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
The United Kingdom's close friendship with Norway, forged in the dark days of Norway's WWII occupation, remains strong despite the passage of time since 1945 and the dramatic change in Norway's situation now that oil and gas have made it one of the richest countries in the world. Indeed, our recent delegation visit to Norway found that the wartime experience was still a strong factor in Norwegian perceptions of the UK, and that Norway was happy to be investing parts of its wealth in the UK.
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.
Firm political ties were in evidence throughout our visit to the UAE hosted by HE Mohammed Ahmed Al-Murr, Speaker of the Federal National Council. In roundtable discussions, there was a strong emphasis on the collective nature of their work, with members represented the UAE in their deliberations, not their individual emirates. The UAE is a developing democracy and the FNC demonstrated greater involvement for younger people than in the past by expanding the electorate from 7,000 hand-picked electors to over 100,000 in the near future.
The visit of a UK delegation to Nepal from 14-19 September provided an important opportunity to resume inter-parliamentary visits between Britain and Nepal with the establishment of its Constituent Assembly after successful democratic elections in November 2013. It was also timely as the 200th anniversary of bilateral relations approches in 2016 and provided insights into the main constitutional issues facing the country. The UK delegation also saw the major contributions to Nepal’s development being made by DFID and the Gurkha Welfare Scheme.
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.
Young parliamentarians meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, have called for the pursuit of happiness and well-being to be explicitly integrated into public policy. In the outcome statement, the young MPs asserted that a country’s success could not be gauged merely by measuring its economic growth. Factors such as equality, education levels and emotional fulfilment were just as important.
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.
A visit by a delegation from the Parliament of Lebanon was successful in consolidating the already strong relationship between both countries discussing the challenges created by the arrival of large numbers of refugees into Lebanon alongside other concerns, particularly the broader regional impact of the conflict in Syria and increasing tensions in the south of the country between Hezbollah and Israel. The Lebanese delegation were keen to take advantage of any changes post-Brexit to establish stronger ties with the UK.