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Adopted in 1971, entirely revised in October 1983 and
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 Union shall be represented on each Standing Committee by one member and one substitute.
1. Representatives of international organisations 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 accorded by the General Assembly of the United Nations may also be invited by the Governing Council as observers (cf. Statutes, Art. 21 (g))2.
2. Observers may only speak with the permission of the President.
The Members of the Union 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.
2. They may also be instructed by the Governing Council to study an item included in the latter's agenda and make a report.
1. Each Standing Committee shall elect a Bureau composed of a President and Vice-Presidents, one of whom shall be elected as First Vice-President. They shall represent the existing geopolitical Groups and the number of Bureau members shall be equivalent to the number of geopolitical Groups. Each member shall have a substitute. An effort shall be made to ensure gender balance.
2. Officers shall be elected or re-elected at the first annual session of each Committee by an absolute majority of the votes cast.
3. The posts of Vice-President shall be filled at a single election.
4. 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. A Committee officer shall not be eligible for re-election to the same post, either as titular or substitute, after four years in office.
2. When a Committee officer has served for four consecutive years, two years must elapse before that person may again be elected to the post held previously.
1. In order to ensure as far as possible a fair distribution of these posts among the Members of the Union, representatives of a Member shall not simultaneously hold more than one post as President or Vice-President, or hold a post in the same body for more than four consecutive years (cf. Rule 8).
3. There shall be no candidates for the post of President of a Standing Committee from a Member of the Union represented on the Executive Committee.
1. The First 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 Union to which the President belongs is suspended, the President's duties shall be exercised by the First 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 shall be accepted without discussion.
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 Standing Committee who will prepare a report or reports on the item placed on their Committee's agenda. Members of the Union may contribute to such reports by submitting their suggestions and comments to the rapporteurs. The arrangements for the submission of such suggestions and comments shall be indicated in the convocation of the Assembly. The final report shall remain the responsibility of its authors (cf. Assembly Rule 13).
2. The rapporteurs shall also prepare a draft resolution on the subject to be debated in their Committee, which the Secretariat of the IPU shall send 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 Meeting of Women Parliamentarians shall be permitted to submit amendments which incorporate a gender perspective to the draft resolutions at any time prior to the closure of the first sitting of the respective Standing Committee. This Rule shall apply to the Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians on the occasion of the second Assembly of the year. The Committee will finalise the draft resolution and submit it to the Assembly for adoption (cf. Assembly Rule 17.1).
The agenda of the Standing Committees shall be communicated to all Members of the Union 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 and 15).
A Standing Committee which is requested by the Assembly or by 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 organisation of the debate, taking into account the time available.
1. The Bureau of a Standing Committee may, if necessary, set up a drafting committee.
2. The number of members of a drafting committee shall not normally exceed eleven. 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 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. Amendments and sub-amendments shall relate directly to the text. They may only envisage an addition, a deletion or an alteration with regard 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, that which is furthest 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 involve the rejection of the other amendment or amendments. 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 member 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 consent 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 so as 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 on which delegates may take the floor in 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. Rule 6).
Standing Committee meetings shall be public. They shall be held in private only if the Committee itself so decides by a majority of the votes cast.
2. The Presidency shall not entitle its holder to an additional or casting vote. Notwithstanding Rule 2.2 of these Rules, the President's right to vote shall be exercised by the President's substitute. The President may, however, vote if the substitute is absent from the room.
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 19) and procedural motions (cf. Rule 27), 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, the request shall be voted on without debate.
3. If the proposal for division 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 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 whatever the number of members present. However, a vote may take place only if at least half of the Members of the Union participating in the Assembly are represented in the Standing Committee. The quorum shall be determined by the Secretary General at the opening of each Assembly.
2. The quorum shall be considered as attained and a vote taken by a Standing Committee as valid, whatever the number of members present or participating therein if, before the voting, the President has not verified whether there is a quorum and/or has not been called upon to do so by a member of the Standing Committee.
3. When, before the vote, the presence of a quorum has been noted, that vote shall be considered as valid whatever the number of members participating therein.
2. In calculating the number of votes cast, only affirmative and negative votes shall be taken into account.
3. If the votes are equally divided, the proposal under consideration shall be considered as rejected.
1. The Secretary General or the Secretary General's representative shall assist the President in directing the work of the Standing Committee.
2. The Secretary General or the Secretary General's representative may be invited by the President to speak on any question under consideration.
1. The Secretariat of the Union 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 Union 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 Secretariat of the Union at least three months before the next meeting of the Governing Council. The Secretariat shall communicate such proposals immediately to all Members of the Union. It shall communicate any proposals for sub-amendments at least one month before the meeting of the Governing Council.
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