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Adopted in 1971 and extensively revised in October 1983 and April 2003
2. Each Member of the IPU shall be represented on the Governing Council by three parliamentarians, provided that its representation includes both men and women. Single-gender delegations will be limited to two members.
A member of the Governing Council who is unable to attend may be replaced by another representative of the IPU Member in question duly authorized for that purpose (cf. Statutes, Art. 18.3 and Governing Council, Rule 1.1).
1. Two representatives of each Associate Member of the IPU may follow the work of the Governing Council.
2. The Presidents of the Standing Committees may participate in Council meetings in an advisory capacity when questions concerning the work of their Committees are being discussed (cf. Standing Committees, Rule 17.2).
Representatives of international organizations may be invited by the Governing Council to follow its work as observers. Representatives of other bodies to which observer status has been granted by the United Nations General Assembly may also be invited by the Governing Council as observers (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (g)).
The President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union shall be ex officio President of the Governing Council and shall be elected in conformity with Article 19 of the Statutes.
Candidatures for the post of President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union shall be communicated in writing to the Secretary General at least 24 hours before the opening of the meeting during which the election is to take place.
1. The candidate who obtains an absolute majority of the votes cast shall be elected President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
2. If no candidate obtains an absolute majority during the first round of voting, a second round and, if need be, additional rounds shall be held among the candidates until one of them obtains this majority.
2. In case of resignation, loss of parliamentary mandate or death, the President's functions shall be exercised by the Vice-President of the Executive Committee until such time as the Governing Council elects a new President. The same provision shall apply when the affiliation of the Member of the IPU to which the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union belongs is suspended (cf. Statutes, Art. 19.4).
The Member of the IPU to which the President belongs may designate another of its members to replace the President on the Governing Council with the right to vote.
1. The President shall open, suspend and close the sittings, direct the work of the Governing Council, see that the Rules are observed, call upon the speakers, put questions to the vote, make known the results of the voting and declare the sessions closed. The President's decisions on these matters shall be final and not open to debate.
2. The President shall decide on all matters not covered by these Rules.
1. The Governing Council shall adopt its agenda.
2. A provisional agenda shall be drawn up by the Executive Committee. It shall be communicated to all members of the Governing Council by the Secretary General at least one month before the opening of each regular session, accompanied by the necessary documents.
3. The Governing Council shall decide, by a majority of the votes cast, on the provisional agenda recommended by the Executive Committee.
1. Any member of the Governing Council may request the insertion of supplementary items in the agenda (cf. Statutes, Art. 20.2); such a request shall be communicated immediately to the members of the Governing Council.
2. After hearing the opinion of the Executive Committee, the Governing Council shall decide on such a request:
(a) By a majority of the votes cast if the request is received by the IPU Secretariat at least 15 days before the opening of the session; or
Any member of the Governing Council may submit a motion or a draft resolution on an item appearing on its agenda.
If the text of a draft resolution has not been circulated in French and in English before its discussion, any member of the Governing Council may request the adjournment of its consideration until such time as the text has been distributed in both languages.
Any member of the Governing Council may submit amendments to a motion or a draft resolution.
1. Amendments, which may be submitted either orally or in writing, shall relate directly to the text. They may only envisage an addition, a deletion or a modification to the initial draft without having the effect of changing its scope or nature.
2. The President shall determine whether or not amendments are in order.
1. Amendments shall be discussed before the text to which they relate. They shall likewise be voted on before the text itself.
2. Sub-amendments shall be discussed at the same time as the amendments to which they relate. They shall be voted on before the amendments concerned.
1. If two or more amendments apply to the same words in the draft resolution, the one which is furthest removed from the text under consideration shall have priority over the others and shall be put to the vote first.
2. If two or more amendments relating to the same words are mutually exclusive, the adoption of the first shall imply the rejection of the other amendment(s). 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.
3. In case of doubt regarding priority, the President shall decide.
Unless the President decides otherwise, the only speakers to be heard in discussing an amendment shall be the author of the amendment and a delegate holding a contrary opinion.
No member of the Governing Council may speak without the authorization of the President.
1. Members of the Governing Council shall speak in the order in which they request the floor.
2. Speakers may only be interrupted by other members on a point of order. They may, nevertheless, with the President's authorization, yield the floor to allow other members' requests for clarification.
3. The President shall rule immediately and without debate on all points of order.
On the proposal of the President, or at the request of one of its members, the Governing Council may decide by a majority of the votes cast to limit the speaking time during the discussion of a particular item on the agenda.
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 a meeting and, if necessary, take all measures required to restore the normal functioning of the Governing Council debates.
1. Priority to speak shall be given to members of the Governing Council wishing to propose:
(a) Adjournment of the debate sine die;
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. During a debate on procedural motions, only the mover of the proposal and one delegate holding a contrary opinion shall be heard, after which the Governing Council shall take a decision.
Governing Council debates shall be public. They shall be held in camera only if the Governing Council so decides by a majority of the votes cast.
1. Members of the Governing Council, or their duly appointed substitutes, shall have one vote each.
2. The President shall not vote.
The Governing Council shall normally vote by show of hands or by standing vote. However, if the President deems it necessary or a member of the Governing Council so requests, a roll-call vote may be taken.
1. Voting shall be conducted by secret ballot for the election of the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the appointment of the Secretary General and the election of members of the Executive Committee.
2. Results of secret ballots shall be ascertained by two Tellers appointed by the Governing Council.
Subject to the special provisions relating to amendments (cf. Rule 18) and procedural motions (cf. Rule 26), the Governing Council shall vote on proposals in the order in which they were submitted. After each vote, the Governing Council may decide whether or not it will vote on the next proposal.
1. Any member of the Governing Council may request that part, or each paragraph, of a text submitted to the Governing Council be put to the vote separately.
2. If any objection is raised, the request for division of the text shall be voted on without debate.
3. If the request for division of the text is accepted, separate votes shall be taken on those parts and paragraphs of the text on which the Governing Council 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 rejected in toto.
1. Nobody may interrupt a vote once it has commenced, except to obtain clarification on the manner in which the voting is being conducted.
2. Members of the Governing Council 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 the members of the Governing Council or their duly appointed substitutes participating in the session are present in the meeting room at the time.
2. For each session, the quorum shall be established on the basis of the number of members of the Governing Council or substitutes actually participating in the first meeting. The quorum shall be announced by the Secretary General at that time.
1. The majorities required shall be the following:
(a) For the insertion of supplementary items in the Governing Council agenda, a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, if the request is received by the IPU Secretariat less than 15 days before the opening of the session (cf. Rule 13.2 (b));
2. In calculating the number of votes cast, only affirmative and negative votes shall be taken into account.
3. When a two-thirds majority is required, the number of affirmative votes must be equal to at least one third of the total number of Governing Council members or their substitutes actually participating in the session (cf. Rule 34).
4. In case of a tie, the proposal under consideration shall be considered as rejected.
1. In between sessions, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union or the Executive Committee, acting through the Secretary General, may if necessary consult the Governing Council by correspondence.
2. For the result of this consultation to constitute a valid decision, the IPU Secretariat must have received replies from at least half of the Members of the IPU represented on the Governing Council within 40 days of the date of despatch of the communication by which the Members were consulted.
In conformity with Article 21 (k) of the Statutes, the Governing Council shall elect the members to fill vacant seats on the Executive Committee.
Candidatures for an election to the Executive Committee, with the exception of the case provided for in Article 25.7 of the Statutes, shall be communicated in writing to the Secretary General at least 24 hours before the Governing Council meeting at which they are to be considered.
The Governing Council shall elect candidates who have obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast. If the requisite number of candidates is not elected in the first round of voting, additional rounds shall be held until all the vacant seats are filled. In calculating the majority, partially completed ballot papers shall be counted.
AUDITING OF THE ACCOUNTS
The IPU’s accounts, after having been examined by the External Auditor, shall be submitted each year by the Secretary General to the two Auditors appointed by the Governing Council from among its members (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (i)). When audited, they shall be presented for approval to the Governing Council, which shall then sanction the Secretary General's financial administration.
1. The Secretary General or his/her representative shall assist the President in directing the work of the Governing Council.
2. The Secretary General or his/her representative may be invited by the President to speak on any question under consideration.
1. The IPU Secretariat shall receive all documents, reports and draft resolutions and distribute them 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. It shall prepare provisional summary records of the meetings which shall be circulated to all Members of the IPU within 60 days of the close of the session and submitted for approval by the Governing Council at the opening of its next session.
The Secretary General shall submit to each ordinary session of the Governing Council a written report on the state and work of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
1. The Governing Council shall adopt and amend its Rules by a majority of the votes cast.
2. Proposals for amending the Governing Council's Rules shall be formulated in writing and sent to the IPU Secretariat at least three months before the next meeting of the Governing Council. The Secretariat shall communicate such proposals immediately to all Members of the IPU. It shall communicate any proposals for sub-amendments at least one month before the meeting of the Governing Council.
3. If circumstances so warrant, the Governing Council may establish special rules of procedure for any extraordinary session it convenes in conformity with the provisions of Article 17.2 of the Statutes. Such special rules shall be approved by the Governing Council no later than at the regular session immediately preceding the event in question.
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