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 staff visited Hampstead Cemetery on 29 September to pay tribute to the life and work of the UK parliamentarian who founded the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Sir William Randal Cremer MP. His initiative with French counterpart, Frederic Passy, in 1889 created a global organisation now numbering 170 member parliaments spanning the globe. The IPU facilitates inter-parliament dialogue to enhance global peace, promote democracy and end the scourge of war.
A five-member delegation of UK Parliamentarains visited Uruguay from 18-23 September led jointly by BGIPU Chair, Nigel Evans MP, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP. The visit provided opportunities to meet Uruguay counterparts and explore key trade and economics aspects of this long-standing bilateral relationship. This was very timely in light of the UK's recent decision to leave the EU and Uruguay's desire to capitalise on this to see trade relations between both countries flourish for the future.
Uruguay’s policy of taking national control of all production and sale of cannabis is still in a very early phase of implementation, and it remains highly controversial politically. Uruguay interlocutors confirmed to the UK Delegation which visited the country in September 2016 that the policy was an experiment and it would be monitored carefully. It would be changed if necessary and other countries might improve upon it but Uruguay was keen to be seen as a leader in drug policy reform efforts.
From 17-24 September 2016, a cross-party UK Parliamentary delegation visited the Philippines. This was a timely opportunity to enegage with the new government and finding out more about the priorities and plans of the new administration under President Duterte. The main areas of interest included the relationship between the Philippines and the UK following Brexit, trade opportunities, human rights and the proliferation of drugs in the Philippines.
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.