Region: Asia-Pacific

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Close engagement with counterparts from Philippines Senate

Following the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union Delegation to Manila in 2016, the BGIPU hosted a reciprocal high level visit from the Philippines from 20 to 25 October 2017 led by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. The visit served to underscore the many common perspectives and mutually beneficial objectives of both parliaments, including strong mutual interest on both sides to expand bilateral relations, particularly regarding people to people contacts and trade and economic links in the context of the UK leaving the EU.

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IPU condemns military lockdown of Maldives Parliament

The IPU condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the military’s interference in the business of the Maldives parliament. The IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong and the IPU President Saber Chowdhury have called for calm and for the Parliament to be allowed to carry out its functions without intimidation. There are also increasing concerns at alleged violations of the rights of opposition MPs. The IPU Secretary General confirmed today that he will bring this matter before the IPU governing bodies at its Assembly in October.

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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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World’s MPs to tackle rising economic, political and social inequalities

Taking decisive actions to end economic, political and social inequality will be the focus of deliberations for the more than 650 MPs from 132 countries meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1-5 April 2017.  Parliamentarians, including 53 Speakers of Parliament, will make concrete proposals on a range of issues, from ending rising inequality to promoting women’s access to financing, during the 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (#IPU136) hosted by the Bangladesh Parliament.

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World MPs in drive to end extreme inequalities

Expressing grave concern with the extreme political, social and economic inequalities prevalent in the world, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has called for immediate action to reverse this trend and leave no one behind. In a declaration issued at the close of the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka, Bangladesh, IPU Members highlighted that “extreme inequalities” come at a high cost to society, stalling economic growth, undermining the democratic process and social cohesion and increasing the risk of violence and insecurity.

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Tajikistan benefits from UK engagement and assistance

Co-chair of the APPG Nigel Mills MP and John Mann MP visited Tajikistan between 23 and 29 October 2016. The aim of the visit was to advance UK-Tajik relations meeting parliamentarians and government officials, and to review the effectiveness of DFID’s strategy in the country.  Tajikistan is still transitioning from its Soviet past, while also facing the challenges of Islamic extremism and instability in neighbouring Afghanistan but UK engagement and assistance is valued and needed.

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Timely visit to Philippines highlights bilateral links

From 17-24 September 2016, a cross-party UK Parliamentary delegation visited the Philippines. This was a timely opportunity to enegage with the new government and finding out more about the priorities and plans of the new administration under President Duterte. The main areas of interest included the relationship between the Philippines and the UK following Brexit, trade opportunities, human rights and the proliferation of drugs in the Philippines.

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BGIPU hosts signing ceremony for 2017 IPU Assembly in Dhaka

The formal agreement between the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the National Parliament of Bangladesh on convening the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka was signed by The Hon Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, the Bangladesh Speaker, and the IPU Secretary General, Mr Martin Chungong, in the River Room of the UK House of Lords on 28 April 2016 in the presence of the BGIPU Chair and Officers.  This signing ceremony formalised the decision taken in Lusaka in March 2016 to hold the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka from 1 to 5 April 2017.  

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Nepal Speaker visit boosts bilateral dialogue

A delegation from Nepal led by the recently elected speaker of their Legislature Parliament, Rt. Hon. Onsari Gharti Magar, visited 18 to 22 April with a delegation comprising five MPs and two senior officials. In a wide-ranging programme the delegation met many UK counterparts boosting the bilateral relationship, including discussing the UK’s contribution to earthquake recovery, Prince Harry’s recent visit and constitutional reform in Nepal. The Speaker also met both her counterparts prior to visiting Northern Ireland to look at peace and reconcilliation.

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Mongolia visit highlights increasing engagement with UK

BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from the State Great Hural of Mongolia, led by former Prime Minister, HE Mr Amarjargal Rinchinnyam from 22 to 26 February 2016. The visit served to highlight increasing engagement between the UK and Mongolia across a wide scope of activity including growing trade and investment links.  The visitors participated in a series of bilateral events and meetings with counterparts in London, learning more about the work and perspectives of UK counterparts, before travelling to Cardiff for calls in the Welsh Assembly.