Adopted in 1971. Entirely revised in October 1983. Amended in March 1985, October 1987, September 1988, March 1989, April 1990, April 1995, April 1996 and April 2001.

Clear here to see the latest version of the Rules.


Note: Participation of observers in IPU Meetings is regulated by Practical Modalities of the rights and and responsibilities of observers, approved by the Inter-Parliamentary Council in April 1999.



1. The Conference shall be composed of sitting members of Parliament designated by the Members of the Union as delegates in conformity with Article 10 of the Statutes.

2. Associate Members shall participate in the Conference and its Committees with the same rights as ordinary members, with the exception of the right to vote and to present candidates for elective offices.


1. Representatives of international organisations may be invited by the Inter-Parliamentary Council to follow the work of the Conference in the capacity of observers. Representatives of other bodies to which observer status has been accorded by the General Assembly of the United Nations may also be invited by the Council as observers (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (h)).

2. Observers may only speak on the invitation of the President.


Members of the Union may designate former parliamentarians to folow the work of the Conference as Honorary Members of their delegation.


RULE 4 (cf. Statutes, Art. 9)

1. The Conference shall normally last for five working days.

2. The place and date of each Conference shall be determined by the Council, if possible one year in advance (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (b); Conference, Rule 6). The convocation of the Conference shall be sent to all Members of the Union at least four months before the opening of the session.


1. The Member of the Union inviting the Conference shall be responsible for providing all necessary facilities for the session, in conformity with an Agreement concluded with the Secretary General acting in the name of the Union.

2. The Council may, however, decide whether it is necessary in certain cases for the Union and other Members of the Union to bear part of the expenses of organising a Conference.


The dates of each Conference shall be determined by the Council in consultation with the host Member (cf. Rule 4).


RULE 7 (cf. Statutes, Art. 11)

1. The Conference shall be opened by the President of the Council or, in the President's absence, by the Vice-President of the Executive Committee designated in conformity with Rule 5.2 of the Rules of the Executive Committee.

2. The Conference shall choose its President (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (e)), Vice-Presidents and Tellers.

3. The number of Vice-Presidents shall be equal to that of the Members of the Union represented at the Conference.


1. The President shall open, suspend and close the sittings, direct the work of the Conference, see that the Rules are observed, call upon speakers, put questions to the vote, make known the results of the voting and declare the Conference closed. The President's decisions in these matters shall be final and shall be accepted without debate.

2. The President shall decide on all matters not covered by these Rules, after having taken the advice of the Steering Committee if necessary.


1. The Steering Committee of the Conference shall be composed of the President of the Conference, the President of the Council and the Vice-President of the Executive Committee designated in conformity with Rule 5.2 of the Rules of the Executive Committee. The Presidents of Study Committees may take part in its work in an advisory capacity.

2. This Committee, which shall be assisted by the Secretary General of the Union, shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the effective organisation and normal functioning of the Conference proceedings, in conformity with the Statutes and Rules of the Union.



1. The agenda of the Conference shall be approved by the Council on the recommendation of the Executive Committee (cf. Statutes, Art. 14.1 and 21 (c)). This agenda shall include, in addition to the General Debate, two subject items chosen in such a way that a topic relating to the field of competence of each Committee is considered at least once in the space of three successive Conferences.

2. The agenda shall be communicated to all Members of the Union by the Secretary General at least four months before the opening of the Conference.

RULE 11 (cf. Statutes, Art. 14.2)

1. Any Member of the Union may request the inclusion of a supplementary item in the Conference agenda. Such a request may be accompanied by a brief explanatory memorandum and a draft resolution. The Secretariat shall communicate the request and any such documents immediately to all Members.

2. Consideration and acceptance by the Conference of a request for the inclusion of a supplementary item in its agenda shall be subject to the following provisions:

(a) A request for the inclusion of a supplementary item must - subject to provision (b) below - have been received by the Secretariat at least 30 days before the opening of the Conference in order to be taken into consideration. Such a request must receive a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in order to be accepted.

(b) A request for the inclusion of an emergency supplementary item relating to an event of particular international importance occurring during the 30 days preceding the opening of the Conference or during the period of the Conference shall, in so far as feasible, be admissible. Such a request must receive a four-fifths majority of the votes cast in order to be accepted.

(c) The Conference may place only one supplementary item on its agenda in each of the cases provided for in (a) and (b) above. In each of these cases, should several requests be taken into consideration, only the one having received both the requisite majority and the largest number of positive votes shall be accepted.


Before taking a decision on a request for the inclusion of a supplementary item, the Conference shall hear a summary explanation from the sponsor and a statement from one speaker holding a contrary opinion, neither of whom shall enter into the substance of the matter.


Any Member of the Union may, by submitting memoranda, contribute to the consideration of the two subject items placed on the agenda approved by the Council. The arrangements for submission of memoranda shall be indicated in the convocation of the Conference.


1. Any delegate may submit a motion or a draft resolution on a subject included in the agenda.

2. Draft resolutions relating to subject items included in the agenda approved by the Council shall be deposited with the Secretariat of the Conference no later than the opening of the last plenary sitting allocated for discussion of the item to which they refer.

3. The procedure for submission of draft resolutions on supplementary items shall be determined by the Conference on the recommendation of the Steering Committee.


1. The Conference shall start by holding a General Debate on the political, economic and social situation in the world. This debate shall not give rise to the adoption of a motion or draft resolution.

2. The two subject items placed on the Conference agenda by the Inter-Parliamentary Council shall be debated by the competent Study Committees which shall prepare reports and/or draft resolutions for consideration by the Conference.

3. The supplementary item shall be referred to the competent Study Committee which shall debate it and prepare a report and/or a draft resolution for consideration by the Conference.

4. The emergency supplementary item shall be dealt with according to an ad hoc procedure approved by the Conference, on the proposal of the Steering Committee.

5. The Conference shall vote on the texts submitted by the Study Committees, without holding a debate on the substance of these questions.


1. No debate may be opened nor any vote taken on a question which the Conference has examined and on which it has taken a decision.

2. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Steering Committee may submit to the Conference a motion proposing that a procedural decision already taken be reconsidered; a positive decision on such a motion shall be based on a consensus among the delegations.



1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 4 below, any delegate may submit amendments to a motion or a draft resolution, as well as sub-amendments.

2. Amendments shall be submitted in writing. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 3 and 4 below, amendments and sub-amendments may be submitted until the Conference adopts the texts to which they relate.

3. Amendments to a draft resolution relating to a question referred to a Committee, as well as sub-amendments, may be submitted until the Committee adopts the draft resolution intended for the Conference.

4. When the Conference is called upon to take a decision on the draft resolution prepared by the Committee, the only amendments in order, other than those of a purely drafting nature, shall be those incorporating the content of earlier proposals submitted within the statutory time-limits but not accepted by the Committee.


1. Amendments and sub-amendments shall relate directly to the text. They may only call for an addition, a deletion or an alteration with regard to the initial draft, without having the effect of changing its scope or nature.

2. The President of the Conference shall determine whether or not amendments and sub-amendments which are to be voted on in plenary sitting of the Conference are in order.


1. Amendments and sub-amendments shall be voted on before the text to which they relate.

2. If two or more amendments apply to the same words in a draft resolution, that which is furthest from the text under consideration shall have priority over the others and shall be put to the vote first.

3. If two or more amendments are mutually exclusive, the adoption of the first shall involve the rejection of the other amendment or amendments bearing on the same words. If the first amendment is rejected, the next amendment in order of priority shall be put to the vote; the same procedure shall be applied for each of the following amendments.

4. In case of doubt regarding the priority, the President shall decide.


Unless the President decides otherwise, the only speakers on an amendment or a sub-amendment shall be the sponsor, one delegate holding a contrary opinion and, if need be, the Rapporteur of the Committee.



No delegate may speak without the authorization of the President.


1. No more than two representatives of each delegation may speak in the General Debate. For this debate, every delegation shall be entitled to 10 minutes' speaking time unless the Steering Committee decides otherwise. When two speakers from the same delegation are registered for this debate, they shall share the speaking time in the most appropriate way.

2. With a view to ensuring the normal running of the debates, the Steering Committee may alter the above speaking time to suit the circumstances.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 above, the President may, at the end of the corresponding sitting, give the floor briefly to a delegation wishing to exercise its right of reply.


1. As a general rule, delegates shall take the floor in the order in which they have asked to speak.

2. However, the registration of speakers for the General Debate shall be governed by a specific procedure established by the Conference.

3. Speakers may only be interrupted by other delegates on a point of order.

4. The President shall rule immediately without debate on all points of order.


The President shall call a speaker to order when the latter does not keep to the subject under discussion or prejudices the debate by using abusive language. The President may, if necessary, withdraw permission to speak and may have the objectionable words struck from the record.


The President shall deal immediately with any incident which may arise during the meeting and, if necessary, take any measure required to restore the normal working of the Conference.


1. Priority to speak shall be given to delegates wishing to propose:

(a) Adjournment of the debate sine die;

(b) Adjournment of the debate;

(c) Closure of the list of speakers;

(d) Closure or adjournment of the meeting;

(e) Any other motion bearing on the conduct of the meeting.

2. These procedural motions shall have priority over the substantive questions; debate on the latter shall be suspended while the former are considered.

3. The mover shall make a brief presentation of the motion without entering into the substance of the question under debate.

4. In debate on procedural motions, only the mover of the proposal and one delegate holding a contrary opinion shall be heard, each of whom may speak for not more than three minutes, after which the Conference shall decide.


Debates of the Conference shall be public. They shall be held in private only if the Conference so decides by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.



Voting shall be conducted in conformity with Articles 15 and 16 of the Statutes.


A table giving the number of votes to which each Group is entitled shall be distributed at the opening of the Conference.


1. Conference votes shall be taken only after due notice has been given by the President.

2. Results of votes by secret ballot shall be ascertained by the Tellers appointed by the Conference.


1. Any delegate may request that part, or each paragraph, of a text submitted to the Conference be put to the vote separately.

2. If any objection is raised, the request for division shall be voted on without debate.

3. If the request for division is accepted, separate votes shall be taken on those parts and paragraphs of the text on which the Conference has resolved to take a separate vote. The full text, excluding such parts or paragraphs as may have been rejected, shall subsequently be put to the vote as a whole on the understanding that, should all the parts and paragraphs of the text be rejected, the text shall be considered as rejected in toto.


1. Nobody may interrupt a vote once it has commenced, except to obtain clarification as to the manner in which the voting is being conducted.

2. Delegates who wish to explain their vote briefly may be authorized to do so by the President, after voting has taken place.

3. No explanation of vote shall be admissible on amendments and procedural motions.


1. A vote may only take place if at least half of the delegations participating in the Conference are represented in the meeting room at the time.

2. For each Conference, the quorum shall be established on the basis of the number of delegations effectively participating at the first plenary meeting. This quorum shall be announced by the Secretary General at that time.


1. Subject to the provisions of Rules 11.2, 16.2 and 27, the Conference shall take decisions by a majority of the votes cast.

2. In calculating the number of votes cast, only affirmative and negative votes shall be taken into account.

3. When a specified majority is required, the number of affirmative votes must be equal to at least one-third of the total number of votes allocated to delegations participating effectively in the Conference (cf. Rule 34.2).

4. If the votes are equally divided, the proposal under consideration shall be considered as rejected.



1. The Secretary General of the Union shall be responsible for the organisation of the Secretariat of the Conference. The Secretary General or the Secretary General's representative shall assist the President in directing the work of the Conference.

2. The Secretary General or the Secretary General's representative may at any time, at the request of the President, submit to the Conference advice on any question which the meeting has under consideration (cf. Secretariat, Rule 6).


The Secretary General shall transmit to the Members of the Union as rapidly as possible all the documents sent for the Conference.


1. The Secretariat of the Union shall receive all documents, reports and draft resolutions and distribute them, together with the summary records of the sittings, in English and French. It shall ensure the simultaneous interpretation of the debates in these two languages, as well as in Arabic and Spanish.

2. The Secretariat of the Union shall preserve the documents of the Conference in its archives and, in general, carry out all the tasks which the Conference may think fit to entrust to it.


1. The provisional summary record of each sitting shall be made available to delegates within twenty-four hours. Any delegate may request a rectification; the Steering Committee shall decide, in case of doubt, as to its admissibility.

2. An abridged version of a memorandum distributed at the Conference may be included in the summary record if its author, being duly registered on the list of speakers, waives the right to speak.

3. Should the Conference sit in private, it may decide that no records of the sitting be kept.

4. The final summary record of the proceedings shall be published and distributed before the following Conference.



1. At the close of each Conference, the President shall enumerate the principal resolutions adopted.

2. It shall be the duty of Members of the Union to submit these resolutions within their respective Parliaments, in an appropriate form, and to communicate them to their Governments with a view to obtaining the most active possible support for the implementation of these resolutions (cf. Statutes, Art. 7).



1. The Conference shall adopt and amend its Rules by a majority of the votes cast.

2. Proposals for amending the Rules of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference shall be formulated in writing and sent to the Secretariat of the Union at least three months before the Conference meets. The Secretariat shall communicate such proposals immediately to all Members of the Union. It shall also, if necessary, communicate to all Members any proposals for sub-amendments at least one month before the meeting of the Conference.

3. Consideration of any request to amend the Rules shall be included automatically in the agenda of the Conference.

*   In these Rules, whenever the words "parliamentarian", "President", "Vice-President", "delegate", "representative", "member" and "observer" are used, they should be construed as referring to both women and men.

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