Preparations for the Speakers' Conference are guided by a Preparatory Committee, chaired by the IPU President, composed of parliamentary leaders, representatives of the IPU Executive Committee, the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians and the Forum of Young Parliamentarians, the Secretary General of the IPU, and the high-level representative of the UN Secretary-General.
The first Conference of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments took place in August 2000 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, just a few days prior to the Millennium Summit of Heads of State and Government. Organized with the full support of the United Nations, the conference concluded with a Declaration entitled The Parliamentary Vision For International Cooperation at the Dawn of the Third Millennium. With this Declaration, the Presiding Officers of the world's parliaments committed themselves and their institutions to join forces with the United Nations to help address the tremendous challenges facing the world community. The commitment of Member States for greater cooperation with the world of parliaments was embedded in the final declaration of the 2000 Summit, known as the Millennium Declaration. This declaration calls, inter alia, for the United Nations to work with national parliaments, through the IPU, in the pursuit of peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights, democracy, and gender issues.
Subsequent World Conferences were held every five years in conjunction with the United Nations: