What is the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)?

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What is the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)? Blog Image


The Vice President of India recently interacted with the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the sidelines of the G20 Parliamentary Speakers' Summit (P20).

About Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU):

  • IPU is the international organization of Parliaments.
  • It was established in 1889 in Paris to promote representative democracy and world peace.
  • The IPU facilitates parliamentary diplomacy and empowers parliaments and parliamentarians to promote peace, democracy, and sustainable development around the world. 
  • It was the first multilateral political organization in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. 
  • Slogan: “For democracy. For everyone”
  • Today, the IPU comprises 179 member parliaments and 13 associate members. 
  • It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced, and more diverse.
  • It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee made up of MPs from around the world.
  • The IPU moved its headquarters to Geneva in 1921.
  • Funding: The IPU is financed primarily by its members out of public funds.
  • Structure:
    • IPU Assembly:
      • It is the principal statutory body that expresses the views of the IPU on political issues.  
      • It brings together parliamentarians to study international problems and make recommendations for action.
    • Governing Council:
      • It is the plenary policymaking body of the IPU.
      • It is composed of three representatives from each member parliament.
      • The President of the IPU is ex-officio President of the Governing Council.
      • The Council establishes the annual programme and budget of the IPU.
      • Occasionally, the Council considers substantive issues and adopts thematic resolutions and policy statements.
      • A number of committees and working groups are subordinated to it and report to the Council on their work.
    • Executive Committees:
      • In accordance with the IPU statutes, this 17-member body oversees the administration of the IPU and provides advice to the Governing Council.
      • The 15 members of the Executive Committee are elected by the Council for a four-year term.
      • The President of the IPU is an ex officio member and President of the Committee.
      • Standing Committees: There are three Standing Committees set up by the IPU Governing Council to assist the Assembly in its work.
      • Meeting of Women Parliamentarians:
      • It is a separate organ of the IPU, which meets on the occasion of the first round of Statutory Meetings of the IPU and reports on its work to the Governing Council.
      • The meeting can be attended by the parliamentarians of both sexes.
      • The agenda of the meeting includes one but not more than two substantive items for debate, which may relate to the competence of the Assembly.


Q1) What is representative democracy?

Representative democracy, political system in which citizens of a country or other political entity vote for representatives to handle legislation and otherwise rule that entity on their behalf. The elected representatives are in turn accountable to the electorate for their actions. As a form of democracy, representative democracy exists in contrast to direct democracy, in which all citizens directly vote on laws to be passed and other issues.

Source: Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar interacts with President of Inter-Parliamentary Union on P20 sidelines