Inter-Parliamentary Union

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia

Inter-Parliamentary Union
File:New IPU-e.jpg
Founded1889; 135 years ago (1889)
FounderFrédéric Passy,
William Randal Cremer
Legal statusInternational organization
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Duarte Pacheco[1]
Martin Chungong[2]

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; French: Union Interparlementaire, UIP) is an international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability, and cooperation among its members; other initiatives include advancing gender parity among legislatures, empowering youth participation in politics, and sustainable development.

The organization was established in 1889 as the Inter-Parliamentary Congress. Its founders were statesmen Frédéric Passy of France and William Randal Cremer of the United Kingdom, who sought to create the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. Initially, IPU membership was reserved for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed to include the legislatures of sovereign states. As of 2020, the national parliaments of 179 countries are members of the IPU, while 13 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members.[3][4]

The IPU facilitates the development of international law and institutions, strengthening the foundations and enhancing the vision for peace and the common good, including the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the League of Nations, and the United Nations. It also sponsors and takes part in international conferences and forums, and has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. Consequently, eight individuals associated with the organization are Nobel Peace Prize laureates.


The organisation's initial objective was the arbitration of conflicts. The IPU played an important part in setting up the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Over time, its mission has evolved towards the promotion of democracy and inter-parliamentary dialogue. The IPU has worked for establishment of institutions at the inter-governmental level, including the United Nations, an organization with which it cooperates and with which it has permanent observer status.

The headquarters of the union have been moved several times since its inception. Locations:

  • 1892–1911: Bern (Switzerland)
  • 1911–1914: Brussels (Belgium)
  • 1914–1920: Oslo (Norway)
  • 1921–present: Geneva (Switzerland)

Eight leading personalities of the IPU have received Nobel Peace Prizes:

Members and organization[edit]


Map of IPU member states
  • Regional parliamentary assemblies may be admitted by the Governing Council as Associate Members
  • Every Parliament constituted in conformity with the laws of a sovereign State whose population it represents and on whose territory it functions may request affiliation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The decision to admit or readmit a Parliament shall be taken by the Governing Council.

It is the duty of the Members of the IPU to submit the resolutions of the IPU within their respective Parliament, in the most appropriate form; to communicate them to the Government; to stimulate their implementation and to inform the IPU Secretariat, as often and fully as possible, particularly in its annual reports, as to the steps taken and the results obtained.

As it can be seen on the map, mostly all the countries in the world have a parliament member of IPU, with the notable exception of the United States, although the 12th (1904), the 23rd (1925) and the 42nd (1953) conferences were hosted in the US.

Associate Members

The participating parliamentary assemblies other than national parliaments are the following:[3]

Name Related organization
Andean Parliament CAN
Central American Parliament SICA
East African Legislative Assembly EAC
European Parliament EU
Inter-parliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States CIS
Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy[5] none
Inter-Parliamentary Committee of the West African Economic and Monetary Union UEMOA
Latin American Parliament none [note 1]
Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation BSEC
Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS
Parliament of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa CEMAC
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe CoE
Transitional Arab Parliament AL


Headquarters of the IPU in Geneva (2010)

The organs of the Inter-Parliamentary Union are:

  • Assembly. Meeting biannually, the Assembly is composed of parliamentarians designated as delegates by the Members. The Assembly is assisted in its work by Standing Committees, whose number and terms of reference are determined by the Governing Council; Standing Committees shall normally prepare reports and draft resolutions for the Assembly. No one delegate may record more than ten votes.
  • Governing Council. The Governing Council normally holds two sessions a year. The Governing Council is composed of three representatives from each Member. The term of office of a member of the Governing Council lasts from one Assembly to the next and all the members of the Governing Council must be sitting members of Parliament. The Governing Council elects the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union for a period of three years. It also elects the members of the executive committee and appoints the Secretary General of the Union.
  • Executive Committee. The executive committee is composed of the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 15 members belonging to different Parliaments (elected by the Governing Council; not less than 12 are elected from among the members of the Governing Council) and the President of the Coordinating Committee of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians. The fifteen elected seats are assigned to the geopolitical groups. Only parliamentarians from States where women have both the right to vote and the right to stand for election are eligible to the executive committee. The executive committee is the administrative organ of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The current President is Gabriela Cuevas Barron of Mexico, who was elected to a three-year mandate in October 2017 at the 201st session of the Governing Council of the IPU in Geneva.[6]
  • Secretariat. The Secretariat constitutes the totality of the staff of the organisation under the direction of the Secretary General, currently Martin Chungong of Cameroon.[7]

The Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments is a consultative body of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.


Art Nouveau plaque-medallion for the 15th Inter-Parliamentary Conference 1908 in Berlin

The IPU Assembly (formerly known as the Inter-Parliamentary Conference) is the principal statutory body that expresses the views of the Inter-Parliamentary Union on political issues.[8]

# Host City Host Country Year
141st Belgrade  Serbia 2019
140th Doha  Qatar 2019
139th Geneva   Switzerland 2018
138th Geneva   Switzerland 2018
137th St. Petersburg  Russia 2017
136th Dhaka  Bangladesh 2017
135th Geneva   Switzerland 2016
134th Lusaka  Zambia 2016
133rd Geneva   Switzerland 2015
132nd Hanoi  Vietnam 2015
131st Geneva   Switzerland [9] 2014
130th Geneva   Switzerland 2014
129th Geneva   Switzerland 2013
128th Quito  Ecuador 2013
127th Quebec City  Canada 2012
126th Kampala  Uganda 2012
125th Bern   Switzerland 2011
124th Panama city  Panama 2011
123rd Geneva   Switzerland 2010
122nd Bangkok  Thailand 2010
121st Geneva   Switzerland 2009
120th Addis Ababa  Ethiopia 2009
119th Geneva   Switzerland 2008
118th Cape Town  South Africa 2008
117th Geneva   Switzerland 2007
116th Nusa Dua, Bali  Indonesia 2007
115th Geneva   Switzerland 2006
114th Nairobi  Kenya 2006
113th Geneva   Switzerland 2005
112th Manila  Philippines 2005
111th Geneva   Switzerland 2004
110th Mexico  Mexico 2004
109th Geneva   Switzerland 2003
108th Santiago  Chile 2003
107th Marrakesh  Morocco 2002
106th Ouagadougou  Burkina Faso 2001
105th Havana  Cuba 2001
104th Jakarta  Indonesia 2000
103rd Amman  Jordan 2000
102nd Berlin  Germany 1999
101st Brussels  Belgium 1999
100th Moscow  Russia 1998
99th Windhoek  Namibia 1998
98th Cairo  Egypt 1997
97th Seoul  South Korea 1997
96th Beijing  China 1996
95th Istanbul  Turkey 1996
94th Bucharest  Romania 1995
93rd Madrid  Spain 1995
92nd Copenhagen  Denmark 1994
91st Paris  France 1994
90th Canberra  Australia 1993
89th New Delhi  India 1993
88th Stockholm  Sweden 1992
87th Yaoundé  Cameroon 1992
86th Santiago  Chile 1991
85th Pyongyang  North Korea 1991
84th Punta del Este  Uruguay 1990
83rd Nicosia  Cyprus 1990
82nd London  United Kingdom 1989
81st Budapest  Hungary 1989
80th Sofia  Bulgaria 1988
79th Guatemala City  Guatemala 1988
78th Bangkok  Thailand 1987
77th Managua  Nicaragua 1987
76th Buenos Aires  Argentina 1986
75th Mexico City  Mexico 1986
74th Ottawa  Canada 1985
73rd Lomé  Togo 1985
72nd Geneva   Switzerland 1984
71st Geneva   Switzerland 1984
70th Seoul  South Korea 1983
69th Rome  Italy 1982
68th Havana  Cuba 1981
67th Berlin  East Germany 1980
66th Caracas  Venezuela 1979
65th Bonn  Germany 1978
64th Sofia  Bulgaria 1977
63rd Madrid  Spain 1976
62nd London  United Kingdom 1975
61st Tokyo  Japan 1974
60th Rome  Italy 1972
59th Paris  France 1971
58th The Hague  Netherlands 1970
57th New Delhi  India 1969
56th Lima  Peru 1968
55th Tehran  Iran 1966
54th Ottawa  Canada 1965
53rd Copenhagen  Denmark 1964
52nd Belgrade Template:Country data Yugoslavia 1963
51st Brasilia  Brazil 1962
50th Brussels  Belgium 1961
49th Tokyo  Japan 1960
48th Warsaw  Poland 1959
47th Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 1958
46th London  United Kingdom 1957
45th Bangkok  Thailand 1956
44th Helsinki  Finland 1955
43rd Vienna  Austria 1954
42nd Washington, D.C.  United States 1953
41st Bern   Switzerland 1952
40th Istanbul  Turkey 1951
39th Dublin  Ireland 1950
38th Stockholm  Sweden 1949
37th Rome  Italy 1948
36th Cairo  Egypt 1947
35th Oslo  Norway 1939
34th The Hague  Netherlands 1938
33rd Paris  France 1937
32nd Budapest  Hungary 1936
31st Brussels  Belgium 1935
30th Istanbul  Turkey 1934
29th Madrid  Spain 1933
28th Geneva   Switzerland 1932
27th Bucharest  Romania 1931
26th London  United Kingdom 1930
25th Berlin  Germany 1928
24th Paris  France 1927
23rd Washington, D.C.  United States 1925
Ottawa  Canada
22nd Bern   Switzerland 1924
21st Copenhagen  Denmark 1923
20th Vienna  Austria 1922
19th Stockholm  Sweden 1921
18th The Hague  Netherlands 1913
17th Geneva   Switzerland 1912
16th Brussels  Belgium 1910
15th Berlin  Germany 1908
14th London  United Kingdom 1906
13th Brussels  Belgium 1905
12th St. Louis  United States 1904
11th Vienna  Austria-Hungary 1903
10th Paris  France 1900
9th Christiania  Denmark 1899
8th Brussels  Belgium 1897
7th Budapest  Austria-Hungary 1896
6th Brussels  Belgium 1895
5th The Hague  Netherlands 1894
4th Bern   Switzerland 1892
3rd Rome  Italy 1891
2nd London  United Kingdom 1890
1st Paris  France 1889


President Years Country
Duarte Pacheco 2020–present  Portugal
Gabriela Cuevas Barron 2017–2020  Mexico
Saber Hossain Chowdhury 2014–2017  Bangladesh
Abdelwahad Radi 2011–2014  Morocco
Theo-Ben Gurirab 2008–2011  Namibia
Pier Ferdinando Casini 2005–2008  Italy
Sergio Paes Verdugo 2002–2005  Chile
Najma Heptulla 1999–2002  India
Miguel Angel Martinez 1997–1999  Spain
Ahmed Fathi Sorour 1994–1997  Egypt
Michael Marshall 1991–1994  United Kingdom
Dauda Sow 1988–1991  Senegal
Hans Stercken 1985–1988  West Germany
John Page 1985  United Kingdom
Izz El Din El Sayed 1983–1985  Sudan
Emile Cuvelier 1983  Belgium
Johannes Virolainen 1982–1983  Finland
Rafael Caldera 1979–1982  Venezuela
Thomas Williams 1976–1979  United Kingdom
Gurdial Singh Dhillon 1973–1976  India
André Chandernagor 1968–1973  France
Abderrahman Abdennebi 1967–1968  Tunisia
Ranieri Mazzilli 1962–1967  Brazil
Giuseppe Codacci-Pisanelli 1957–1962  Italy
William Wedgwood Benn 1947–1957  United Kingdom
Henri Carton de Wiart 1934–1947  Belgium
Fernand Bouisson 1928–1934  France
Theodor Adelsward 1922–1928  Sweden
Philip Stanhope 1912–1922  United Kingdom
August Beernaert 1909–1912  Belgium

Amendments to the Statutes[edit]

Any proposal to amend the Statutes shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat of the Union at least three months before the meeting of the Assembly. The Secretariat will immediately communicate all such proposals to the Members of the Union. The consideration of such proposed amendments shall be automatically placed on the agenda of the Assembly.

Any sub-amendments shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat of the Union at least six weeks before the meeting of the Assembly. The Secretariat will immediately communicate all such sub-amendments to the Members of the Union.

After hearing the opinion of the Governing Council, expressed through a simple majority vote, the Assembly shall decide on such proposals by a two-thirds majority vote.

The IPU and the United Nations[edit]

The IPU marked the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, in 1995, by holding a special session in the General Assembly Hall before the start of the session,[10] where they planned for closer cooperation with the United Nations. The General Assembly Resolution passed during that session requested the Secretary-General to put this into action.[11] An agreement was signed between the IPU and the Secretary-General on 24 July 1996 and subsequently ratified by a General Assembly Resolution, where the United Nations recognizes IPU as the world organization of parliaments.[12][13] Pursuant to this resolution, the Secretary-General submitted a report[14] which was noted with appreciation by the General Assembly, who requested further strengthening of cooperation and another report.[15] This report detailed the measures that had been taken, including opening a liaison office in New York, and cooperation on issues such land-mines and the promotion of representative democracy.[16] Following an entire morning of debate[17] the General Assembly passed a resolution which simply stated that it "looks forward to continued close cooperation".[18]

The following year (1999) the Secretary-General reported on an increased number of areas of cooperation,[19] the issue was debated for an entire afternoon[20] (interrupted by a minute of silence held for tribute to Vazgen Sargsyan, the Prime Minister of Armenia who had just at that time been killed by gunmen),[21] and passed a resolution requesting the IPU be allowed to address the Millennium General Assembly directly.[22]

Following another report,[23] and another half-day debate,[24] the General Assembly welcomed the IPU declaration entitled "The Parliamentary vision for international cooperation at the dawn of the third millennium" and called for the Secretary-General to explore new and further ways in which the relationship could be strengthened.[25]

On 19 November 2002 the IPU was granted observer status to the General Assembly.[26]

In the Resolution 59/19, Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the UN General Assembly takes note of the recommendations in regard to engaging parliamentarians more systematically in the work of the United Nations.[27]

The final declaration of the Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, hosted at United Nations headquarters, took place in September 2005, was entitled Bridging the democracy gap in international relations: A stronger role for parliament.[28]

In the Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly, 61/6, Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, on 27 November 2006, it calls for the further development of the annual parliamentary hearing at the United Nations and other specialized parliamentary meetings in the context of major United Nations meetings as joint United Nations-Inter-Parliamentary Union events.[29]

Every year during the fall session of the General Assembly the IPU organises a Parliamentary Hearing.[30] A resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the IPU allowed for circulation of official IPU documents in the General Assembly.

UN and the IPU cooperate closely in various fields, in particular peace and security, economic and social development, international law, human rights, and democracy and gender issues, but IPU has not obtained the status of UN General Assembly subsidiary organ.

Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament[edit]

The fourth world conference on UN 70th anniversary marked by Ban Ki-Moon as "UN70" was organised in September 2015 where Speakers of all IPU(Inter-Parliamentary Union) member parliaments and of non-member parliaments were invited from across the world. The theme was on peace, democracy, and development.[31]

United Nations reports, resolutions, and agreements[edit]

  • Resolution of the United Nations: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 27 November 2006.[29]
  • Report of the United Nations Secretary-General: Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations, 16 August 2006.[32]
  • Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 8 November 2004.[27]
  • Report of the United Nations Secretary-General: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (see Part 5 of the Annex), 1 September 2004.[33]
  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 21 November 2002.[34]
  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: Observer status for the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the General Assembly, 19 November 2002.[35]
  • Report of the United Nations Secretary-General: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 3 September 2002.[36]
  • Cooperation Agreement between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union of 1996.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. Multiple regional organizations in Latin America such as the Rio Group, Latin American Economic System and Latin American Integration Association have similar membership.


  1. "President". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  2. "Secretary General". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Members". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  4. "Матвиенко избрана председателем ассамблеи Межпарламентского союза". ТАСС (in русский). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  5. "HISTORY OF THE IAO". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  6. "Election of the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union" (PDF).
  7. "Secretary General". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  8. Statutory Assemblies at IPU official website. Accessed 24 February 2014
  9. "Cameroon: Ipu Urges Members to Stem Indefensible Terrorism and to Protect Human Rights". - PR Newswire. Retrieved 2014-10-21.
  10. Template:UN document
  11. Template:UN document
  12. Template:UN document
  13. Template:UN document
  14. Template:UN document
  15. Template:UN document
  16. Template:UN document
  17. Template:UN document
  18. Template:UN document
  19. Template:UN document
  20. Template:UN document
  21. Template:UN document
  22. Template:UN document
  23. Template:UN document
  24. Template:UN document
  25. Template:UN document
  26. Template:UN document
  27. 27.0 27.1 Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 17 December 2004
  28. Bridging the democracy gap in international relations: A stronger role for parliaments UNO Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments, New York, 7 to 9 September 2005
  29. 29.0 29.1 Resolution 61/6: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 27 November 2006, at IPU official website
  30. Cooperation with the UN: hearings at IPU official website
  31. "Press Releases". Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  32. Etpu
  33. Microsoft Word – 0447505e.doc
  34. Microsoft Word – UND_GEN_N0254074_DOCU_N
  35. Resolution 57/32. Observer status for the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the General Assembly 19 November 2002
  36. Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union: Report of the Secretary-General—Summary at IPU official website, 3 September 2002
  37. Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union: Report of the Secretary-General Full item, 25 September 1996, at UNO official website. Accessed 24 February 2014

External links[edit]

Template:International organizations

Information red.svg
Scan the QR code to donate via UPI
Dear reader, We kindly request your support in maintaining the independence of Bharatpedia. As a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on small donations to sustain our operations and provide free access to reliable information to the world. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to consider donating to our cause, as it would greatly aid us in our mission. Your contribution would demonstrate the importance of reliable and trustworthy knowledge to you and the world. Thank you.

Please select an option below or scan the QR code to donate
₹150 ₹500 ₹1,000 ₹2,000 ₹5,000 ₹10,000 Other