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 hosted a parliamentary delegation from Estonia, led by the Chair of the Estonian IPU delegation, Ms Helmen Kuett. With many delegation members having strong interest in social affairs, much of the visit focused on health policy, pension reform and disability issues, but other topics such as security cooperation, e-government and the current Brexit negotiations were also discussed. There was mutual appreciation of the excellent state of bilateral relations between both countries.
The need for a global compact on migration was emphasized at the Annual Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations in New York from 22 to 23 February 2018. The Hearing allowed MPs to provide a parliamentary perspective on the new UN Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM) currently under negotiation. Migration is a reality the world over, too often governed in an ad hoc manner. Migrants need more regular pathways to reduce irregular migration and ensure better integration in their host country and its labour market.
Four British parliamentarians, Tim Loughton MP, Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, Kate Green MP and Lord Dubs, travelled to the United Nations to participate in the UN Parliamentary Hearing , entitled ‘Towards a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration’ held 22-23 February 2018 and attended by representatives of some 50 parliaments. Significant focus was on the need for fair treatment of migrants with UK members highlighting the importance of evidence-based policies.
On 22 February 2018, IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron and Secretary General Martin Chungong met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to review the status of UN-IPU cooperation. The meeting took place in New York in the context of the 2018 Parliamentary Hearing at the United Nations on migration designed to bring a parliamentary perspective to the UN negotiations, and set the stage for active parliamentary engagement in the implementation of the Global Compacts for migration and refugee protection.
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.