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.
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.