The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world organization of parliaments, a global forum for parliamentary dialogue, cooperation and action. IPU advances democracy and assists parliaments and parliamentarians throughout the world to fulfil their mandates.1
As part of its democracy-building mission, and taking stock of popular demands for a more accountable system of global governance, twenty years ago the IPU began a relationship with the UN, the world’s premier multilateral organization, as well as the UN system of agencies and programmes. The primary aims of this relationship consisted of (1) influencing UN decision-making processes by injecting the voices of parliamentarians as representatives of the people, and (2) by holding governments accountable for their commitments at the UN. Secondarily, the IPU aimed to (3) build political support for the UN, and (4) help implement UN agreements at the national level.
The IPU seeks a consultant (individual or company) to perform an independent evaluation of the its political project at the UN focusing particularly, but not exclusively, on its primary objectives 1 and 2 above.
The evaluation will need to consider internal and external political factors, the IPU’s institutional set up, legal boundaries between the IPU and the UN, as well as existing resources and capacities within the IPU and its member parliaments. The evaluation will inform an internal reflection at IPU, in the course of 2020, as to the future course of its relationship with the UN.
Tasks and deliverables
Beginning with a background paper provided by the Secretariat, the consultant will:
- Review the key documents in which the IPU’s political project is outlined, including the outcome of Speakers Conferences as well as milestone UN resolutions and declarations.
- Review the actual work programme of the IPU (past and future)
- Review IPU’s positions at the UN, primarily in the form of speeches, resolutions and outcomes of parliamentary meetings
- Examine the institutional linkages between the IPU and the UN, including two cooperation agreements and various MoUs, as well as a Committee on UN Affairs, and the Observer office in New York
- Conduct detailed interviews with the leadership of the IPU as well as senior IPU staff (15 individuals maximum)
- Conduct interviews with ambassadors and senior UN officials who have been closely associated with the IPU project over the years (15 individual maximum)
The key deliverable will be a results-based analytical report identifying possible institutional and political hurdles, as well as additional resource requirements to either bring the IPU’s political project to fruition or to reorient it in a new direction.
Location and working arrangements
The consultant will mainly work remotely but will be required to travel to New York and Geneva for one-on-one interviews with IPU officials, ambassadors and UN officials. Some interviews may be arranged virtually.
The work will be carried out under the overall supervision of the Permanent Observer Office to the UN in New York.
Prospective consultants should submit a proposal setting out the number of days required to complete this work. A first draft report should be submitted by early March. Based on input from the IPU, a second and final paper will be due by the end of April 2020.
Prospective consultants should propose a daily rate.
The consultant selected will be an independent contractor and will not be considered an IPU official or employee and will not be subject to the IPU Staff Regulations and Staff Rules. The consultant is not entitled to claim from the IPU any income tax payable in respect of the fee provided under this contract; they will be solely liable for the payment of any national income tax due in respect of the emoluments payable under this contract. The consultant will not be included in the IPU pension scheme.
Candidates should demonstrate expertise in international relations, first-hand knowledge of the UN’s deliberative machinery, and strong familiarity with parliamentary practices and processes.
The report should be in either French or English.