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OF OBSERVERS AT IPU MEETINGS
Approved in April 1999 and amended in April 2003, May 2006, April 2009 and October 2014
1. International organizations that can be invited as observers to IPU meetings are understood to include (a) organizations of the United Nations system and organizations holding permanent observer status with the UN General Assembly, (b) regional inter-governmental organizations, (c) regional, subregional and geopolitical parliamentary assemblies or associations, (d) world-wide non-governmental organizations, (e) international political party federations, and (f) organizations with which the IPU shares general objectives and has established a close and mutually beneficial working relationship.
2. For inter-parliamentary organizations and international political party federations, observer status can be granted only to those that have an official status and whose general objectives and working methods are shared by the Union.
3. The current practice will be maintained whereby a distinction is made between those observers invited on a regular basis and others on a "one-off" basis in the light of the items placed on the agenda of an Assembly.
4. Observers will be entitled to register a maximum of two delegates to Assemblies of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. However, each programme and organ of the United Nations will normally be allowed to send one delegate. Seating arrangements at Assemblies will be made accordingly.
5. Observers will be entitled to register one speaker in plenary debates of the IPU Assembly and its Standing Committees. However, each programme and organ of the United Nations will be allowed to register one speaker each.
6. Observers will not enjoy the right of reply or the right to raise points of order.
7. In the General Debate of the Assembly, the speaking time of observers will be limited to five minutes. Some flexibility will be shown to executive heads of organizations of the United Nations system who wish to address the Union.
8. Observers will not enjoy voting rights and the right to present candidatures.
9. Representatives of international organizations having particular expertise in a subject considered by the Assembly may be invited by the Presidents of Standing Committees, with the authorisation of the Committee, to be present in an advisory capacity to provide technical advice, if need be, during the work of a drafting committee.
10. Observers cannot present draft resolutions or amendments. They may however make information material available on the special table set aside for this purpose.
11. International organizations having special competence for an item placed on the Assembly agenda may be invited by the Secretary General to provide an information document on the item.
12. Observers may be invited by the IPU President to address the Governing Council in exceptional circumstances only.
13. An evaluation of the situation of observers will be made every four years. Such a periodic review will be undertaken by the Executive Committee on a dual basis: (i) a factual note by the Secretariat on the actual participation of each observer in the period under review, and (ii) the views of the observers themselves regarding their interest in being represented at IPU meetings.
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