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, which was created by British MP, Sir William Randal Cremer, and his French counterpart, Frederic Passy, on 30 June 1889. The delegations issued a joint declaration on their continuing commitment to the principles and values of the IPU.
The delegation met colleagues from both the French Senate and National Assembly for discussion on both the past and future of the IPU. The meeting paid tribute to their vision and ideals of the IPU's founders in seeking to create a more peaceful and prosperous world through interparliamentary dialogue. These discussions led to agreement of a common declaration by both national IPU Groups on the enduring nature of the core IPU objective of seeking a better world through inter-parliamentary dialogue and exchange. The declaration also reaffirmed the core IPU values of democracy, respect for the freedom of people and international arbitration as being as relevant to international affairs today as when they inspired the creation of the IPU 130 years ago. In addition to its commitment to human rights, democracy and peace, both delegations highlighted the importance of the IPU's work to advance gender equality, address climate change and ensure sustainable development for people all around the globe.
The IPU Secretary General, Mr Martin Chungong, subsequently joined both delegations for adoption of the declaration prior to a luncheon hosted by the President of the National Assembly formally marking the IPU's 130th anniversary and celebrating the role played by both France and Great Britain in its history. BGIPU’s 130th anniversary delegation was led by its Chair, Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, and comprised Vice Chair, Baroness Hooper CMG, Treasurer Nic Dakin MP, Executive Committee member, Baroness d’Souza and past Chair (2013-15), Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP.