Inter-Parliamentary Union

Inter-Parliamentary Union
New IPU-e.jpg
Founded1889; 130 years ago (1889)
FounderFrédéric Passy,
William Randal Cremer
Legal statusInternational organization
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Gabriela Cuevas Barron

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; French: Union Interparlementaire [UIP]) is a global inter-parliamentary institution established in 1889 by Frédéric Passy (France) and William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom). It was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. Initially, the organization was for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed into an international organization of the parliaments of sovereign states. The national parliaments of 178 countries (the last three member countries are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu; Memberships were given during its 137th conference)[1] are members of the IPU, and 12 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members.[2] The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.


Eight leading personalities of the IPU have received Nobel Peace Prizes:

The organisation's initial objective was the arbitration of conflicts. The IPU played an important part in setting up the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Over time, its mission has evolved towards the promotion of democracy and inter-parliamentary dialogue. The IPU has worked for establishment of institutions at the inter-governmental level, including the United Nations, an organization with which it cooperates and with which it has permanent observer status.

Map of IPU member states

Numerous bodies have expressed interest in the possibility of transforming the IPU into a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, among them the Committee for a Democratic UN, the German Bundestag and the Socialist International. The Liberal International also considers this as an option.

The headquarters of the union have been moved several times since its inception. Locations:

  • 1892–1911: Bern (Switzerland)
  • 1911–1914: Brussels (Belgium)
  • 1914–1920: Oslo (Norway)
  • 1921–present: Geneva (Switzerland)
Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Міжпарлямэнцкі саюз
Bahasa Indonesia: Inter-Parliamentary Union
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Parlamentlararo ittifoq