Union By-Laws

II. Administration

  1. General Assemblieswill normally be held once every four years at the call of the President of the Union. The interval of time between the closure of two successive General Assemblies shall be known as a "period".

  2. Notice of the date and of the place of the meeting of the next General Assemblyshall be sent by the Secretary Generalto the Member Countriesat least nine months before the Assembly.

    Proposals concerning the agenda for meetings of the Council may be presented by the Adhering Bodiesor National Committees; they must be received by the Secretary Generalat least six months before the meeting. Associatesmay make proposals of a scientific nature only. The Secretary General must place all proposals received on the final agenda for the Council meeting. This final agenda, with explanatory comments, shall be sent to all Member Countriesat least four months prior to the meeting. An item which has not been thus placed on the agenda may be discussed at a meeting of the Council if a proposal to that effect is approved by a two-thirds absolute majority vote of the Council Delegates.

  3. The Secretary Generalmay send notice of the date and place of the next General Assemblyto individuals or scientific organizations in countries not adhering to the Union, but where there is evidence of activity in Geodesy and Geophysics.

    Scientists from these countries will be invited to participate in the scientific programme of the General Assembly, with the status of Guest.

    The President of the Unionmay, on their own initiative or at the request of an Association or Member Country,invite representatives of scientific bodies to attend any General Assemblyas Guestsprovided there is no financial obligation for the Union.

  4. A plenary meetingof the participants in the General Assemblyshall be held during each General Assembly for discussions of Unionactivities.

  5. The Associations shall hold business meetings and scientific sessions at the General Assembliesof the Union.

    The scientific meetings at a General Assemblyshould include joint sessions of two or more Associations for the discussion of interdisciplinary topics. The programme of the meetings and the selection of these interdisciplinary topics shall be decided by the Executive Committeeof the Union, about two years before the time of the General Assembly, on the basis of recommendations made earlier by the Associations.

    Provided that the Executive Committeeis informed, an Association may also arrange meetings of its own in the interval between the General Assemblies, either singly to deal with topics of specific interest, or jointly with another Association or other Associations.

    1. The President of the Unionshall be elected for one periodand is not immediately eligible for re-election. The Vice-Presidentand the additional elected Members of the Bureaushall be elected for one period and may be re-elected for not more than one consecutive period in the same function.

      The Secretary Generalshall be elected for two periods initially and should not normally be re-elected for more than two additional single periods.

      The Treasurershall be elected for one periodinitially and should not normally be re-elected for more than two additional single periods.

      The Members of the Finance Committeeshall be elected for one periodand may be re-elected for two successive periods.

    2. At least eighteen months before a General Assembly, the Presidentshall appoint a Nominating Committeewith the advice and approval of the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of a Chairman and three other members, not themselves members of the Executive Committee or of the Finance Committee.

      The Nominating Committee, after soliciting nominations from the Adhering Bodiesof the Member Countries, and from the officers of the Unionand the Associations, shall propose one or two candidates for each position in the Bureau, seeking to achieve reasonable balance in their gender, experience, and geographical and disciplinary distribution. Candidates will be required to signify their acceptance of nomination and to prepare a resumé outlining their position, research interests and activities related to the Union.

      The officers of the Unionand Associations and the National Committeesshall be informed by the Nominating Committeeof the list of nominations at least eight months before the General Assembly. They may make further nominations and/or recommendations to the Nominating Committee at least three months before the General Assembly. If new nominations for a given position are supported by at least three Presidents or equivalent officers of National Committees of Member Countries, and if they are accompanied by the written acceptance of possible nomination and resumé outlining the position, research interests and Union related activities of the candidates, they shall be added to the list initially established. The Nominating Committee shall send the final list of nominations to the officers of the Union and Associations and to the National Committees at the latest two months prior to the General Assembly.

      Re-nominations, from those previously nominated for the Bureaumay also be made over a periodof 48 hours following the close of the first session of the Council meeting at the General Assembly. Such nominations must be submitted in written form to the Secretary General, supported by at least three members of the Council and accompanied by the same documentation as required with the original nominations. The Council Delegatesshall be informed of these additional nominations, together with their resumés, at least 24 hours before the elections.

      No one can be a candidate for more than one position in the election. Elections shall be by secret ballot.

    3. The Nominating Committeeshall, after soliciting nominations from the Adhering Bodiesof the Member Countries, and from the officers of the Unionand the Associations, propose one or two candidates for each of the four positions on the Finance Committee: two positions from among the current members of the Finance Committee and two positions from among the accredited Council Delegates at the present or any previous General Assembly excluding the current members of the Finance Committee. If there is an insufficient number of candidates from the previous Finance Committee, then an additional member or members shall be elected from among the Council Delegates. No member of the Finance Committee may at the same time be a member of the Bureau or the executive body of the Union or of an Association or of a governing body of one of the Permanent Services or programmes supported by the Union. No member may serve for more than three consecutive periods on the Finance Committee.

      The officers of the Unionand Associations and the National Committeesshall be informed by the Nominating Committeeof the list of nominations at least three months before the General Assembly. The Council may add to the list of nominations for the Finance Committeeduring the General Assembly until three days prior to the elections.

      Candidates will be required to signify their acceptance of nomination and to provide a resumé outlining their suitability for serving on the Finance Committee.

    4. No one may be at the same time a Member of the Bureauor of the Finance Committeeand Presidentor Secretary of an Association.

    5. Scientists from any country are eligible to hold various positions within IUGG with the following exceptions: positions in the Bureau and the Finance Committee, and the positions of Presidents of the Associations, which can only be held by scientists from Member Countries whose subscription has been paid up to the end of the calendar year preceding their nomination.

  6. The Council is convened by the President of the Union, and shall meet at appropriate times during each Assembly.

    The Council may be convened between two General Assemblieswhen a written request is made by at least a third of the paying Member Countriesor by a simple majorityof the members of the Executive Committee, with notice of the questions to be placed on the agenda of the meeting.

    Council meetings shall be open to Council Delegates, the Executive Committee, and the Finance Committee. One person from each AssociateMember may attend any Council meeting with voice but without the right to vote. The IUGG Presidentmay invite gueststo make presentations at Council meetings. Other individuals may, with concurrence of the President, attend Council meetings as Listenersonly, except that a simple majorityof Council Delegates present may declare part of any meeting closed to Listeners.

    The Council shall:

    1. decide upon the admission of new Member Countries and new Affiliate Members;

    2. decide on an appeal against a decision by the Bureauto deny a transfer to Associatemembership of a Member Countryin ObserverStatus;

    3. elect the members of the Bureauand of the Finance Committee;

    4. receive reports from the Secretary Generaland the Treasurerof the Unionand ratify the decisions or actions taken by the Bureauand the Executive Committeesince the last Council meeting;

    5. consider the budget submitted by the Treasurerand adopt the final budget;

    6. determine the amount of the unit of contribution for the ensuing period(the unit cannot be changed at a General Assemblyunless proposed on the agenda distributed four months in advance to the Member Countries);

    7. review from time to time the categories of Member Countries; review the Associatesat each General Assembly;

    8. examine questions of general policy or administration in the business of the Unionand appoint such Committees as may from time to time be deemed necessary for this purpose;

    9. consider proposals for changes in the Statutesor By-Laws.

  7. The Executive Committeeis convened by the President of the Union. It shall meet at each General Assembly, and also at all sessions of the Council with voice but without vote. It will also meet normally at least once between General Assemblies, two years ahead of the next General Assembly, in order to prepare an outline of the interdisciplinary scientific agenda and of the timetables for the Union and for the Associations during the next General Assembly.

    At a meeting of the Executive Committee, no member of the Bureau, or the Past President of the Union, may be represented by any other person. The Presidents of the Associations, in case of hindrance, may be represented by a Vice-Presidentor the Secretary of their Association. The Past President has voice but no vote. For the validity of the deliberations of the Executive Committee, at least half of its members must be present or represented.

    Proposals concerning the agenda for meetings of the Executive Committeemay be submitted by Members of the Committee; they must be received by the Secretary Generalat least six months before the meeting.

    The final agenda shall be sent to the Members of the Executive Committeeat least four months prior to the meeting. No question which has not been placed on the agenda may be discussed at a meeting of the Committee unless a proposal to that effect has been approved by a two-thirds absolute majority vote of the Members present.

    The Executive Committeeshall:
    1. initiate actions, as required, to co-ordinate the common interest of the Associations, such as by meetings between the Secretary Generaland the Secretaries of the Associations;

    2. guide the Treasurerregarding the financial needs of the Associations in achieving their objectives;

    3. fill any vacancy which may occur between General Assembliesamong the Members of the Bureauand the Finance Committee(when such appointments are later confirmed by the Council, the periodof office will be considered to begin from the date of its confirmation by the Council);

    4. make recommendations to the Council on matters of general policy of the Union.

  8. The Bureau will normally meet once a year, at the call of the President of the Union. In a meeting, no Member of the Bureau may be represented by any other person. For the validity of the deliberations, four Members at least must be present.

    Between the meetings of the Council, the Bureaushall initiate procedures to attain the general objectives of the Union; it shall manage the finances, and ensure the adequate administration of the Union, including maintenance of a reference document ‘Guidelines on IUGG Administration’. It shall draw up the programmes for the meetings of the Council and of the Executive Committee.

  9. Applications for membership of the Unionand for transfer to Associatemembership shall be referred to the Secretary General who shall report thereon to the Executive Committee, which shall decide on the scientific merits of each application. The Secretary General shall then forward the proposals through the appropriate channels to the Adhering Bodiesrepresenting the paying Member Countries; these bodies will vote electronically and the results of the ballot shall be communicated to them by the Bureau. Admission or transfer will be determined by a simple majority and is provisional until approved by Council. Simple majority is here determined by the proportion of affirmative votes to the sum of votes (affirmative, negative) provided that this sum is not less than one third of the total membership of the Union eligible to vote. Any case of refusal shall be referred to the Council.

  10. The President of the Unionshall:
    1. be the representative of the Unionin its dealing with National or International Organisations or Institutions:

    2. convene and preside over the General Assemblyand over all meetings of the Council, Executive Committeeand Bureau;

    3. submit a report to the General Assemblyon the scientific work of the Unionduring the current period.

    In case of absence of the President, the Vice-Presidentshall act. If the Presidentis incapable of remaining in office, the Vice-President shall become President and the Executive Committeeshall elect a new Vice-President from the remaining Members of the Bureau.

  11. The Secretary Generalshall:

    1. serve as Secretary of the General Assembly, the Council, the Executive Committeeand the Bureau; arrange for meetings of these bodies; prepare and distribute promptly the agenda and the minutes of all their meetings;

    2. manage the affairs of the Union, informed by the document 'Guidelines on IUGG Administration', attend to correspondence, preserve the records;

    3. circulate all information related to the Union;

    4. prepare reports on the Union's activities; at least three months before the General Assembly, forward to all the Member Countriesa report on the administration of the Union since the last General Assembly, and present a summary of this to the General Assembly itself;

    5. Maintain a register of distinguished scientists who have been honoured by the Union as Fellows of IUGG, collectively designated as the College of Fellows.

    6. perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Bureau.

  12. To assist the Secretary General and the Treasurer in the performance of their duties, the Bureau may appoint one Assistant Secretary General (Executive Secretary) and one Assistant Treasurer who shall be assigned specific tasks by the Secretary General and the Treasurer, respectively, with the approval of the Bureau. The Assistants may attend meetings of the administrative bodies of the Union in an advisory capacity. The Bureau may authorize employment of additional administrative and secretariat personnel as may be required to ensure orderly administration.

For more information, direct questions to secretariat@iugg.org.