Inter-Parliamentary Union

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Not to be confused with Inter-parliamentary institution.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; French: L'Union Interparlementaire (UIP)) is an international organization established in 1889 by Frédéric Passy (France) and William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom). It was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. Initially, the organization was for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed into an international organization of the parliaments of sovereign states. The national parliaments of 163 countries are members of the IPU, and 10 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members.[1] The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations and general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

History[edit]

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

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.

Map of IPU member states

Numerous bodies have expressed interest in the possibility of transforming the IPU into a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, among them the Committee for a Democratic UN, the German Bundestag and the Socialist International. The Liberal International also considers this as an option.

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 – permanent in Geneva (Switzerland)

Members and organization[edit]

Members[edit]

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

Associate members

The participating parliamentary assemblies other than national parliaments are the following:[1]

Name Related organization
Andean Parliament CAN
Central American Parliament SICA
East African Legislative Assembly EAC
European Parliament EU
Inter-Parliamentary Committee of the West African Economic and Monetary Union UEMOA
Latin American Parliament none [note 1]
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

Organs[edit]

Headquarters of the IPU in Geneva (2010)

The organs of the Inter-Parliamentary Union are:

  • the Assembly, meets twice a year. The Assembly shall be composed of parliamentarians designated as delegates by the Members of the Union. 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.
  • the Governing Council. The Governing Council shall normally hold two sessions a year. The Governing Council shall be composed of three representatives from each Member of the Union. The term of office of a member of the Governing Council shall last from one Assembly to the next and all the members of the Governing Council must be sitting members of Parliament. The Governing Council shall elect the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union for a period of three years. It elects the members of the Executive Committee and appoints the Secretary General of the Union.
  • the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, fifteen members belonging to different Parliaments (elected by the Governing Council; not less than twelve shall be 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 will be 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 shall be the administrative organ of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
  • and the Secretariat. The Secretariat of the Union comprises the totality of the staff of the organisation under the direction of the Secretary General of the Union.

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

Elected to posts[edit]

  • The President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury (Bangladesh), elected to this post for a three-year mandate on 16 October 2014 at the 195th session of the Governing Council of the IPU in Geneva.[2]
  • As of March 2014, the Secretary General of IPU is Mr. Martin Chungong (Cameroon). [3] He is the first African to hold the post in the IPU's 125-year history. He took over from Mr. Anders B. Johnsson (Sweden), who had been in the post since 1998 until his retirement in June 2014.[4]
  • Standing Committee on democracy and human rights. President: Mr. O. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (Ghana), African Group.
  • Committee on human rights of parliamentarians. President: Mr. K. Tapo (Mali).
  • On April 17, 2008, Senator Pia Cayetano (Philippines) was elected for a two-year term, president of the Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) during its 118th General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa. As the first Filipino and Asian to head it, she ran unopposed and takes over from Uruguay's Monica Xavier.[5]

Conferences[edit]

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.[6]

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

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,[8] 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.[9] 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.[10][11] Pursuant to this resolution, the Secretary-General submitted a report [12] which was noted with appreciation by the General Assembly, who requested further strengthening of cooperation and another report.[13] 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.[14] Following an entire morning of debate[15] the General Assembly passed a resolution which simply stated that it "looks forward to continued close cooperation".[16]

The following year (1999) the Secretary-General reported on an increased number of areas of cooperation,[17] the issue was debated for an entire afternoon[18] (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),[19] and passed a resolution requesting the IPU be allowed to address the Millennium General Assembly directly.[20]

Following another report,[21] and another half-day debate,[22] 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.[23]

On 19 November 2002 the IPU was granted observer status to the General Assembly.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

In the Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly, 61/6, Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in 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.[27]

Every year during the fall session of the General Assembly the IPU organises a Parliamentary Hearing.[28] 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.

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.[27]
  • Report of the United Nations Secretary-General: Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations, 16 August 2006.[29]
  • Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 8 November 2004.[25]
  • 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.[30]
  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 21 November 2002.[31]
  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: Observer status for the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the General Assembly, 19 November 2002 .[32]
  • Report of the United Nations Secretary-General: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 3 September 2002.[33]
  • Cooperation Agreement between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union of 1996 [34]

See also[edit]

Notes[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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Members of the Union at IPU official website
  2. ^ 195th Session of the Governing Council on IPU official website
  3. ^ Secretary General at IPU official website. Accessed 25 November 2014
  4. ^ Pelz, Daniel (2014-06-30). "Chungong: African success stories should be emulated". Deutsche Welle - International Relations. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  5. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Pia Cayetano named IPU Committee president
  6. ^ Statutory Assemblies at IPU official website. Accessed 24 February 2014
  7. ^ "Cameroon: Ipu Urges Members to Stem Indefensible Terrorism and to Protect Human Rights". allAfrica.com - PR Newswire. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  8. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 50 Document 561. A/50/561 page 2. {{{date}}}. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  9. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 50 Resolution 15. A/RES/50/15 22 November 1995. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  10. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 51 Document 402. A/51/402 25 September 1995. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  11. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 51 Resolution 7. A/RES/51/7 7 November 1996. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  12. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 52 Document 456. A/52/456 13 October 1997. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  13. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 52 Resolution 7. A/RES/52/7 6 November 1997. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  14. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 53 Document 458. A/53/458 5 October 1998. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  15. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 53 Verbatim Report 46. A/53/PV.46 28 October 1998. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  16. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 53 Resolution 13. A/RES/53/13 {{{date}}}. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  17. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 54 Document 379. A/54/379 21 September 1999. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  18. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 54 Verbatim Report 41. A/54/PV.41 27 October 1999. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  19. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 54 Verbotim Report 41. A/54/PV.41 page 20. The President 27 October 1999 at 15:00. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  20. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 54 Resolution 12. A/RES/54/12 18 November 1999. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  21. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Document 409. A/55/409 18 October 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  22. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Verbatim Report 55. A/55/PV.55 8 November 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  23. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Resolution 19. A/RES/55/19 {{{date}}}. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  24. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 57 Resolution 32. A/RES/57/32 {{{date}}}. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  25. ^ a b Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 17 December 2004
  26. ^ 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
  27. ^ a b Resolution 61/6: Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, 27 November 2006, at IPU official website
  28. ^ Cooperation with the UN: hearings at IPU official website
  29. ^ Etpu
  30. ^ Microsoft Word – 0447505e.doc
  31. ^ Microsoft Word – UND_GEN_N0254074_DOCU_N
  32. ^ Resolution 57/32. Observer status for the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the General Assembly 19 November 2002
  33. ^ Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union: Report of the Secretary-General—Summary at IPU official website, 3 September 2002
  34. ^ 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]