Our Work

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

Our Work

Parliamentary Seminar on Drug Policy Reform

  • George Soros addresses session chaired by Baroness Stern
  • Baroness Meacher in closing session with UNODC's Dr Chawla
  • Drug Policy Reform Seminar

The BGIPU hosted a seminar in Westminster on Drug Policy Reform from 28 to 30 October. Around 50 members from 30 parliaments from Latin American, West African and Europe attended along with a range of expert speakers and observers. 

This event followed on from the 128th IPU Assembly in Quito panel discussion on drug policy reform and the seminar encouraged an open and frank debate on global drugs policy reform among parliamentarians from countries that are especially affected by this issue from the drugs supply and demand side.  A key focus was on the unique role parliamentarians, as legislators and opinion leaders, could play on drug policy reform issues.

The full Report of the Seminar proceedings is now available here

If you would like to recieve a hard copy of the proceedings please contact the BGIPU Secretariat

An Executive Summary is available here in EnglishSpanish and French 

The hansard record for each of the seminar sessions can be found below:

Opening Plenary - Setting the Scene

2. Comparison of the Scenarios in the Organization of American States Report on the drug problem in the Americas
3. Money Laundering and Online Trends in Drug Trafficking
4. Supply Regulation Policies – the global economics of the drug market, prisons and penal reform
5. Demand Regulation Policies - regulating drug markets in consumer countries
6. The Effect of Drug Policy Changes – managing public attitudes about drug policy reform
7. Health-based Approach to Drug Policy - best practice in addiction and harm reduction policy and the link between drug use and HIV/Aids
8. The role of drugs in creating violence - case studies & inter-regional dialogue
9. Closing Plenary - Challenges ahead

Footage from the opening plenary session

1. The relevance of the present global drug control system and international conventions on drug policy

Keynote Speaker: Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy


2. The landscape of production, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs and related transnational crime and overview of recent UNODC research findings

Sandeep Chawla, Deputy Executive Director and Director Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime


Questions and answers


3. Factual overview of current trends in drug consumption, types of drugs and their physical impact

Paul Griffiths, Scientific Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug

4. The importance of inter-regional dialogue on drug policy and key points from the panel discussion on drug policy reform at the 128th IPU Assembly

Robert Del Picchia, Member of French Senate and Chair of Inter-Parliamentary Union 12+ GroupRobert Del Picchia, Member of French Senate and Chair of Inter-Parliamentary Union 12+ Group



Questions and answers 


Some speakers’ presentations are available here:

Dr Sandeep Chawla - United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Mr Tom Bergin - Reuters
Hon Robert del Picchia - French Senate and Chair of Inter-Parliamentary Union 12+ Group
Mr Benoit Gomis - International Security Programme at Chatham House
Mr Paul Griffiths - European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
Ms Alison Holcomb - American Civil Liberties Union
Mr Roger Howard - UK Drug Policy Commission
Judge Maria Lucia Karam - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Hon Sebastian Sabini - Uruguay Chamber of Representatives
Hon Pernille Skipper - Danish Parliament
Prof Alex Stevens – University of Kent
Dr Harald Terpe - German Bundestag
Hon Jaime Mario Trobo - Uruguay Chamber of Representatives
Mr Jindrich Voboril - National Anti-Drug Coordinator of the Czech Republic

A preparatory event was held in Westminster in June which explored Current trends in Global Drug Policy Reform & the Organization of American States. 

Photos and commentary on the seminar is available on the BGIPU twitter feed #bgipuseminar and also from http://ow.ly/q4tdZ 

Any queries regarding this event should be sent to: bgipuseminar@parliament.uk

Group Photo

Group Photo of delegates in Westminster Hall 

Related Documents

BGIPU Drug Policy Reform Seminar - Press Release