Region: Europe

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World Investment Forum 2018 and Parliamentary Workshop

In October 2018, Lord McConnell attended the World Investment Forum in Geneva and an IPU workshop on the SDGs, on behalf of BGIPU. The theme of the 2018 Forum was ‘Investing in Sustainable Development’, and the IPU event was titled ‘Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: How can Parliaments bridge the gap?’. His participation included the tripartite dialogue between Parliamentarians, policymakers and business leaders and he also met with international organisations and with the UK Mission to the UN in Geneva.

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#IPU139: Placing science at the heart of parliaments, policy-making and peace

Over 1300 MPs and parliamentary staff from around the world will meet in Geneva for the 139th IPU Assembly from 14-18 October. Under the umbrella theme of science, technology and innovation, the Assembly will cover multiple subjects including fake news, sexism and harassment in parliaments, human rights, disarmament, counter-terrorism, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and migration.

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IPU Committee on rights of MPs gives voice to MPs silenced at home

At the 139th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, the global parliamentary community expressed serious concerns about MP human rights violations worldwide including cases in Cambodia, Venezuela, Turkey, and Uganda. However, there was also good news from Malaysia and the Maldives.  At this sitting, the committee took position on human rights violations of 295 MPs in 13 countries.

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139th IPU Assembly demands action on climate change

With catastrophic climate change threatening to hit many parts of the world in just over a decade, 149 national parliaments have adopted an emergency resolution calling for decisive action. Concluding the 139th Assembly of the IPU, the emergency item resolution, called “Climate change – Let us not cross the line”, follows the report published last week by the UN IPCC.   The 139th IPU Assembly brought together over 1500 delegates including 56 Speakers of Parliament, 52 Deputy Speakers, and over 750 MPs.

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Sexual abuse & violence rife in Europe’s Parliaments

A new study by the IPU and PACE shows that acts of sexism, abuse and violence against women are widespread in parliaments across Europe. The findings reveal that 85 per cent of women MPs have suffered from psychological violence in parliament; women MPs under 40 are more likely to be harassed; female parliamentary staff endure more sexual violence than female MPs; and that the majority of parliaments don’t have mechanisms to enable women to speak out.

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BGIPU Vice-Chair speaks on IPU adoption of Declaration on UDHR

On 16 October 2018, during the 139th IPU Assembly in Geneva, there was a Special Session convened to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  This included the Launch of Handbook for Parliamentarians on Freedom of Expression for Parliaments and their members: Importance and scope of protection.  Prior to the Assembly adopting a Declaration to mark the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, there was a video address by BGIPU Vice-Chair Ann Clwyd MP.

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International Parliamentary Seminar on the Western Balkans

Following the UK Government’s hosting of the Western Balkans Summit, BGIPU convened an International Parliamentary Seminar on the Western Balkans from 10-12 September 2018 at UK Parliament.  By bringing together parliamentarians from across the Western Balkans Region to discuss the outcomes of the Western Balkans Summit, BGIPU sought to ensure that regional issues and priorities are not just being discussed at the Executive level but that the Berlin Process is also better understood and scrutinised at the Parliamentary-level.  

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APPG for Polar Regions visits Greenland

From 23 August to 31 August 2018, the APPG for the Polar Regions visited Greenland to begin a dialogue with “Inatsisartut” (the Greenlandic Parliament) and “Naalakkersuisut” (the Government of Greenland), and learn more about the opportunities and challenges facing Greenland at a time of rapid environmental, geopolitical and economic change.

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APPG Poland underscore commitment to a vital relationship for UK

Against the backdrop of recent legal reforms in Poland, Brexit, Europe’s migrant crisis and the re-emergence of Russia as a threat to NATO, the APPG visit this July was timely, very interesting and immensely valuable.  The APPG was able to ensure our Polish counterparts knew of the United Kingdoms’ gratitude for their friendly voice during the Brexit process as well as assure them of our commitment to them, their diaspora and our longstanding friendship.

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Austrian MPs get timely update on UK Brexit plans

On 2-3 July BGIPU hosted a small cross party delegation from Austria for a timely visit to see a snapshot of the state of the UK’s Brexit process moving forward and hear a wide variety of perspectives on the likely end state for a post-Brexit Britain. It was equally useful for UK members to hear about the key issues and challenges being experienced by Austria including the socio-economic impacts and political changes being created by migration pressures on Europe.