|Created in 1889 on the initiative of two parliamentarians and men of peace, William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom) and Frédéric Passy (France), the Inter-Parliamentary Union was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations.
Read about how it all started.
|William Randal Cremer|
1828 - 1908
1822 - 1912
Promoting the concepts of peace and international arbitration, the IPU provided the origins for today's form of institutionalized multilateral co-operation and advocated the establishment of corresponding institutions at the inter-governmental level -- which eventually came into being as the United Nations. The IPU was also instrumental in setting up what is now the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Over the years, eight Nobel Peace Prizes -- including the first three -- were shared by leading personalities of the IPU:
|1901: Frédéric Passy (France)|
|1902: Albert Gobat (Switzerland)|
|1903: William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom)|
|1908: Frederic Bajer (Denmark)|
|1909: August Beernaert (Belgium)|
|1913: Henri La Fontaine (Belgium)|
|1921: Christian Lange (Norway)|
|1927: Ferdinand Buisson (France)|
The IPU has transformed itself from an association of individual parliamentarians into the international organization of the Parliaments of sovereign States (Article 1 of the Statutes of the Inter-Parliamentary Union) . It is a centre for dialogue and parliamentary diplomacy among legislators representing every political system and all the main political leanings in the world -- constituting a unique platform for observing political opinions and trends around the world. IPU statutory Assemblies and specialized meetings serve as a testing ground for new ideas and initiatives leading to important breakthroughs in the search for peace and advancing international co-operation.