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RULES OF THE ASSEMBLY 1

Adopted in 1971, extensively revised in October 1983 and amended in April 2003, October 2013 and March 2016

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Contents:


I. COMPOSITION

RULE 1

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

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

RULE 2

1. Representatives of international organizations may be invited by the Governing Council to follow the work of the Assembly in the capacity of 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)).

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

RULE 3

Members of the IPU may designate former parliamentarians to follow the work of the Assembly as honorary members of their delegation.

II. SESSIONS

RULE 4 (cf. Statutes, Art. 9)

1. The Assembly will meet twice a year and normally last for four days. The second session of the year will be held in Geneva, unless the IPU governing bodies decide otherwise.

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

RULE 5

1. The Member of the IPU inviting the Assembly shall be responsible for providing all necessary facilities for the session, in conformity with an Agreement concluded with the Secretary General acting on behalf of the IPU.

2. The Governing Council may, however, decide whether it is necessary in certain cases for the IPU and other Members of the IPU to bear part of the expenses of organizing an Assembly.

RULE 6

The dates of each Assembly shall be determined by the Governing Council in consultation with the host Member (cf. Assembly Rule 4.2).

III. PRESIDENCY - STEERING COMMITTEE

RULE 7 (cf. Statutes, Art. 11)

1. The Assembly shall be opened by the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union 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 Assembly shall choose its President (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (c)), Vice-Presidents and Tellers.

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

RULE 8

1. The President shall open, suspend and close the sittings, direct the work of the Assembly, see that the Rules are observed, call upon speakers, put questions to the vote, make known the results of the voting and declare the Assembly closed. The President's decisions in these matters shall be final and not open to 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.

RULE 9

1. The Steering Committee of the Assembly shall be composed of the President of the Assembly, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union 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 Standing Committees may take part in its work in an advisory capacity.

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

IV. AGENDA – REPORTS AND RESOLUTIONS - ORDER OF DEBATES

RULE 10

1. The agenda of the Assembly, approved on the occasion of its previous session, shall include a General Debate with an overall theme, normally two subject items proposed by the Standing Committees and relating to their own field of competence (cf. Standing Committees, Rule 6.1 and Statutes, Art. 14.1) as well as possible reports submitted by the Standing Committees.

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

RULE 11 (cf. Statutes, Art. 14.2)

1. Any Member of the IPU may request the inclusion of an emergency item in the Assembly agenda. Such a request must be accompanied by a brief explanatory memorandum and a draft resolution, which clearly define the scope of the subject covered by the request. The IPU Secretariat shall communicate the request and any such documents immediately to all Members.

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

(a) A request for the inclusion of an emergency item must relate to a major event of international concern on which it appears necessary for the IPU to express its opinion. Such a request must receive a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in order to be accepted.

(b) The Assembly may place only one emergency item on its agenda. Should several requests obtain the requisite majority, the one having received the largest number of positive votes shall be accepted.

(c) The authors of two or more requests for the inclusion of an emergency item may combine their proposals to present a joint one, provided that each of the original proposals relates to the same subject.

(d) The subject of a proposal that has been withdrawn by its authors or rejected by the Assembly cannot be included in the draft resolution submitted on the emergency item, unless it is clearly referred to in the request and title of the subject adopted by the Assembly.

RULE 12

Before taking a decision on a request for the inclusion of an emergency item and after hearing the opinion of the Steering Committee on its admissibility, the Assembly shall hear a concise 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.

RULE 13

As a rule, the Assembly will appoint two rapporteurs for each subject item proposed by a Standing Committee. These rapporteurs will prepare a succinct, action-oriented draft resolution and an accompanying explanatory memorandum. Members of the IPU may contribute to the drafting process by submitting their brief written inputs in one of the official languages of the IPU (cf. Assembly, Rule 37.1). The arrangements for the submission of such written inputs shall be indicated in the convocation of the Assembly (cf. Standing Committees, Rule 13.1).

RULE 14

The procedure for the submission of draft resolutions on the emergency item shall be determined by the Assembly on the recommendation of the Steering Committee.

RULE 15

1. The Assembly shall start by holding a General Debate with an overall theme. During this General Debate, Members may also address 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 subject items placed by the Assembly on its agenda shall be debated by the Standing Committees, which shall prepare draft resolutions for consideration by the Assembly (cf. Statutes, Art. 13.2).

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

4. The Assembly shall vote on the texts submitted by the Standing Committees, without holding a debate on the substance of these questions.

RULE 16

1. No debate may be opened or vote taken on a question which the Assembly has examined and on which it has taken a decision.

2. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Steering Committee may submit to the Assembly 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.

V. AMENDMENTS

RULE 17

1. Any delegate may submit amendments relating to the draft resolutions prepared by the rapporteurs on the subject item included in the agenda approved by the Assembly. They shall be deposited with the IPU Secretariat no later than 15 days before the opening of the Assembly. However, the Forum of Women Parliamentarians shall be permitted to submit amendments incorporating a gender perspective at any time prior to the closure of the first sitting of the respective Standing Committee (cf. Standing Committees, Rule 13.2).

2. Sub-amendments relating to these draft resolutions may be submitted until the Standing Committee adopts the draft resolution intended for the Assembly.

3. In order to facilitate the work of the Committee, the rapporteurs may propose a new text in order to give due consideration to proposed amendments and sub-amendments.

4. When the Assembly is called upon to take a decision on the draft resolution prepared by the Standing 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 deadlines but not accepted by the Standing Committee.

5. When the Assembly is called upon to take a decision on any other draft resolution, amendments and sub-amendments may be submitted until the Assembly adopts the texts to which they relate.

RULE 18

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

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

RULE 19

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, 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.

3. If two or more amendments are mutually exclusive, the adoption of the first shall imply the rejection of the other amendment(s) 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.

RULE 20

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 Standing Committee (cf. Standing Committees, Rule 26).

VI. SPEAKING RIGHTS - ORDER - PROCEDURAL MOTIONS

RULE 21

No delegate may speak without the authorization of the President.

RULE 22

1. No more than two representatives of each delegation may speak during the General Debate. For this Debate, every delegation shall be entitled to eight 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 adjust the above-mentioned 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.

RULE 23

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 Assembly.

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

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

RULE 24

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.

RULE 25

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 Assembly.

RULE 26

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; or

(e) Any other motion having a 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. During a 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 Assembly shall take a decision.

RULE 27

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

VII. VOTING - QUORUM - MAJORITIES

RULE 28

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

RULE 29

A table indicating the number of votes to which each Member of the IPU is entitled shall be distributed at the opening of the Assembly.

RULE 30

1. Assembly 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 Assembly.

RULE 31

1. Any delegate may request that part, or each paragraph, of a text submitted to the Assembly 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 Assembly 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.

RULE 32

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

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

RULE 33

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

2. For each Assembly, 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.

RULE 34

1. Subject to the provisions of Rules 11.2, 16.2 and 27, the Assembly 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 actually participating in the Assembly (cf. Rule 33.2).

4. In case of a tie, the proposal under consideration shall be considered as rejected.

VIII. SECRETARIAT

RULE 35

1. The Secretary General of the IPU shall be responsible for the organization of the IPU Secretariat. The Secretary General or his/her representative shall assist the President in directing the work of the Assembly.

2. The Secretary General or his/her representative may at any time, at the request of the President, offer the Assembly advice on any question which the meeting has under consideration (cf. Secretariat, Rule 6).

RULE 36

The Secretary General shall transmit to the Members of the IPU as rapidly as possible all the documents submitted for the Assembly.

RULE 37

1. The IPU Secretariat 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 IPU Secretariat shall maintain the documents of the Assembly in its archives and, in general, carry out all the tasks which the Assembly may deem fit to entrust to it.

RULE 38

1. The summary record of the proceedings shall be published and distributed before the following Assembly.

2. Should the Assembly sit in camera, it may decide that no records of the sitting will be kept.

IX. CLOSE OF THE ASSEMBLY

RULE 39

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

2. It shall be the duty of the Members of the IPU 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 support possible for the implementation of these resolutions (cf. Statutes, Art. 7).

X. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF THE RULES

RULE 40

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

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

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


  1. 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.
  2. See the practical modalities of the rights and responsibilities of observers at IPU Meetings.


Statutes Rules of the Assembly Rules of the Governing Council Rules of the Executive Committee Rules of the Standing Committees Rules of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians Rules of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians Forum of Young Parliamentarians of the IPU Rules of the Secretariat Financial Regulations Rights and responsibilities of observers

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