IUPAC is governed by the Council, which consists of representatives of the National Adhering Organisations of IUPAC. Much of the day-to-day governance is deputised to the Executive Board and the Science Board.* The Council appoints Standing Committees and Divisions to do IUPAC’s scientific work. In addition, IUPAC’s project system enables ad hoc Task Groups consisting of volunteers to devote time to specific scientific problems. They are supported in their efforts by the IUPAC Secretariat and the Officers of the Union. Our activities are aligned with the IUPAC strategic plan, mission, and vision.

IUPAC is governed under Statutes, Bylaws and Standing Orders as originally adopted by the Council in Madrid, Spain 1975. The Council frequently authorises updates to the Statutes, Bylaws and Standing Orders to reflect changes in our governance and community. The latest changes were approved at the Council Meeting on 23 & 24 August 2023 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Statutes, Bylaws and Standing Orders
as of 1 January 2024 (PDF)

* Up to 2023, a Bureau and Executive Committee acted on the behalf of the IUPAC Council to ensure an orderly discharge of IUPAC functions between meetings.

  • Presidential Rulings

    Member Countries/Territorial Considerations: see Minute 10/79, 30th Council-Davos:

    Prof. G. Smets ruled that:

    • In the case of a country in which present circumstances make it impossible for all chemists to engage in coordinated scientific activities over the whole territory, “country”, as used in Statute 3.1 shall designate geographical territory, in which a community of chemists pursues independent scientific activities.

    Use of the word “country”, see Minute 7.3/97, 124th Executive Committee-Jerusalem:

    Prof. A. E. Fischli ruled that:

    • In accord with IUPACs status as a nongovernmental organization, the word “country” as used in Statutes 1, 3.1, and 3.3 may include a specific geographic territory that is widely recognized as having the cultural and administrative characteristics usually associated with an independent state but without necessarily having complete independence or sovereignty.
  • Appointment and Functioning of National Representatives on IUPAC Bodies

    In order to broaden the geographic representation on various IUPAC bodies, National Adhering Organizations (NAOs) are invited to nominate representatives to (1) Division Committees, (2) Commissions, (3) the Committee on Chemistry Education, (4) the Committee on Chemistry and Industry, and (5) project Task Groups. Occasionally, NAOs are asked to propose members for other IUPAC bodies.

    Requirements and Qualifications-National Representatives

  • Guidelines for IUPAC Representation at Meetings of International/Regional Organizations

    1. A list shall be drawn up biennially by the President, in consultation with the Secretariat, and approved by the Executive Committee, of organizations for which the Union will provide full funding for IUPAC representation. In addition, those organizations shall be identified, for which partial funding may be provided for such representation.
    2. The list of official IUPAC Representatives on Other Organizations shall be reviewed by the outgoing President of the Union in consultation with the incoming President and the Secretary General.
    3. In the case of special requests for IUPAC representation, funding (full or partial) may be granted by the President, subject to the restricted funds available and, if necessary, approval of the Treasurer.
    4. Each IUPAC representative is responsible for ascertaining potential interest of various IUPAC bodies and ensuring that he/she is properly briefed on the subject before attending the meeting.
    5. Each IUPAC representative to a meeting of another organization is required to submit a brief report on its activities, recommendations for any IUPAC activities-collaborative or otherwise- based on the meeting attended, and a recommendation about future IUPAC involvement with the organization. Failure to provide such a report will jeopardize future funding by IUPAC of representation to meetings of the organization.

    The 2022-2023 List of Representatives “ON” other organizations may be found HERE.