Lord Sheikh was asked by the House of Lords to represent the British Parliament at the Sixth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting which was held in Brussels on 26th/27th September.
There was a delegation of Parliamentarians from 22 European and Asian countries and at the opening of the meeting there were addresses by the Speaker of the Belgian House of Representatives, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, President of the European Council and Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress.
Lord Sheikh actively participated in all of the proceedings and spoke in the preparatory meeting, panel discussions and in the plenary sessions. He also attended the meeting of the drafting committee on the declaration of the partnership meeting. Lord Sheikh also tabled amendments which after discussions were agreed.
Furthermore there was not consensus of opinion on certain amendments and it was decided that a sub-committee be set up to look at the amendments and achieve agreement. Lord Sheikh was asked to be a member of the sub-committee which also included Parliamentarians from Belgium, Italy and China. After lengthy discussions the wordings of the amendments were agreed which were later submitted to the plenary session and agreements were reached.
One of the amendments which Lord Sheikh tabled and was accepted related to gender equality and the empowerment of women and the necessity to make progress on the reduction of maternal mortality and improving maternal and reproductive health.
During the various meetings the subjects which were discussed included sustainable development, social progress, environmental protection and climate change, effective financial and economic world governance structures, piracy at sea, people-to-people relations and the reinforcement and enlargement of Asia-Europe partnership.
Lord Sheikh’s interventions included speaking on sustainable development, social progress, environment, financial and economic structures and people-to-people relations.