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 Parliamentary delegation from the Netherlands led by the President of the Senate made a timely visit to the UK from 25 to 27 February to discuss bilateral relations against the background of the UK's imminent departure from the European Union. The programme ensured the delegation met with as many relevant Select Committees as possible and that they heard from many UK Parliamentarians across the full scope of views regarding Brexit. Exchanges showed that bilateral relations remained very close and strong.
On 21 and 22 February, the IPU and the United Nations, represented by the President of the General Assembly, brought together some 240 parliamentarians from nearly 40 countries, as well as ambassadors, representatives from UN organizations, and experts for their annual parliamentary hearing in New York. The hearing focused on the key emerging challenges posed to the future of multilateralism.
From 18 to 21 February, a BGIPU delegation visited Ethiopia as part of a scoping mission with the aim of boosting interparliamentary relations, including through inviting a parliamentary delegation from Ethiopia to visit London. The delegation, comprised Rt Hon Baroness Anelay DBE, Baroness Barker and Pauline Latham OBE MP, who saw that the UK continues to be a trusted partner for the country as Ethiopia undergoes profound political transition alongside economic and social transformation under the reform policies of Prime Minister Abiy.
The first Preparatory Committee for the Fifth Conference of Speakers was held in Geneva from 8 to 9 February 2019. The BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, is representing the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, on this Preparatory Committee. The Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments is scheduled to take place in 2020 and is expected to build on the outcomes from the previous sessions and further reinforce the parliamentary dimension of global governance.
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.
On 12 August, International Youth Day, the IPU celebrated young parliamentarians and youth participation in political life. According to the most recent IPU report on youth participation, the global proportion of MPs under 30 increased from 1.9 per cent in 2016 to 2.2 per cent in 2018. Despite this small uptick, when compared with the half of the world’s population that is under 30, the data reveals a sizeable deficit in the political representation of youth worldwide.
The IPU brought together more than 140 parliamentarians from 50 parliaments to review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the annual High-level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York this week. The main theme of the 2019 session, held under the aegis of the Economic and Social Council, was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
Parliaments have a key role to play in implementing the SDGs. They can drive sustainable development by translating the SDGs into laws, monitoring implementation of those laws, adopting national budgets, and ensuring that their governments are accountable for progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. New IPU data paints a mixed picture of the role of parliaments in implementing the SDGs indicating scope for parliaments to go much further in terms of oversight.