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
In a New Year's message, the IPU reflect on its 2015 successes in facilitating parliamentary engagement in adoption of the Global Goals and the recent Paris outcome on tackling climate change. They also identify the 4th World Conference of Speakers as a highlight in showing parliamentary solidarity and cooperation. They reflected on the plight of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict zones and the scourge of terrorism as key challenges requiring us to redouble efforts in 2016 to protect and promote our values and defend fundamental freedoms.
A parliamentary delegation from the Shura Council of Saudi Arabia had detailed exchanges with UK counterparts on bilateral and regional issues, including underscoring our common commitment in the fight against Daesh. Ongoing advances in the role of women in Saudi Arabia, including participation in local elections was also welcomed. The delegation engaged parliamentary counterparts on science, technology, innovation and business links to expand bilateral cooperation, culminating in a very productive visit to Oxford University.
Parliamentarians across the world continued to face too many dangers that prevented or hampered their work, representing a real and on-going threat to democracy that needed to be addressed, says the IPU ahead of Human Rights Day on 10 December. During 2015, the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians worked on cases involving 320 MPs in 43 countries, up from 311 cases in 40 countries in 2014. Overwhelmingly the targeted MPs are men (283) and more than two thirds of cases (71 per cent) are from the opposition (228).
MPs from nearly 90 countries have committed to using their parliamentary powers and responsibilities to vigorously fight climate change, whilst urging negotiators on a global accord to define a fair agreement that works for all. Adopting a statement at the end of a two-day global conference organized by the IPU and the French Parliament in Paris, the MPs reiterated the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the increase in the average world temperature to less than 2 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels.
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.