Overseas Relations and International
38. The House of Lords has a wide range of contacts
with overseas parliaments and international assemblies.
39. The Lord Chancellor was represented by Lord
Tordoff, then Principal Deputy Chairman of Committees, at the
biennial Conference of Council of Europe Speakers in Strasbourg
in May 2000 and at the Conference of European Union Speakers -
now an annual event - held in Rome in September 2000. He was represented
by Lord Boston of Faversham, Chairman of Committees, at a worldwide
Conference of Speakers held to mark the millennium under the auspices
of the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the United Nations in New
York from 30 August to 1 September 2000.
40. The annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference
was held in London and Edinburgh in September 2000 at the invitation
of the United Kingdom Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association. Several members of the House participated in the
Conference, and staff of the House, together with Commons' staff,
assisted the host Branch.
41. Visitors from overseas included the Asantehene
(King of the Ashantis, Ghana), the President of the Senate of
Lesotho, the Leader of the Canadian House of Commons (Hon. Don
Boudria) and many other members and staff of overseas parliaments.
42. Overseas visits by Lords as representatives
of the House included participation by four women peers in a Euro-Mediterranean
Conference of Women Parliamentarians held in Malta in March 2001.
43. Members continued to serve on UK delegations
to international assemblies: seven serve on the Parliamentary
Assemblies of the Council of Europe and the Western European Union,
one of whom, Lord Russell-Johnston, continued as President of
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. A House
of Lords representative (Lord Bowness) and an alternate (Baroness
Howells of St Davids) also attended the Convention established
to prepare a European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. The
United Kingdom Government's representative in the Convention was
also a member of the House, Lord Goldsmith.
44. The Clerk of the Parliaments completed a
three-year term as President of the Association of Secretaries
General of Parliaments and attended meetings of the Association
in Amman in May 2000 and Jakarta in October 2000.