Theme: Peace & Security

Discussing most pressing issues with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Timely UK Parliament visit to Ukraine

A small delegation from the BGIPU visited Kyiv for 3 days in mid-February to establish links with new members of the Ukrainian Parliament, to help establish a British Friendship Group and to discuss how our two Parliaments might work more closely together to strengthen Parliamentary democracy and the accountability of Government in Ukraine. Inevitably the visit and meetings were dominated by the more urgent issue of the war in Eastern Ukraine and the fragile ceasefire that had been agreed in Minsk. 


Morocco Speaker visit underscores close relations with UK

BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from Morocco from 26 to 30 January 2015. This high level delegation was led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Rachid Talbi Alami MP. The delegation highlighted the strength of the bilateral relationship with the UK and the key role that Morocco plays in the Maghreb region. They were concerned that the situation in Western Sahara posed difficulties related to illicit arms and drugs trafficking and UK counterparts expressed support for peaceful resolution of this issue.

Roger Godsiff MP as Chair of the Thailand APPG led a delegation of UK parliamentarians including, Graham Brady MP and David Amess comprising a delegation on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Thailand visited Bangkok at the invitation of the Thai Government from 10-15 November 2014. 

APPG for Thailand delegation visit

Roger Godsiff MP led a delegation of UK parliamentarians including, Graham Brady MP and David Amess on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Thailand which visited Bangkok at the invitation of the Thai Government from 10-15 November 2014. This was the APPG’s first trip to Thailand since its inception and took place against the backdrop of the military coup in Thailand in May 2014 and the political and economic uncertainty resulting from it.


Panel discussion on UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security

On 15 October, BGIPU co-hosted with civil society organizations Womankind and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), a lunchtime panel discussion on “Implementing the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security: How parliamentarians can engage.” Drawing on the recently launched UK National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security, participants highlighted the importance of recognising the role women can play in addressing conflict and the differing impacts of violent conflict on women and girls, including the need to address sexual violence in conflict.

Delegation at Oslo Uni.JPG

Relations with the EU: The Norway example

No conversation about the UK and its relationship with the European Union is complete without someone talking about Norway at some stage or another. We don’t want to be like Norway, say some whilst others suggest that Norway is an example of what the future for a United Kingdom outside the EU could look like. Norway is an economically successful country and not part of the EU. But not all is quite as straightforward as it seems as we found out on our visit to Oslo in September this year.

BGIPU Delegation in Discussions with the Georgian Foreign Minster Dr Maia Panjikidze .JPG

Georgia – part of the wider European family?

While Ukraine’s troubles have captured world attention, another of Russia’s neighbours which suffered two annexations only six years ago – Georgia – has almost escaped notice. Every UK visitor to Georgia, however, is reminded of that country’s long-standing application to join not only the EU but NATO. Georgia has lost 29 soldiers in Afghanistan where it has made the largest human contribution to ISAF of any non-NATO country.

Meeting with Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle

Armenian delegation seeks deeper engagement with UK

BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from the National Assembly of Armenia to Westminster from 7-11 July 2014. The visit was a key opportunity to engage with parliamentary counterparts from Armenia on its perspectives on key regional peace and security issues and explore ways to further advance bilateral relations. The programme, including visits to Oxford and Reading, also provided the delegation with opportunities to learn more about the scrutiny and oversight functions of UK Parliamentary Committees, explore education issues and learn about the constituency role of MPs.

IPU Headquarters in Geneva

125th Anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) celebrated 125 years of global parliamentary action on resolving conflicts and building democracy on 30th June in Geneva on the anniversary of its creation in 1889.  The event discussed some of the many challenges democracy faces today. The anniversary date of 30th June also marked the end of Anders B. Johnsson’s tenure as IPU Secretary General after 16 years during which the Organization has worked in all regions to promote and build democracy.

Women Parliamentarians at CSW58

CSW 58 outcomes critical to post-2015 development agenda

“We cannot achieve a world of dignity for all until we end gender inequality in all its forms” – stated the UN Secretary General at the Opening of CSW 58, which I was privileged to be sent to by the BGIPU this March. This year CSW was of particular significance as the theme was “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”.   Thus there was particular focus on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment, both in terms of taking stock of the MDGs effectiveness and looking ahead to the post 2015 agenda.