Founded in 1919, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
(IUPAC) is a voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit association of
45 National Adhering Organizations
representing the chemists of their countries. In addition, there are
20 Associate National Adhering Organizations,
30 Associated Organizations and more
than 100 Company Associates.
The objectives of the Union are as follow:
(i) to promote continuing cooperation among the chemists of the member
(ii) to study topics of international importance to pure and applied
chemistry which need, standardization, or codification,
(iii) to cooperate with other international organizations that deal
with topics of a chemical nature, and
(iv) to contribute to the advancement of pure and applied chemistry
in all its aspects.
In pursuing these objectives, the Union observes a basic policy of
political nondiscrimination and affirms the rights of chemists of any
country to adhere to or to associate with international activity in
the field of chemistry without regard to race, religion, or political
IUPAC is governed by a Council, composed of delegates from the member
countries, which meets biennially at the General Assembly. A Bureau,
chosen by the Council, is responsible for the Union between Council
meetings and generally establishes the Union's policies. The IUPAC
Officers and the Bureau's Executive
Committee manage the affairs of the Union with the support of an
Executive Director and Secretariat.
Most IUPAC programs are initiated and conducted by eight Divisions
and three Operational Standing Committees.
Five additional Standing Committees have broad responsibilities to advise
the Bureau and its Executive Committee. The Union
Advisory Committee serves as a link between the Executive Committee
and the National Adhering Organizations, and is a source of information
and advice, as needed.
The official journal of the Union, Pure
and Applied Chemistry, presents the main invited lectures from
IUPAC-sponsored symposia and IUPAC technical reports and recommendations
on nomenclature, symbols, units, and terminology, and on various technical
matters. Other publications include the bi-monthly news magazine Chemistry
International, critical data compilations, reference books,
and compendia of nomenclature.
IUPAC is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU)
and participates in the work of its scientific committees. The Union
advises other international bodies concerned with chemical problems,
such as WHO, FAO, UNESCO, OIML, and ISO.
IUPAC's global outreach is also expressed in the CHEMRAWN
program -Chemical Research Applied to World Needs- and other initiatives,
in which the Union identifies important multinational problems to which
chemistry can contribute significantly.
Although the formal Members of IUPAC are the National Adhering Organizations,
the Union tries to maximize participation by individual chemists throughout
the world by means of the Affiliate
In 1998, the Bureau approved IUPAC's first Strategic Plan. The most
recent version is the 2002
version. Information and news
about IUPAC and its activities may be found on the World Wide Web at