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IUPAC Information

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 countries,

(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 philosophy.

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 Member Program.

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 <www.iupac.org>.

Page last modified 4 June 2004.
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