Tuesday, 27 March 2012

International Parliamentary Union (IPU)

The IPU is the international organization of Parliaments. 

Established in 1889 the Inter-Parliamentary Union was the first permanent forum for political multilateral
negotiations. Promoting the concepts of peace and international arbitration, the IPU provided the origins for today's form of institutionalized multilateral co-operation and advocated the establishment of corresponding institutions at the inter-governmental level -- which eventually came into being as the United Nations. The IPU was also instrumental in setting up what is now the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. [Interestingly the first three Noble Peace Prize Awardees were leading figures of the IPU.]

The Union is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy.

To that end, it:
  • Fosters contacts, co-ordination, and the exchange of experience among parliaments and parliamentarians of all countries;
  • Considers questions of international interest and concern and expresses its views on such issues in order to bring about action by parliaments and parliamentarians;
  • Contributes to the defence and promotion of human rights - an essential factor of parliamentary democracy and development;
  • Contributes to better knowledge of the working of representative institutions and to the strengthening and development of their means of action.

The IPU supports the efforts of and works in close co-operation with the United Nations, whose objectives it shares. The Union also co-operates with regional inter-parliamentary organizations, as well as with international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations which are motivated by the same ideals.

In October 2011, the IPU adopted its Strategy for 2012-2017 under the overall title "Better parliaments, stronger democracy".

The IPU is financed primarily by its members out of public funds. The site of the Union's Headquarters is Geneva (Switzerland).

INDIA and the IPU
India joined the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the year 1949. Since then, India has been an active member of the Union and has participated in all its meetings/events. Indian Parliamentary Delegations representing the different political parties have been attending the IPU Conferences.  
The Speaker, Lok Sabha is the President of the India Group of the IPU and  under his directions , the Group carries out all its activities. 

IPU in the news:
IPU delegation in Myanmar discussed relations with and support to the Parliament along with outstanding human rights concerns. (March 2012)
- IPU mission to Maldives urges all sides to use parliamentary dialogue to end crisis (February 2012)
- IPU Secretary General concludes visit to Egypt. (February 2012)


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