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Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the international organisation of parliaments. It was established in 1889.

The IPU is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy. It supports the efforts of and works in close co-operation with the United Nations, whose objectives it shares. The IPU also co-operates with regional inter-parliamentary organizations, as well as with international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations which are motivated by the same ideals.

IPU sessions

The IPU holds two general assemblies each year which bring together parliamentarians from around the globe. The Oireachtas participates in these assemblies and the Irish delegation is usually led by the Ceann Comhairle or the Cathaoirleach.

What does the IPU do?


  • fosters contacts, co-ordination, and the exchange of experience among parliaments and parliamentarians of all countries
  • considers questions of international interest and concern and expresses its views on such issues in order to bring about action by parliaments and parliamentarians
  • contributes to the defence and promotion of human rights - an essential factor of parliamentary democracy and development
  • contributes to better knowledge of the working of representative institutions and to the strengthening and development of their means of action
Inter-Parliamentary Union

The 137th IPU Assembly, St. Petersburg, 2017. Image: IPU/Russian Federation Parliament

Find out more

©IPU/Pierre Albouy, 2016

Find out more

For more information, see the website of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Contact details

Secretary to the Oireachtas delegation

Brian Prunty

+353 (01) 618 3285

Inter-parliamentary unit

Houses of the Oireachtas Service

Leinster House

Kildare Street

Dublin 2

D02 XR20