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
A UK delegation led by Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP visited Budapest from 27 February to 2nd March to meet Hungarian counterparts. Much of the discussion focussed on Brexit and the likely future relations between Britain and Hungary, and the UK and the EU more generally. Hungary regards Britain as a strong ally in the EU. While sharing many of the UK's criticisms of the way that the Commission works, Hungary’s attitude to the EU is heavily influenced by the challenge they face from economic migration.
During a very productive bilateral visit, a delegation from the Sejm of Poland heard from UK counterparts of the strong commitment across the political spectrum to ensuring EU nationals would continue to be welcome to stay and contribute to the UK following Brexit. In return, the visiting delegation admitted that while Poland would be losing a key ally in the EU, the UK’s departure would not prevent both sides seeking to find new opportunities to expand and strengthen already strong bilateral relations for the future.
From 13 to 16 February the Rt. Hon Stephen Timms MP led a delegation to Berlin, accompanied by Mark Hendrick MP (Labour), Iain Stewart MP (Conservative) John Nicolson MP (SNP), Baroness Hooper, Lord Shinkwin (Conservative), and the Earl of Listowel (Crossbench). The aim of the visit was to discuss the future bilateral relationship in the context of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but also to get an insight into the German domestic political situation ahead of general elections in September 2017, and to discuss current global affairs.
While the understandable primary focus of our visit to Berlin in February 2017 was on matters relating to Brexit, a topical theme for debate was the domestic German political situation in the run-up to the Bundestag elections in September this year. While there was no consensus on the result of September’s election, discussions with a wide range of politicians, commentators and journalists gave us a fascinating insight into the dynamics of domestic German politics and we shall observe the upcoming election campaign from a much more informed position.
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.