RULES OF THE COMMITTEE ON MIDDLE EAST QUESTIONS
Adopted by the IPU Governing Council at its 191st session
(Quebec City, 24 October 2012)
ROLE OF THE COMMITTEE
- The Committee shall follow the peace process in the Middle East and facilitate dialogue with members of parliament from all parties involved in the conflict. This shall include parliamentarians from all the political factions represented in the Israeli and Palestinian parliaments, from neighbouring countries and from members of the Quartet.
- The Committee shall undertake visits to the region, as required, to gain an understanding of the situation on the ground and promote dialogue between the parties concerned.
- The Committee shall submit a written report on the situation in the Middle East to the Governing Council. It may also express a political position on the situation in the Middle East for endorsement by the Governing Council.
- The Committee shall be composed of seven titular members and seven substitutes, elected by the Governing Council for a term of four years. The members shall be elected on the basis of their interest and expertise in the subject matter and of their availability to attend all sessions.
- No more than four of the seven titular members shall be of the same sex and as many of the geopolitical groups as possible shall be represented on the Committee.
- If a member of the Committee dies, resigns or ceases to be a parliamentarian, an election to replace that person shall be held at the next session of the Governing Council. A retiring member shall not be eligible for re-election for two years.
- If a titular member of the Committee fails to attend more than two consecutive sessions, he or she shall be replaced through an election by the Governing Council.
- A substitute member may attend Committee sessions together with the titular member. A substitute member shall not be entitled to vote unless he or she is replacing the titular member.
- The Committee shall meet in ordinary session at each Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The Secretary General shall fix the place and date of its ordinary sessions.
- It shall convene extraordinary dialogue sessions with members of parliament from countries involved in the conflict if the President of the Committee deems it necessary or if three of its members so request. Such dialogue shall, in principle, take place at IPU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, but can, if Committee members so agree, also take place in the Middle East region. The date of extraordinary sessions shall be fixed by the Committee President in agreement, whenever possible, with the members of the Committee.
- The President of the Committee shall be elected by the Committee members for a one-year term renewable once.
- The President shall open, adjourn and close the meetings, direct the work of the Committee, ensure respect for the Rules, call upon members to speak, put matters to the vote, announce the results of the voting and declare sessions closed. The President's decisions on these matters shall be final and shall be accepted without debate.
- The President may entrust titular or substitute Committee members with preparing reports for submission to the ordinary Committee sessions at the following IPU Assembly.
- The President may also propose that the Committee hold hearings with experts.
- The provisional agenda of each session shall be fixed by the Secretary General in agreement with the President. It shall be communicated to the members of the Committee at least one month before the opening of each ordinary session.
- A member of the Committee may request the inclusion of supplementary items in the agenda.
- The definitive agenda of each session shall be fixed by the Committee at the opening of each session.
DELIBERATIONS - QUORUM - VOTE
- The members of the Committee shall deliberate in camera.
- The Committee may hold valid deliberations and take valid decisions only if four members or substitutes are present.
- The members of the Committee or their substitutes shall have one vote each.
- The President shall participate in the voting only if the votes are equally divided.
- The Committee shall normally vote by show of hands. However, if the President deems it necessary or if one member of the Committee so requests, a secret ballot shall be held.
- The Committee shall take all its decisions by a majority of the votes cast.
- In calculating the number of votes cast, only positive and negative votes shall be taken into consideration.
- In the interval between sessions, the President, acting through the Secretary General, shall, if necessary, consult the Committee by correspondence.
- For the results of this consultation to constitute a valid decision, the Secretariat must have received replies from at least four members of the Committee within 10 days of the date of despatch of the communication by which they were consulted.
- The Secretariat of the IPU shall receive or prepare all documents necessary to the deliberations of the Committee and shall distribute them to its members in English and French. It shall ensure the simultaneous interpretation of the debates in these two languages, as well as in Arabic and Spanish.
- It shall prepare reports of its regular sessions, in consultation with the President, for submission to the Governing Council.
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