The International Mathematical Union (IMU) was founded in 1920 and has existed in its current form since 1951.
It is an international non-governmental and non-profit scientific organization, with the purpose of promoting international cooperation in mathematics, supporting and assisting the International Congress of Mathematicians, which is organized every four years, and other international scientific meetings or conferences, and encouraging and supporting international mathematical activities considered likely to contribute to the development of mathematical science in any of its aspects, pure, applied, or educational.
Legally, IMU is an unincorporated association, recognized as a charitable organization in Germany. Ongoing activities concerning IMU are published in IMU Bulletins and in the bimonthly newsletter IMU-Net to which everybody can subscribe.
The IMU has two sub-commissions, the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) and the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC); a joint Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM); and a Committee on Electronic Information and Communication (CEIC). At present,
71 countries are Full Members of the IMU. Further, the IMU has 12 Associate Members and 4 Affiliate Members.