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Rules and Practices

Approved by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
(Cape Town, 18 April 2008)


The IPU Advisory Group on HIV/AIDS provides a global parliamentary focal point for legislative work in the field of HIV/AIDS.  The Advisory Group offers guidance to the Members of the IPU on the implementation of international commitments on HIV/AIDS, helps design information and training materials for parliamentarians; conducts field visits to learn lessons from national responses to HIV/AIDS which can be shared with the wider parliamentary community; and expands the scope of the parliamentary response against HIV/AIDS by identifying more effective strategies.


The IPU Advisory Group on HIV/AIDS is composed of a maximum of twelve members of national parliaments, appointed by the IPU President in consultation with the members of the Advisory Group and IPU member parliaments, on the basis of attested expertise in the field of HIV and AIDS.  The Advisory Group will endeavour to ensure that its membership is geographically representative and gender balanced.

Advisory Group members shall serve for a single four‑year term.


The Advisory Group elects its Chairperson for a period of one year.  He/she is eligible for re‑election for one further term.


The Advisory Group meets twice a year in regular session.  The Advisory Group's sessions are held in camera.  The Advisory Group sets the dates for its sessions in the light of proposals by the Secretary General.  Additional meetings may be held if the Advisory Group so decides.


The provisional agenda of the Advisory Group is drawn up by the Secretary General, in consultation with the Advisory Group Chairperson.


As a general rule, the Advisory Group's decisions are taken by consensus.  Failing a consensus, the Advisory Group decides by a simple majority of the members present, the Chairperson having the right to vote.


The Advisory Group may decide to carry out field visits, principally to examine the role played by a national parliament in addressing the epidemic.  Such missions are conducted in accordance with the Concept note on field visits (see below) adopted by the Advisory Group on 23 March 2007.


The Advisory Group reports on its work to the Governing Council, of which it is a subsidiary body.

Concept note on field visits by the Advisory Group

At its first meeting in September 2006, the IPU Advisory Group on HIV/AIDS decided that its programme of activities would include field visits. It subsequently agreed that the principal objective of the visits would be to examine the role of parliament in addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic and making recommendations for how best to strengthen that role.

Under that heading, there are many substantive issues that the Group may wish to examine during its visits, and these will naturally depend on the situation in each country. They may include questions of legislation and its enforcement, discrimination, access to treatment, or the predicament of children and especially orphans, to mention a few examples.

     The Group agreed that:

1.    There should be no single type of country or situation chosen for visits, but rather a mix of countries: resource rich and resource poor, countries where activities have been successful and those where particular problems can be highlighted.

2.     The first port of call in any visit should be the host parliament:

  • To examine the structures and systems in place within the parliament to tackle the epidemic in that country;
  • To learn about successful practices and in particular any steps taken by parliament to ensure coherence and coordination of the government response to the epidemic;
  • To see what shortcomings and obstacles may exist at the parliamentary level and investigate cases where leadership could have been provided but is not forthcoming;
  • To examine the effect of the epidemic on parliament itself and its ability to deliver development. This would include both elected representatives and parliamentary staff;
  • To see what is being done to meet internationally agreed targets and where necessary recommend action;
  • To scrutinize processes of law reform.

3.     The Group should also visit government officials in ministries (Interior, Justice, or Defence) where there are often deficiencies in implementation. Radiating outwards from parliament, the aim should be to ensure the government response is comprehensive and that legislation is actually being implemented.

4.     The Group should talk to civil society organizations to see how relations with parliament are mutually beneficial and how they can become stronger and more productive.

5.     Last but not least, and in conjunction with all the above, the Group will visit different projects and facilities set up to provide care and support.  It should talk to people living with HIV and AIDS.

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