William Randal Cremer
|Legal status||International organization|
14 Associate Members
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.
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:
Eight leading personalities of the IPU have received Nobel Peace Prizes:
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.
The participating parliamentary assemblies other than national parliaments are the following:
|Central American Parliament||SICA|
|East African Legislative Assembly||EAC|
|Inter-parliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States||CIS|
|Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy||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|
The organs of the Inter-Parliamentary Union are:
The Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments is a consultative body of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
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.
|#||Host City||Host Country||Year|
|118th||Cape Town||South Africa||2008|
|116th||Nusa Dua, Bali||Indonesia||2007|
|84th||Punta del Este||Uruguay||1990|
|47th||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1958|
|42nd||Washington, D.C.||United States||1953|
|23rd||Washington, D.C.||United States||1925|
|12th||St. Louis||United States||1904|
|Gabriela Cuevas Barron||2017–2020||Mexico|
|Saber Hossain Chowdhury||2014–2017||Bangladesh|
|Pier Ferdinando Casini||2005–2008||Italy|
|Sergio Paes Verdugo||2002–2005||Chile|
|Miguel Angel Martinez||1997–1999||Spain|
|Ahmed Fathi Sorour||1994–1997||Egypt|
|Michael Marshall||1991–1994||United Kingdom|
|Hans Stercken||1985–1988||West Germany|
|John Page||1985||United Kingdom|
|Izz El Din El Sayed||1983–1985||Sudan|
|Thomas Williams||1976–1979||United Kingdom|
|Gurdial Singh Dhillon||1973–1976||India|
|William Wedgwood Benn||1947–1957||United Kingdom|
|Henri Carton de Wiart||1934–1947||Belgium|
|Philip Stanhope||1912–1922||United Kingdom|
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 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, 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. 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. Pursuant to this resolution, the Secretary-General submitted a report which was noted with appreciation by the General Assembly, who requested further strengthening of cooperation and another report. 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. Following an entire morning of debate the General Assembly passed a resolution which simply stated that it "looks forward to continued close cooperation".
The following year (1999) the Secretary-General reported on an increased number of areas of cooperation, the issue was debated for an entire afternoon (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), and passed a resolution requesting the IPU be allowed to address the Millennium General Assembly directly.
Following another report, and another half-day debate, 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.
On 19 November 2002 the IPU was granted observer status to the General Assembly.
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.
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.
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.
Every year during the fall session of the General Assembly the IPU organises a Parliamentary Hearing. 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.
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.