The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; ) is an international organization established in 1889 by Frédéric Passy (France) and William Randal Cremer (United Kingdom). It was the first permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. Initially, the organization was for individual parliamentarians, but has since transformed into an international organization of the parliaments of sovereign states. The national parliaments of 163 countries are members of the IPU, and 10 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members. The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations and general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.