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.
Over 1700 parliamentarians and UN and civil society partners from around the world will meet in Belgrade, Serbia, from 13 to 17 October for the 141st IPU Assembly. With the theme of Strengthening international law, MPs will also discuss the latest developments to improve gender equality, empower young people, defend MPs’ human rights, and achieve universal health coverage.
Following a successful visit by Lithuanian parliamentarians to the UK parliament last year, a BGIPU delegation visited Lithuania from 23rd to 27th September. The delegation was led by BGIPU and Lithuania APPG Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP. The visit coincided with the centenary celebrations of the establishment of UK-Lithuanian diplomatic relations, and the visit marked the movement towards a new chapter in these strong bilateral ties.
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.