Through its programme of activities, the BGIPU seeks to engage Parliamentarians in key global issues and works to expand awareness and understanding of foreign relations and the contribution to be made by the UK Parliament to consolidate parliamentary democracy worldwide.
Here you can read the reports of our activities, including our Outward Delegations, IPU conferences and events and inward visits to Westminster.
You can search for specific reports by using keywords, themes, categories or date using the fields on the right.
You can also view our work by geographical location here
A UK delegation led by Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP visited Budapest from 27 February to 2nd March to meet Hungarian counterparts. Much of the discussion focussed on Brexit and the likely future relations between Britain and Hungary, and the UK and the EU more generally. Hungary regards Britain as a strong ally in the EU. While sharing many of the UK's criticisms of the way that the Commission works, Hungary’s attitude to the EU is heavily influenced by the challenge they face from economic migration.
During a very productive bilateral visit, a delegation from the Sejm of Poland heard from UK counterparts of the strong commitment across the political spectrum to ensuring EU nationals would continue to be welcome to stay and contribute to the UK following Brexit. In return, the visiting delegation admitted that while Poland would be losing a key ally in the EU, the UK’s departure would not prevent both sides seeking to find new opportunities to expand and strengthen already strong bilateral relations for the future.
From 13 to 16 February the Rt. Hon Stephen Timms MP led a delegation to Berlin, accompanied by Mark Hendrick MP (Labour), Iain Stewart MP (Conservative) John Nicolson MP (SNP), Baroness Hooper, Lord Shinkwin (Conservative), and the Earl of Listowel (Crossbench). The aim of the visit was to discuss the future bilateral relationship in the context of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but also to get an insight into the German domestic political situation ahead of general elections in September 2017, and to discuss current global affairs.
Kosovo's leaders show real desire to reach the governance standards demanded if they are to achieve their aim of EU membership. This will likely be a long process, not least given the potential for tense relations with Serbia to prolong the journey but they were committed to make significant efforts in support of the goal. The UK can have an effective role in supporting and guiding them towards becoming a fully-functioning Western-style democracy and our strong support for Kosovo continues to be important and widely welcomed in the country.
The IPU brought together more than 140 parliamentarians from 50 parliaments to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the annual High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York this week. The main theme of the 2019 session, held under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council, was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
Parliaments have a key role to play in implementing the SDGs. They can drive sustainable development by translating the SDGs into laws, monitoring implementation of those laws, adopting national budgets, and ensuring that their governments are accountable for progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. New IPU data paints a mixed picture of the role of parliaments in implementing the SDGs indicating scope for parliaments to go much further in terms of oversight.
On 30 June, International Day of Parliamentarism, the IPU celebrated its 130th anniversary in a ‘Quintet’ consisting of the Presidents of the most recent and future IPU Assemblies, the Speakers of Russia, Qatar and Serbia who joined IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas-Barron and IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong at the IPU’s Geneva Headquarters. The Speakers and IPU leadership discussed the ongoing relevance of the founding values and principles of the IPU 130 years on, results achieved at the previous Assemblies, and actions ahead.
A delegation of UK parliamentarians from both Houses led by the BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, visited Paris on 26-27 June to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) with members of the French IPU Group. This visit recognised the significant role played by both parliaments in the founding of the IPU, created on 30 June 1889. The delegations issued a joint declaration on their continuing commitment to the principles and values of the IPU.