Inter-parliamentary activities

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the oldest international parliamentary organisation with 178 member parliaments and 12 associate members, one of which is the IPA CIS. The IPU is headquartered in Geneva.

The IPU closely cooperated with the UN and supports its goals and tasks. IPU representatives attend major events held by the UN bodies, including the Human Rights Council. The IPU has general consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The IPU comprises national inter-parliamentary groups. The Inter-Parliamentary Group of the Russian Federation is co-chaired by Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko and State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

The overwhelming majority of IPU members (excluding Azerbaijan) are distributed among the six geopolitical groups: African Group, Arab Group, Asia-Pacific Group, Eurasia Group (comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova), GRULAC (Group of Latin America and the Caribbean), as well as the Twelve Plus Group (Western and Central Europe, as well as other states that hold predominantly pro-Western positions).

The main political body of the IPU is the Assembly, which convenes twice a year (in spring and autumn). The Assembly is usually attended by 1,300 to 1,500 delegates who hold general debates, which usually do not produce any documents, as well as discuss three or four major subjects on which they adopt resolutions prepared in coordination with representatives of national delegations. Emergency debates, if held, conclude with the adoption of a resolution.

The IPU has four standing committees: on peace and international security; on sustainable development, finance and trade; on democracy and human rights; and on UN affairs.

The current IPU President is Mexican Senator Gabriela Cuevas Barron (elected in October 2017), and the Secretary General, who heads the IPU Secretariat, is Martin Chungong from Cameroon (assumed office in July 2014).

In light of its universal nature, the IPU’s goal is to act as the parliamentary dimension of the UN, and the agenda of its Assembly is usually adjusted to the UN agenda.

Overall, the IPU holds a central place and is the most representative organisation in the sphere of inter-parliamentary cooperation.

The 137th IPU Assembly was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia on 14−18 October 2017.