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Amended in April 1996, September 1998, April 2003, October 2004, October 2010 and March 2013

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The IPU Secretariat shall, under the oversight of the Executive Committee, exercise the functions for which it is responsible or those delegated to it in conformity with the Statutes (cf. Statutes, Art. 28.2).


The administration of the IPU Secretariat and responsibility for exercising its intrinsic or delegated functions shall be entrusted to the Secretary General (cf. Statutes, Art. 28.1).


1. In accordance with the recruitment procedure appended to these Rules, the Secretary General shall be elected or re-elected by the Governing Council on the proposal of the Executive Committee for a four-year term, renewable twice (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (l), 26.2 (h) and 28.1). The terms of the Secretary General's appointment shall be determined by the Executive Committee.

2. The Executive Committee may propose to the Governing Council that it waive the procedure set out in paragraph 1 above and vote on the re-appointment of the incumbent Secretary General.


The Secretary General shall recruit the necessary staff within the framework of the budget approved by the Governing Council and shall inform the Executive Committee of appointments and terminations of employment (cf. Rule 2).


The Secretary General shall work solely for the Inter-Parliamentary Union and may not be a member of any Parliament.


The Secretary General or a member of the IPU Secretariat appointed by the Secretary General shall be present, in an advisory capacity, at sessions of the IPU’s organs and at all meetings convened by the IPU (cf. Assembly, Rule 35.2; Governing Council, Rule 42; Executive Committee, Rule 14; and Standing Committees, Rule 41).


The Secretary General shall prepare each year, for submission to the Executive Committee, a draft work programme, together with a draft budget (cf. Statutes, Art. 28.2 (f); Financial Regs., Rule 3).


The Secretary General shall, at the time of the Assembly or before 1 July if no Assembly is held, submit an annual report to the Executive Committee on the work of the IPU Secretariat.

RULE 9 (cf. Financial Regs., Rule 10)

1. The Secretary General shall be responsible for the execution of the budget of the IPU and the administration of its assets.

2. The sums required for payments shall be withdrawn by the Secretary General. In case of the Secretary General's absence, the right of signature may be delegated to another member of the IPU Secretariat.

RULE 10 (cf. Financial Regs., Rule 4)

1. Where necessary, the Secretary General shall be authorized to make transfers from one budget heading to another in the course of a single financial period.

2. The Executive Committee shall express its opinion on these transfers before the accounts are transmitted to the Auditors appointed by the Governing Council.

3. The Secretary General may not, without the consent of the Executive Committee, effect expenditure in excess of the overall appropriations included in the annual budget.

4. Should the budget appropriations approved by the Governing Council appear to be insufficient to cover the expenditure required for the execution of the programme and the administration of the IPU, the Secretary General shall so inform the Executive Committee, which may request the Governing Council to grant supplementary appropriations (cf. Statutes, Art. 26.2 (i)).

5. In urgent cases, these appropriations may be granted by the Executive Committee, which must inform the Governing Council of such action at the latter's next session (cf. Statutes, Art. 26.2 (i)).


The Secretary General shall provide the Executive Committee with full information on the financial administration of the IPU, developments in income and expenditure, and the policy applied in this respect (cf. Statutes, Art. 26.2 (g)).


Each year, before 1 March, the Secretary General shall have the accounts for the previous financial period examined by an External Auditor and shall then submit the accounts to the Auditors, who shall present them to the Governing Council. The Governing Council shall each year sanction the Secretary General’s financial administration (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (i); Financial Regs., Rule 13).

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Vacancy announcement

The selection process for the post of Secretary General will commence fifteen months before the expiry of the current term of the Secretary General.

A vacancy announcement containing a description of the functions of the Secretary General and the skills and qualifications required of candidates will at that time be circulated to all Member Parliaments of the IPU.

The announcement will also be placed on IPU’s website and shared with the United Nations system. All parliaments will be invited to publicize the announcement in the manner they deem fit.

At the same time as it finalizes the vacancy announcement, the Executive Committee will agree on a set of minimum requirements that have to be met by candidates in order to be retained during the initial selection process.

Presentation of candidatures

Candidatures can be submitted by the candidates themselves or by one or more Members of the IPU.

Candidatures shall be submitted within a period of four months from the date of the official vacancy announcement.

Each candidature shall be submitted in one of the two working languages of the IPU – English and French – and shall consist of a letter of motivation accompanied by a curriculum vitae.

Each application will be received in confidence and recorded by the Director of Support Services, who will act as registrar and will also respond to enquiries from candidates.

Shortlisting of candidates

At the end of the period for presenting candidatures, the President of the IPU, assisted by the registrar, will examine all candidatures to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements for the post contained in the vacancy announcement. Any candidate who does not meet these requirements will be eliminated from the process.

The complete documentation submitted by all candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be reviewed by the President of the IPU and the Vice-President of the Executive Committee who will together draw up an initial shortlist consisting of the twenty best qualified candidates.

The complete documentation of these candidates will be shared with each member of the IPU Executive Committee together with a report from the President on the conduct and outcome of the pre-selection procedure.

After studying the candidatures, each member of the Committee will indicate up to a maximum of five candidates which he or she proposes to maintain on the shortlist.

The Committee members will communicate their preferences to the Secretariat through a confidential procedure within a month of receiving the documentation.

The five candidates who receive the largest number of preferences will be shortlisted.

Interviews of selected candidates

The five shortlisted candidates will be invited to the Assembly where the final selection will take place.

The Executive Committee will devote one extra day during that Assembly to interviewing the candidates. Each candidate will be interviewed for an equal length of time. They will be invited to present their candidature for ten minutes and will then take questions from the members.

Before starting the interviews, the Executive Committee will have agreed upon a set of questions which will be addressed to all candidates. Members of the Executive Committee will also be able to address follow up questions to the candidates as well as questions relating to the candidate’s individual presentations.

After the interviews the members of the Executive Committee will exchange views on the candidatures. They will seek to determine if one or more of the candidates can be excluded at this stage of the procedure on the grounds that they either clearly do not meet the requirements of the post or fail to muster sufficiently wide support. To this end the Executive Committee may resort to straw polls or similar techniques.

At the end of its deliberations the Executive Committee will forward two or more candidatures for consideration by the IPU membership present at the Assembly.

Presentation of candidatures during the Assembly

Each candidate retained by the Executive Committee will have equal opportunities to present his/her candidature to each of the geopolitical groups, in accordance with procedures set by them.

The candidates will also be heard by the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, in accordance with a procedure determined by its Bureau.

The candidates will present their candidature during the last sitting of the Governing Council. They will each be given five minutes for this purpose.


The Governing Council will elect the Secretary General by secret ballot.

For the purpose of identifying the candidate most capable of securing a broad if not all-inclusive consensus among the Members, the Governing Council will elect the Secretary General with an absolute majority of the votes cast, as per Council Rule 35.1(b).

If there are more than two candidates and none receives the required majority in the first round of voting, the candidate who received the least support will be eliminated and a new round of voting held.

This procedure will be repeated until such time as one candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes cast.

The winning candidate will be appointed by the Governing Council for a four year term.

Statutes Rules of the Assembly Rules of the Governing Council Rules of the Executive Committee Rules of the Standing Committees Rules of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians Rules of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians Forum of Young Parliamentarians of the IPU Rules of the Secretariat Financial Regulations Rights and responsibilities of observers