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
Kosovo's leaders show real desire to reach the governance standards demanded if they are to achieve their aim of EU membership. This will likely be a long process, not least given the potential for tense relations with Serbia to prolong the journey but they were committed to make significant efforts in support of the goal. The UK can have an effective role in supporting and guiding them towards becoming a fully-functioning Western-style democracy and our strong support for Kosovo continues to be important and widely welcomed in the country.
The 2017 Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations held 13-14 February at UN HQ in New York provided parliamentary input into the UN Ocean Conference scheduled 5-9 June 2017. This conference will conclude with a Call for Action which the IPU hopes will reflect many of the recommendations from the outcome document of the parliamentary hearing and recognise the role parliaments play as key actors in the implementation of all commitments on the ocean. UK participants followed up the hearing through action in the UK Parliament.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has again expressed concern about continued human rights violations against MPs worldwide and the lack of respect for their parliamentary immunity. During its January 2017 session, IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians adopted decisions on the cases of 227 MPs from 16 countries. Over 100 MPs are from just three countries, Malaysia, Nicaragua and Turkey. The Committee has elected a new President in the person of Ms. Fawzia Koofi (Afghanistan).
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.