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Adopted in 1971, extensively revised in October 1983 and amended in April 2003, October 2013, March 2016 and April 2017
In accordance with Articles 13.1 and 21 (e) of the Statutes, the Governing Council shall establish the number and Terms of Reference of Standing Committees, which shall be able to address all issues within the competence of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
1. The Members of the IPU shall be represented on each Standing Committee by one member and one substitute.
1. Representatives of international organizations or experts may be invited by the Governing Council to follow the work of the Standing Committees as observers. Representatives of other bodies to which observer status has been granted by the United Nations General Assembly may also be invited by the Governing Council as observers (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (g)).
2. Observers may only speak with the permission of the President.
The Members of the IPU may designate former parliamentarians to follow the work of the Standing Committees as honorary members of their delegation.
The convocations of the Standing Committees shall be drawn up in consultation with their President by the Secretary General, who shall give effect to the relevant decisions taken by the Governing Council and the Assembly.
1. Standing Committees shall meet during each session of the Assembly and shall normally debate and prepare one report and draft resolution per year on a subject item placed on the agenda of the Assembly (cf. Assembly, Rule 15.2). The draft resolution should duly take into account the views of different Members.
2. A system of rotation among the Standing Committees shall be put in place to determine the order in which the resolutions are prepared.
3. The Standing Committees may also be instructed by the Governing Council to study an item included in the latter's agenda and make a report.
5. In addition to the consideration of explanatory memoranda and draft resolutions prepared by the rapporteurs on the subject item placed on the agenda of the Assembly (cf. Assembly, Rules 10.1 and 15.2, and Standing Committees, Rules 13.1 and 13.2), the Standing Committees may inter alia commission research, discuss reports on good practices, review implementation of and follow-up action on previous IPU resolutions, organize field missions and hold hearings on subjects related to their field of competence, whenever possible in cooperation with the United Nations and other official organizations.
1. Each Standing Committee shall elect a Bureau composed of three representatives of each of the existing geopolitical groups, which shall designate to each Bureau not more than two candidates of the same sex. Every effort shall be made to include young parliamentarians and encourage candidatures from new Members of the IPU as well as Members that do not hold other offices in the IPU.
2. Candidatures for a Bureau shall be submitted by the respective geopolitical group (cf. Statutes, Art. 27.2) and should have expertise and specialization as far as possible in the area of work of the given Standing Committee.
3. Elected members of the Bureau shall be supported by their respective Parliament in carrying out their function as members of the Bureau. Every effort shall be made to ensure their participation in IPU Assemblies for the duration of their mandate as members of the Bureau.
4. Members of the Bureau shall be elected or re-elected by an absolute majority of the votes cast.
5. The Standing Committees shall elect a President and a Vice-President from among the members of their Bureau. The posts of President and Vice-President shall normally be filled at a single election. The geopolitical groups shall coordinate among themselves so as to ensure, to the extent possible, an equitable distribution of the posts of President and Vice-President of Standing Committees.
6. A separate vote shall be held by secret ballot whenever there is more than one candidate for the same post. In calculating the absolute majority, partially completed ballot papers shall be counted.
1. Members of the Bureau shall be elected for a term of two years and may be re-elected for a further period of two years.
2. When a member of the Bureau has served for four consecutive years, two years must elapse before that person may again be elected to the same Bureau.
1. In order to ensure as far as possible a fair distribution of these posts among the Members of the IPU, representatives of a Member shall not simultaneously hold more than one post as President or Vice-President of Standing Committees (cf. Rule 7.5), or hold a post in the same body for more than four consecutive years (cf. Rule 8.2).
3. There shall be no candidates for the post of President or Vice-President of a Standing Committee from a Member of the IPU represented on the Executive Committee.
1. Members of the Bureau who are unable to participate in a session may be replaced by other duly mandated representatives from the same Members of the IPU for the duration of that session only.
2. Members of the Bureau who are absent for two consecutive sessions without a valid reason may lose their seat on the Bureau by a decision of the corresponding Committee. In such cases, a new election will be held at the next session of the Standing Committee to fill the respective vacancy.
3. The Bureau of each Standing Committee shall normally meet at both annual sessions of the Assembly to prepare and review implementation of the Committee's work plans and consider proposals for subject items to be discussed at future Assemblies.
4. The Bureau of a Standing Committee may meet and deliberate irrespective of the number of Bureau members present. However, a vote may take place only if at least half of the Bureau members or their duly mandated replacements (cf. Rule 10.1) are in attendance.
1. The Vice-President shall act for the President of a Standing Committee in the latter's absence.
2. In case of resignation, loss of parliamentary mandate or death of the President of a Standing Committee, or if the affiliation of the Member of the IPU to which the President belongs is suspended, the President's duties shall be exercised by the Vice-President until such time as the Committee holds its next elections. A similar procedure shall be followed when the President of a Standing Committee is elected to the Executive Committee or to the Presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (cf. Rule 9.2).
1. The President shall open, suspend and close sittings, direct the work of the Committee, see that the Rules are observed, call upon the speakers, put questions to the vote, make known the results of voting and declare the sessions closed. The President's decisions on these matters shall be final and not open to debate.
2. The President shall decide on all matters not covered by these Rules, after having taken the advice of the Bureau and the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union if necessary.
1. The Assembly shall appoint rapporteurs for each subject item proposed by the Standing Committees. These rapporteurs will prepare a succinct, action-oriented draft resolution and an accompanying explanatory memorandum on the item placed on their Committee's agenda. Members of the IPU may contribute to the drafting process by submitting their brief written inputs in one of the official languages of the IPU (cf. Assembly, Rule 37.1). The arrangements for the submission of such inputs shall be indicated in the convocation of the Assembly. The explanatory memorandum shall remain the responsibility of its authors (cf. Assembly Rule 13).
2. The IPU Secretariat shall send the draft resolution and the explanatory memorandum to the Members in advance of the session. Members may propose amendments to the draft resolution no later than 15 days before the opening of the Assembly. However, the Forum of Women Parliamentarians shall be permitted to submit amendments which incorporate a gender perspective into the draft resolutions at any time prior to the closure of the first sitting of the respective Standing Committee. The Committee will finalize the draft resolution and submit it to the Assembly for adoption (cf. Assembly Rule 17.4).
3. The appointment of rapporteurs shall take into account the principles of gender equality and equitable geographical distribution. Every effort shall be made to include young parliamentarians among the rapporteurs.
4. If at least one rapporteur is not appointed before the end of the Assembly preceding the one where the subject is to be discussed, the President of the IPU shall be entrusted with pursuing consultations with a view to appointing these rapporteurs at the earliest possible opportunity.
The agenda of the Standing Committees shall be communicated to all Members of the IPU by the Secretary General, who shall give effect to the decisions taken by the Governing Council and the Assembly (cf. Statutes, Art. 13.2 and 13.3; Assembly, Rules 10.1 and 15.2).
A Standing Committee which is requested by the Assembly or the Governing Council to undertake preliminary consideration of a question may, on the proposal of its President or one of its members, make such procedural arrangements as are necessary to ensure the efficient organization of the debate, taking into account the time available.
1. Resolutions shall normally be finalized in the Standing Committees. A Standing Committee may, if necessary, set up a drafting committee, whose members shall be competent and specialize in the subject under study.
2. The number of members of a drafting committee shall not normally exceed 11. Its composition shall take into account equitable geographical distribution and political and gender balance. The rapporteurs who have prepared the report and the draft resolution on the item placed on the Committee's agenda shall take part in the proceedings of the drafting committee as members or advisers.
3. Only the members of a drafting committee or, in the event of their prolonged absence, their substitutes, and the rapporteurs shall have the right to speak.
1. Each Standing Committee shall appoint one of its members to present its conclusions to the Assembly.
3. These Rapporteurs shall give an objective account of the Committee's work, taking into consideration the views of the majority and minority, and shall present any draft resolutions proposed by the Standing Committee.
Any Member of the IPU may submit a proposal for a subject item to be discussed by a Standing Committee at a future Assembly. Such proposals shall be deposited with the IPU Secretariat up to one day prior to the meeting of the respective Standing Committee Bureau.
2. When a Committee is called upon to take a decision on the subject item to be proposed for discussion at the next Assembly, the only proposals in order, other than those included in the recommendation of its Bureau, shall be earlier proposals submitted within the statutory deadlines (cf. Rule 18) but not accepted by the Bureau.
3. If a Standing Committee receives a request from a Member of the IPU to consider a proposal that was not accepted by the Bureau, the Standing Committee shall first decide whether to consider such a request.
1. The Bureau shall consider all duly submitted proposals for subject items to be discussed at future Assemblies and shall formulate its recommendation to the Standing Committee.
3. A member of the Bureau cannot present a proposal on behalf of a delegation.
4. When considering the proposals for subject items to be discussed at future Assemblies, the Bureau may recommend one of the proposals, combine two or more of them dealing with the same subject or related subjects into a single item, put forward another subject item or decide to submit more than one proposal to the Standing Committee.
The Bureau of one Standing Committee may convey to the Bureau of another Standing Committee its suggestions for subject items to be discussed by that Standing Committee at future Assemblies.
Any member of a Committee may submit amendments to a draft resolution or a motion under consideration by that Committee, and may also submit sub-amendments (cf. Assembly, Rule 17.1).
1. Amendments and sub-amendments shall relate directly to the text. They may only envisage an addition, a deletion or a modification to the initial draft without having the effect of changing its scope or nature.
2. In exceptional circumstances, a new amendment may be considered for inclusion by the Committee if it incorporates a significant and/or recent development highlighted during the Committee debate and meets with broad consensus among the Committee members.
3. The President shall determine whether or not amendments or sub-amendments are in order.
1. Amendments shall be discussed before the text to which they relate. They shall likewise be voted on before the text itself.
2. Sub-amendments shall be discussed at the same time as the amendments to which they relate. They shall be voted on before the amendments concerned.
1. If two or more amendments apply to the same words in a draft resolution, the one which is furthest removed from the text under consideration shall have priority over the others and shall be put to the vote first.
2. If two or more amendments relating to the same words are mutually exclusive, the adoption of the first shall imply the rejection of the other amendment(s). If the first amendment is rejected the next amendment in order of priority shall be put to the vote; the same procedure shall be applied for each of the following amendments.
3. In case of doubt regarding priority, the President shall decide.
Unless the President decides otherwise, the only speakers to be heard in discussing an amendment shall be its author and a delegate holding a contrary opinion and, if need be, the Rapporteur of the Standing Committee (cf. Assembly, Rule 20).
No member of a Standing Committee may speak without the authorization of the President.
1. Unless the President decides otherwise, members shall speak in the order in which they register.
2. Speakers may only be interrupted by other members on a point of order. They may, nevertheless, with the President's authorization, yield the floor to allow other members' requests for clarification.
3. The President shall rule immediately and without debate on all points of order.
On the proposal of the President, or at the request of one of its members, the Standing Committee may decide to limit the speaking time allowed to each delegation and/or the number of times delegates may take the floor during the discussion of a particular item on the agenda.
The President shall call a speaker to order when the latter does not keep to the subject under discussion or prejudices the debate by using abusive language. The President may, if necessary, withdraw permission to speak and may have the objectionable words struck from the record.
The President shall deal immediately with any incident which may arise during the sitting. If necessary, the President shall take all measures required to restore the normal functioning of the Committee's debates.
1. Priority to speak shall be given to members wishing to propose:
(a) Adjournment of the debate sine die;2. These procedural motions shall have priority over the substantive questions; debate on the latter shall be suspended while the former are considered.
3. The mover shall make a brief presentation of the motion without entering into the substance of the question under debate.
4. In debate on procedural motions, only the mover of the proposal and one delegate holding a contrary opinion shall be heard, after which the Committee shall decide.
5. No proposal for an adjournment sine die shall be allowed on questions which the Standing Committee has been instructed to consider and report on to the Assembly or the Governing Council (cf. Rules 6.1 and 6.3).
Standing Committee meetings shall be public. They shall be held in camera only if the Committee itself so decides by a majority of the votes cast.
2. The President shall not be entitled to an additional or casting vote. Notwithstanding Rule 2.2 of these Rules, the President's right to vote shall be exercised by his/her substitute. The President may, however, vote if the substitute is absent from the room.
1. Decisions of Standing Committees and their Bureaux, with the exception of elections which are held in conformity with the provisions of Rule 7, shall be taken either by show of hands or by roll-call vote.
2. The President shall in each case decide on the method of voting to be followed.
3. Results of votes by secret ballot shall be ascertained by two Tellers appointed by the Standing Committee on the President's proposal.
Subject to the special provisions relating to amendments (cf. Rule 24) and procedural motions (cf. Rule 32), the Standing Committee shall vote on proposals in the order in which they are submitted. After each vote, the Standing Committee may decide whether or not it will vote on the next proposal.
1. Any member may request that parts, or each paragraph, of a text submitted to the Standing Committee be put to the vote separately.
2. If any objection is raised to this motion for division of the text, the request shall be voted on without debate.
3. If the proposal for division of the text is accepted, the different parts or paragraphs of the whole text thus divided shall be voted on separately; the parts or paragraphs adopted shall subsequently be put to the vote as a whole. However, if all the paragraphs of the text are rejected, the text shall be considered as rejected in toto.
1. Nobody may interrupt a vote once it has commenced, except to request clarification on the manner in which the voting is being conducted.
2. Members who wish to explain their vote briefly may be authorized to do so by the President, after the voting has taken place.
3. No explanation of vote shall be admissible on amendments and procedural motions.
1. A Standing Committee may meet and deliberate irrespective of the number of members present. However, a vote may take place only if at least half of the Members of the IPU participating in the Assembly are represented in the Standing Committee. The quorum shall be determined on the basis of the number of Members of the IPU present at the Assembly at the time of its opening.
2. The quorum shall be considered as attained and a vote taken by a Standing Committee as valid, irrespective of the number of members present or participating therein if, before the voting, the President has not been called upon by a member of the Standing Committee to verify whether there is a quorum.
2. In calculating the number of votes cast, only affirmative and negative votes shall be taken into account.
3. In case of a tie, the proposal under consideration shall be considered as rejected.
1. The Secretary General or his/her representative shall assist the President in directing the work of the Standing Committee.
2. The Secretary General or his/her representative may be invited by the President to speak on any question under consideration.
1. The IPU Secretariat shall receive the documents, reports and draft resolutions and distribute them in English and French. It shall ensure the simultaneous interpretation of the debates in these two languages, as well as in Arabic and Spanish.
2. It shall prepare the provisional summary record of the meetings, which shall be circulated to all Members of the IPU before the following session of the Standing Committee, when it will be submitted for approval at the opening sitting.
1. The Governing Council shall adopt and amend the Standing Committees' Rules.
2. Proposals for amending the Standing Committees' Rules shall be formulated in writing and sent to the IPU Secretariat at least three months before the next meeting of the Governing Council. The IPU Secretariat shall communicate such proposals immediately to all Members of the IPU. It shall communicate any proposals for sub-amendments at least one month before the meeting of the Governing Council.
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