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
BGIPU hosted a parliamentary delegation from Romania from 24-28 November 2014 led by Mr Dumitru Oprea, Chairman of the Democratic Liberal Party in the Senate. The key focus of the visit was on bilateral relations, EU cooperation and migration issues, providing valuable opportunities to explore the contribution being made by the Romanian community in the UK against the backdrop of the current UK debate regarding free movement provisions within the EU.
This year’s Parliamentary Hearing at the UN, jointly convened by the IPU and the UN from 19-20 November, was entitled, "Ensuring a people-centred approach to the new SDGs: A shared responsibility". Key issues which drove the discussion included: how economic and social inequality, as well as discrimination, risked undermining people-centred development; the need to strengthen transparency and accountability to the people in both the public and private sectors; the responsibility of governments vis-à-vis the market; and how countries could deal more effectively with their human rights responsibilities and obligations.
It’s difficult to comprehend the size of the human rights issues that face people in Guatemala and Honduras, as well as related countries. It’s often difficult to see how state funded and run human rights groups can effectively put pressure on national governments and one is left with the view that strengthened civil society and effective democracy will be much more effective.
A little bit of BGIPU history was made when a Parliamentary delegation from our Parliament visited Guatemala and Honduras in the second week of November. We had not sent a delegation to Guatemala since 2008 and Honduras had never had a visit from the BGIPU. The visit highlighted the key difficulties Guatemala and Honduras are facing in the light of the current security situation and social inequalities, in addition to seeing potential opportunities for British investment and economic engagement.
Globally, threats to journalists are the highest they have been in ten years. Following a landmark FCO conference over summer, the UK Parliament hosted an International Parliamentary Seminar on Media Freedom under the auspices of the BGIPU from 9-11 September 2019. The Chair of the British Group of the IPU, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, hosted members of parliament from across the world along with relevant experts to explore parliamentary perspectives on Defending Media Freedom.
On 12 August, International Youth Day, the IPU celebrated young parliamentarians and youth participation in political life. According to the most recent IPU report on youth participation, the global proportion of MPs under 30 increased from 1.9 per cent in 2016 to 2.2 per cent in 2018. Despite this small uptick, when compared with the half of the world’s population that is under 30, the data reveals a sizeable deficit in the political representation of youth worldwide.
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.