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
On 30 June, International Day of Parliamentarism, the IPU celebrated its 130th anniversary in a ‘Quintet’ consisting of the Presidents of the most recent and future IPU Assemblies, the Speakers of Russia, Qatar and Serbia who joined IPU President, Gabriela Cuevas-Barron and IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong at the IPU’s Geneva Headquarters. The Speakers and IPU leadership discussed the ongoing relevance of the founding values and principles of the IPU 130 years on, results achieved at the previous Assemblies, and actions ahead.
A delegation of UK parliamentarians from both Houses led by the BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, visited Paris on 26-27 June to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) with members of the French IPU Group. This visit recognised the significant role played by both parliaments in the founding of the IPU, created on 30 June 1889. The delegations issued a joint declaration on their continuing commitment to the principles and values of the IPU.
With the generous support of the Speaker of the House of Commons, BGIPU invited members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords to attend a diplomatic reception in Speaker’s House on 25 June 2019 to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the IPU. BGIPU Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, joined the Speaker and the Leader of the Opposition, in paying tribute to the legacy of the IPU’s UK co-founder, Sir William Randall Cremer MP saying the IPU’s work remained as relevant today as when it was first founded on 30 June 1889.
On 23-26 June 2019, BGIPU hosted a delegation of six parliamentarians from Italy to build upon their understanding of Brexit from a range of differing UK perspectives. It was also useful for UK Members to gain knowledge of the key issues at play in Italy and to hear how the UK’s activities are perceived abroad. The visit reinforced the already strong UK relationship with Italy and saw willingness on both sides to foster closer bilateral links in the future.
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.