In this section:
Setting standards and guidelines
Strengthening representative institutions
Promoting inclusive parliaments
Promoting and defending human rights
Partnership between men and women
Promoting knowledge of parliaments
International Day of Democracy
Global Parliamentary Report
Guide on parliament and democracy
Key documents
Related sections:
Cooperation with the UN
Peace and security
Sustainable development
What is the IPU?


  Key documents

This page contains a selection of documents specifically related to the IPU's work in promoting democracy. IPU publications, including studies, reports and handbooks, are available on the Publications page. Details of IPU events relating to democracy can be found on the Specialized Meetings page.

Basic declarations

The main expression of the IPU's broad views on democracy is embodied in its two declarations adopted in the middle of 1990's:

  red cubeUniversal Declaration on Democracy
  red cubeDeclaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections

Details of how these declarations were elaborated and adopted can be found here.

Declarations of the World Conference of Speakers of Parliament

The Declarations adopted by the World Conferences of Speakers of Parliament provide importance guidance for the work of the IPU:

  red cubeSecuring global democratic accountability for the common good (2010)
  red cubeBridging the democracy gap in international relations: A stronger role for parliaments (2005)
  red cubeThe parliamentary vision for international cooperation at the dawn of the third Millennium (2000)

Resolutions of statutory IPU Assemblies

The numerous resolutions adopted by the IPU at its statutory Assemblies (called Conferences until 2003) constitute a growing body of parliamentary support for democracy, human rights and gender equality. Indeed, one of the three Standing Committees of the IPU Assembly is entirely devoted to issues relating to democracy and human rights. These resolutions are distributed as official documents of the United Nations where the IPU enjoys the status of a permanent observer to the UN General Assembly.

Selected resolutions:

  red cubeProviding a sound legislative framework aimed at preventing electoral violence, improving election monitoring and ensuring the smooth transition of power  124th Assembly
April 2011
  red cubeTransparency and accountability in the funding of political parties and election campaigns  124th Assembly
April 2011
  red cubeYouth participation in the democratic process  122nd Assembly
April 2010
  red cubeFreedom of expression and the right to information  120th Assembly
April 2009
  red cubeThe role of parliaments in striking a balance between national security, human security and individual freedoms, and in averting the threat to democracy  118th Assembly
April 2008
  red cubeMigrant workers, people trafficking, xenophobia and human rights  118th Assembly
April 2008
  red cubeThe urgent need to immediately stop the widespread human rights violations and to restore the democratic rights of the people of Myanmar  117th Assembly
October 2007
  red cubePromoting diversity and equal rights for all through universal democratic and electoral standards  116th Assembly
May 2007
  red cubeThe importance of civil society and its interplay with parliaments and other democratically elected assemblies for the maturing and development of democracy  113th Assembly
October 2005
  red cubeBeijing + 10: An evaluation from a parliamentary perspective  111th Assembly
October 2004
  red cubeFurthering parliamentary democracy in order to protect human rights and encourage reconciliation among peoples and partnership among nations  110th Assembly
April 2004
  red cubeParliaments' role in strengthening democratic institutions and human development in a fragmented world  108th Conference
April 2003
  red cubeStrong action by national Parliaments in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to ensure the promotion and protection of all human rights in the 21st century  100th Conference
September 1998
  red cubeThe prevention of conflicts and the restoration of peace and trust in countries emerging from war; the return of refugees to their countries of origin, the strengthening of democratic processes and the hastening of reconstruction  99th Conference
April 1998
  red cubeEnsuring lasting democracy by forging close links between Parliament and people  98th Conference
September 1997
  red cubePromoting greater respect and protection of human rights in general and in particular for women and children  96th Conference
September 1996
  red cubeParliamentary action for women's access to and participation in decision-making structures aimed at achieving true equality for women  93rd Conference
April 1995
  red cubeThe organization and functioning of democracy and the expression of ethnic diversity as a means of ensuring the stability of all States, economic development and better use of the peace dividend for the benefit of the Third World  87th Conference
April 1992

A complete chronological list of resolutions adopted by IPU statutory Assemblies (Conferences) since 1991 is available on a separate page .

Council resolutions on human rights cases

Human Rights resolutions Twice a year, the sessions of the Governing Council of the IPU adopt resolutions concerning alleged violations of human rights of parliamentarians in different countries. Before these documents are made public, each case is scrupulously studied by the Union's Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians at its meetings held in camera four times a year. The complete list of such resolutions is available on this site.