK Delegation gains new insights into Guatemala & Honduras

A little bit of BGIPU history was made when a Parliamentary delegation from our Parliament visited Guatemala and Honduras in the second week of November. We had not sent a delegation to Guatemala since 2008 and Honduras had never had a visit from the BGIPU. The visit highlighted the key difficulties Guatemala and Honduras are facing in the light of the current security situation and social inequalities, in addition to seeing potential opportunities for British investment and economic engagement.

Prison in Honduras

Why Human Rights in Guatemala and Honduras Matter

It’s difficult to comprehend the size of the human rights issues that face people in Guatemala and Honduras, as well as related countries. It’s often difficult to see how state funded and run human rights groups can effectively put pressure on national governments and one is left with the view that strengthened civil society and effective democracy will be much more effective.

Lord Griffith and UK Ambassador meet President Martelly

BGIPU and APPG Chair visit Haiti

A joint BGIPU Haiti APPG delegation led by APPG Chair, Lord Griffiths, visited Haiti from 26 to 30 May 2014. The delegation met President Martelly, the President of the Senate and President of Chamber of Deputies at a time when tensions between these branches of government posed obstacle to consolidating democracy in the country. The delegation also met with Haitian civil society groups and representatives of the UK, Canada, EU, US and the UN peacekeeping operation, MINUSTAH to better determine potential areas where the UK Parliament might be able to assist Haitian counterparts in response to their visit to London in late 2013.

Uruguay Delegation with Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle MP

Uruguay Parliament keen for deeper relations with the UK

The BGIPU hosted a inter-parliamentary visit from the General Assembly of Uruguay from 24-27 March 2014 led by Mrs Maria Elena Laurnaga of the Chamber of Deputies. The delegation underscored that the Uruguay Parliament strongly supported efforts to deepen relations with the United Kingdom based on the long-standing and mutually beneficial ties existing between both countries and our shared values and common interests.

BGIPU Chairman Robert Walter MP greets the President of the National Assembly of Haiti

Parliamentary delegation from Haiti highlights challenges to democracy

A delegation from Haiti undertook an inter-parliamentary visit to the UK Parliament from 18-20 November 2013 led by the President of the National Assembly, Hon Senator Simon Dieuseul Desras.  The visit provided an important opportunity to better inform UK parliamentarians of the deep-seated governance, social and economic challenges facing Haiti and to explore areas the UK might assist the country in its efforts to consolidate its security, prosperity and democratic governance.

Meeting the Head of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice and Human

BGIPU visit to Argentina – a shared perspective on human rights

Human rights was one of the issues the delegation decided to look at during the IPU visit to Argentina. We were interested in the current human rights situation there as well as stressing how successfully our two governments were working together on issues such as the banning of cluster munitions and support for the International Criminal Court.  Not least due its own recent past experiences, human rights issues are matters for very active debate in Argentine society and there are many human rights issues, such as women’s rights and the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, where there is scope for more co-operation between our governments and parliaments.

Resons to invest in Mendoza - presentation by provincial authority

Strengthening British-Argentine parliamentary ties

At the invitation of our Argentine counterparts following bilateral exchanges in the margins of IPU Assembly meetings, the visit aimed to provide an opportunity for expanding knowledge and enhancing links between parliamentarians on both sides, to better appreciate the bilateral relationship in all its aspects.  While well-known differences over the Falkland Islands were raised, we found the many common interests linking both countries, including extensive economic, social and historic links provided a broad basis on which we could share common perspectives and advance cooperation in many areas.

John Mann MP, Lord Fowler, Baroness Meacher, H.E. Rodríguez Múnera

Current trends in Global Drug Policy Reform & the Organization of American States

To mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on the 26th of June, and ahead of the international parliamentary seminar on Drug Policy Reform it will host inOctober, the British Group of the IPU, offered an evening lecture in which the Ambassador of Colombia presented the recent Organization of American States report on the Drug Problem in the Americas to Parliamentarians and Baroness Meacher and John Mann MP, UK Parliamentary envoys to the 43rd General Assembly of the OAS, discussed the role parliamentarians can play in addressing illicit drugs and related transnational crime issues.