Region: Asia-Pacific

Delegation Leader and APPG for Vietnam Chair, Wayne David MP, meets the Vice-President of the National Assembly in Hanoi.JPG

Deepening UK-Vietnam inter-parliamentary relations

Our visit to Vietnam comprised a cross-party group of four MPs and two Peers which travelled the length of the country from Hanoi in the north, to Danang onwards to Ho Chi Minh City in the south.  As Vietnam’s economy continues to grow and creates increased prosperity, it will be incumbent upon the country’s many international partners like the UK to do their utmost to help Vietnam along a path of social and political change.  This visit has hopefully ensured the friendship between our Parliaments has been truly deepened to assist that process.

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Some reflections on BGIPU visit to Vietnam

Like many of my generation my knowledge of Vietnam is shaped by the harrowing images of the war in the 1970s. I wanted to know how Vietnam has moved on since that dreadful time and the extent to which it has managed to recreate and rebuild itself. I was also really curious to know about whether the communist system was managing to keep relevant and how, if at all, it seeks to promote its legitimacy and genuinely modernise the infrastructure and economy of the country.  I reflect upon what I found during this recent BGIPU visit.

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UK Parliament welcomes Anwar Ibrahim after pardon

At an event arranged by the Chair of the APPG for Human Rights, Rt Hon Ann Clwyd MP, and attended by members of the APPG for Malaysia led by its Chair, Sir William Cash MP, the UK Parliament warmly welcomed the recent full pardon of Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.  In his comments to MPs and Peers, Mr Anwar recognised the important role parliamentarians had played in supporting his struggle for justice, particularly through the work of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians.  

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APPG for Kazakhstan visits Astana

Three members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kazakhstan visited the country’s twenty-year-old capital city from Tuesday 29 May until Saturday 2 June. The delegation comprised Stephen Hepburn (MP for Jarrow, Labour), Lord Rogan (Cross Bencher) and the Chairman of the APPG for Kazakhstan, Bob Stewart (MP for Beckenham; Conservative).  The principal aim of the visit was to learn about Kazakhstan and to meet various sections of society there – especially parliamentarians.

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Nepal determined to rebuild a positive path for the future

In a delegation visit to Nepal 6-12 May 2018 led by BGIPU Nigel Evans MP, UK MPs and Peers were impressed by the detemination of the people of Nepal after such hardship and misfortune to take positive and outward looking steps for its future. With its new political system in place and earthquake reconstruction efforts advancing, the delegation was given every expectation Nepal would be able to continue on a path to improving economic development and greater prosperity for all its people.

Members of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians. © IPU.JPG

IPU condemns threats to parliamentary democracy

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) expressed serious concerns about the scale and type of alleged human rights violations of parliamentarians in Cambodia, the Maldives, Turkey and Venezuela with the effect of jeopardizing parliamentary democracy in these countries.  Meeting at the IPU 138th Assembly, the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians took positions on cases of violations against 237 MPs in 8 countries.

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UK MP joins ROK Speaker in PyeongChang on behalf of Korea APPG

On behalf of the Korea APPG, John Grogan MP, joined parliamentarians from other countries as part of the official party accompanying the Speaker of the ROK National Assembly to the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea.  The opening ceremony drew on many elements of traditional and modern Korean culture which was a powerful statement of Korean identity, consistent with efforts to use the event to take forward peace between the two countries.

The UK delegation led by Lord Howard at Mongolia's parliament, the Grand Hural.JPG

Mongolia visit underscores strong ties & cooperation with UK

From 3-11 November, Lord Howard led a six-member delegation to Mongolia in a reciprocal visit following the Mongolian delegation to Westminster in February 2016.  Both sides shared their enthusiasm at seeing new parliamentarians involved in developing the ties between Mongolia and the UK.  Mongolia is one of just six genuine democracies in Asia, a truly remarkable achievement given the fact that until 1990 it was, effectively, ruled for hundreds of years under the strong influence of either China or the Soviet Union.

Members of the UK delegation meet the Foreign Minister of Mongolia.JPG

Mongolia and the modern world

Mongolia is a unique country. It has a population the size of Wales and a land mass nearly three times that of France, and in terms of its history, geography, culture, natural resources and political position, there is no other country quite like Mongolia. This means that Mongolia faces distinctive challenges, which are in many ways peculiar to the country.