The Secretary General, as the Chief Executive of the Organisation, manages the IPU and is accountable to the Governing Council. Working with the President, the Secretary General plays a critical role in defining and implementing the IPU’s strategic direction under the supervision of the Executive Committee.
The Secretary General heads the Secretariat and ensures that the decisions of the IPU Membership are implemented and that the necessary resources are mobilised. The Secretary General facilitates the political work of the Organisation, including the members and the Governing Bodies. The Secretary General also ensures the representation of the IPU at major conferences and strengthens cooperation with other international organizations.
IPU Secretaries General are not serving MPs. They are committed to promoting and building democracy from a background which may be in public administration, international law and cooperation, or other relevant fields.
The Secretary General is initially elected for a term of four years, which can be renewed. He or she is elected by secret ballot by the Governing Council from a shortlist of applicants recommended by the Executive Committee.
There have been eight Secretaries General since the IPU was founded in 1889. Two of them—Norway’s Christian Lange and Sweden’s Albert Gobat—are among the eight IPU figures who have won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The current Secretary General is Martin Chungong.