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 late November 2015 the British Group hosted Speaker Guillaume Soro from the Côte d’Ivoire National Assembly for a three-day visit to Westminster and two days at the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast. He was accompanied by five Members of Parliament and while the programme in Westminster focussed on bilateral relations, the Belfast visit provided an opportunity for the Ivoirians to reflect on Northern Ireland’s experiences with national reconciliation and similar challenges they face in addressing issues in a post-conflict society.
BGIPU, in collaboration with Prof Sarah Childs (on secondment to the UK House of Commons from the University of Bristol), convened a one-day conference on 19 November to explore key perspectives on making the UK House of Commons a more gender sensitive Parliament. The conference was opened by the Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and brought together international parliamentarians, academics and UK members and parliamentary staff to debate how a more gender sensitive House of Commons might be best achieved.
In mid-November 2015, a BGIPU delegation went to Senegal for a four-day working visit. Following the visit of Senegalese parliamentarians to Westminster in 2013, the delegation's aim was to learn more about Senegal’s parliamentary system, and to meet with counterparts in the National Assembly and key government representatives to hear about Senegal’s challenges and how both countries can strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.
The Annual Report of the BGIPU for 2015 has been published on 10 November in advance of the 13 January Annual General Meeting. The Annual Report highlights that in 2015 BGIPU has received delegations to the UK Parliament from five parliaments and sent delegations to six countries. There have also been shorter visits by overseas MPs from nine countries to Westminster, UK participation in IPU Assemblies in Hanoi and Geneva and support for major inter-parliamentary events including the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.
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.