Lords chamber event 2017: International relations in the 21st Century

The 2017 House of Lords Chamber Event took place on 1 December 2017. The event involved young people from around the UK as well as members of civic organisations, including the English-Speaking Union, coming together for an intergenerational debate on international relations in the 21st Century.

The 2017 House of Lords chamber event involves young people from around the UK as well as members of civic organisations.

The House of Lords opens up the chamber every year, inviting people from across the UK to take part in a debating event. This year’s debate was the latest event in a broad outreach programme that aims to raise awareness of the role and work of the Lords.

In a first for the House of Lords, this year's event was streamed live on our Facebook page.

The topic for this year: What are the challenges for international relations in the 21st Century?’

Participants argued in favour of one of three motions, each taking a particular angle on the debate:

  1. The UK should aim to work closely with the Commonwealth, European countries, the EU and global partners to achieve common regional aims.
  2. The UK should aim to be a global leader.
  3. The UK should keep the affairs of other countries at a distance and focus on its own problems.

This was put to a vote. The final result was:

  1. 113 votes
  2. 43 votes
  3. 21 votes

Talking Days

Our project partners the English-Speaking Union organised a number of training days ("talking days") for school-age participants to coach them in debating and public speaking skills. These took place at schools across the UK between September and October 2017.

Previous events

Subjects up for debate in recent years have included freedom of speech, diversity in Parliament, defence and remembrance, social care and climate change.

More information on the event

Image: House of Lords 2017 / Photography by Roger Harris