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
Our visit to Vietnam comprised a cross-party group of four MPs and two Peers which travelled the length of the country from Hanoi in the north, to Danang onwards to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. As Vietnam’s economy continues to grow and creates increased prosperity, it will be incumbent upon the country's many international partners like the UK to do their utmost to help Vietnam along a path of social and political change. This visit has hopefully ensured the friendship between our Parliaments has been truly deepened to assist that process.
The visit provided us with a great opportunity to learn about political, economic and social aspects of Cuba and I was especially struck by two or three things. The first was the exceptional cultural richness in Cuban society. The second was how little change seemed to have occurred since the death of Fidel Castro. Lastly, I remember impressive examples of bio-tech, medical research and drug development with pharmaceuticals being an areas where Cuba where there should be scope for British investment or joint ventures.
From 16 to 21 September 2018, a UK parliamentary delegation visited Cuba with the aim of further strengthening bilateral relations, including new opportunities for trade and cooperation, and to see how recent national developments were changing the country and its people. In Havana and visiting rural areas, the delegation gained a good understanding of the effect of the long-standing US embargo on everyday people’s lives and how this unnecessarily limits progress in Cuba and is detrimental to the everyday lives of Cuban people.
On 15 September, the IPU celebrates the 21st anniversary of its Universal Declaration on Democracy and the 11th anniversary of the International Day of Democracy. The date is an opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to protect and promote democracy. Democracy Day is also a time to review the state of democracy around the world. This year we are focusing on the importance of parliamentary oversight - a core function of parliaments and a vital part of the checks and balances in any healthy democracy.
A landmark resolution calling for parliaments to take all legal and policy measures to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030 has been adopted by the world’s parliaments gathered in Serbia for the 141st IPU Assembly. The resolution urges parliaments to put in place effective UHC legislation to ensure that the right to public health and medical care is guaranteed for all in law and in practice, without discrimination.
Over 1700 parliamentarians and UN and civil society partners from around the world will meet in Belgrade, Serbia, from 13 to 17 October for the 141st IPU Assembly. With the theme of Strengthening international law, MPs will also discuss the latest developments to improve gender equality, empower young people, defend MPs’ human rights, and achieve universal health coverage.
Following a successful visit by Lithuanian parliamentarians to the UK parliament last year, a BGIPU delegation visited Lithuania from 23rd to 27th September. The delegation was led by BGIPU and Lithuania APPG Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP. The visit coincided with the centenary celebrations of the establishment of UK-Lithuanian diplomatic relations, and the visit marked the movement towards a new chapter in these strong bilateral ties.
Speaking on the International Day of Democracry in a call for inclusive parliaments, IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas Barron noted that in current times it is not democracy as a system of values, principles and governance that is being questioned. It is the approach to the practice of democracy and the institutions established, often centuries ago, which need to be reviewed and made more effective for the benefit of the people. It is clear that that democracy must be redesigned for the challenges of the 21st century.