Region: Europe

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Exchange serves to strengthen links with North Macedonia

A parliamentary delegation from North Macedonia visited the UK for a three day visit from 4 to 6 March. This visit cemented the already strong links between the Parliament of North Macedonia and the UK Parliament and was a very timely visit given that the Prespa Agreement had recently been agreed and the bilateral dispute between Greece and North Macedonia was now resolved. 

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Netherlands visit boosts relations in advance of Brexit

A Parliamentary delegation from the Netherlands led by the President of the Senate made a timely visit to the UK from 25 to 27 February to discuss bilateral relations against the background of the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union.  The programme ensured the delegation met with as many relevant Select Committees as possible and that they heard from many UK Parliamentarians across the full scope of views regarding Brexit.  Exchanges showed that bilateral relations remained very close and strong.

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MPs call for bolder action to fight climate change

Nearly 200 parliamentarians and climate experts have called for urgent and bold action to implement the Paris Agreement before it’s too late.  At a parliamentary meeting on 9 December in Krakow, Poland, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference known as COP24, they set out their vision of the measures needed to limit global warming.  The meeting was organized by the IPU and the Polish Sejm to discuss practical implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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AGM elects Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP as new BGIPU Chair

Chaired by the Speaker of the HoC, the BGIPU AGM took place on 27 November 2018 to adopt the 2018 Annual Report.  The AGM also saw the election of Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP as Chair for the BGIPU alongside a new Executive Committee for 2018/19.  The contribution of the outgoing Chair, Nigel Evans MP, was warmly acknowledged by all BGIPU members along with recognition of the work of the BGIPU Secretariat.   

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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.