International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo
34th World Vegetarian Congress
Sharing the Vision

Toronto, Ontario, Canada • July 10-16, 2000
Hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association

IVU GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
(DRAFT Version 2)

Wednesday 12 July 2000
9 AM - 12 Noon
Toronto, Canada


Summary: The General Meeting (GM) of member societies of the IVU was held to conduct the business of IVU. It took place at the World Vegetarian Congress from 9 am to 12 noon on Wednesday, 12 July 2000 at Grand Central Hall, Colony Hotel, Toronto, Canada.

Attendees: about 80 people, including International Council (IC) members - Saurabh Dalal, Tina Fox, Robert Fraser, PK Jain, Mitsuru Kakimoto, Claude Pasquini, Kevin Pickard, David Pye, Jashu Shah, Paul Turner

Facilitator: Kevin Pickard (IVU Deputy Chair) chaired the meeting in the absence of Maxwell Lee (IVU Chair). Saurabh Dalal and Tina Fox chaired the meeting when Kevin had to leave.

Scribe: Jashu Shah was Minutes Secretary for the duration of the meeting. Saurabh Dalal transcribed Jashu's written notes into these minutes.


1. Welcome

In the absence of the IVU Chair (Maxwell Lee), the Deputy Chair, Kevin Pickard, took the chair and welcomed the attendees. Kevin spoke on the growth of vegetarianism in different regions of the world, formation of new societies, and the role played by the IVU.

2. Meeting Procedures

The agenda was distributed to the attendees and Kevin Pickard explained the general meeting procedures. The voting system had been put in place just before the beginning of the meeting for eligible member societies.

3. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from John Davis (IVU Webmaster), Hiren Kara (IVU Secretary), Maxwell Lee (IVU Chair), Francisco Martin (IVU IC member), and Marly Winckler (IVU Regional Secretary for Latin America).

4. Minutes of Previous Meeting of Member Societies

The minutes of the previous meeting of member societies held at the 33rd WVC in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 6 JAN 99 were prepared by Hiren Kara (IVU Secretary) and read by Tina Fox in Hiren's absence.

5. Matters Arising from Previous Minutes

The minutes were approved as read with no matters arising.

6. Secretary's Report

a. In the absence of Hiren Kara (IVU Secretary), Tina Fox presented Hiren's brief report on the affairs of IVU since he was appointed IVU Secretary in November 1999. In this period, minutes from the WVC in Thailand in January 1999 were produced; the new IVU constitution was adopted; one issue of the IVU magazine was produced where Hiren assisted in printing and mailing; general correspondences were made; and the agenda and nominations for the present WVC in Toronto were coordinated.
Tina informed about the sudden and sad demise of Luis Escala, IVU Regional Secretary for Latin America. This was a great loss and IVU sent condolences. She stated that Marly Winckler from Brazil replaced Luis in this post.
Tina also mentioned the recent and sad passing away of H. Jay Dinshah, organizer of the WVC in Orono, Maine, USA in 1975 and Founder/President of the American Vegan Society.

b. Tina also explained that the IVU adopted a new constitution in November 1999 via postal and email ballot. The new email voting allowed many member societies to have ease of voting and the response by these societies was most encouraging. She acknowledged the leading role that John Davis, then an elected IVU Councilor, played in the constitution's creation and adoption.
In the new constitution, the positions of President and Deputy President were eliminated and those of Chair and Deputy Chair were created. Maxwell Lee and Kevin Pickard respectively were elected to the new positions. The positions of IVU Secretary and Membership Secretary were created and the posts of General Secretary and Assistant General Secretary were eliminated to spread the substantial responsibilities to other positions. Francisco Martin, who was elected IVU General Secretary at the WVC in Chiang Mai in January 1999, did not wish to stand for the position of IVU Secretary. Since Hiren Kara was elected Assistant General Secretary at the WVC in January 1999, Hiren was subsequently appointed IVU Secretary in November 1999.

7. Treasurer's Report

a. David Pye circulated the five-year summary of the accounts of IVU with his report. The 1995/6 accounts were audited. The accounts for 1996/7 and 1997/8 are with the auditors and should be finalized in about three months. He has completed the 1998/9 and 1999/2000 accounts and they will be audited after the 1996-8 accounts are audited.
The work-load of IVU's vegetarian auditors, Drake and Co., has increased and they will need to charge us 150 Pounds per annum to cover their costs. David feels this is far less than the costs on the open market.
The WVC in Thailand showed an excess of 751 Pounds. IVU paid this as a donation to the Thai Vegetarian Union. David mentioned that membership subscriptions showed a dramatic increase from 1997/8 to 1998/9, possibly as a result of the publicity of a WVC.
The IVU magazine cost increased to 2120 Pounds for one issue in 1999, noting the higher quality, sophistication, and wider circulation. The very popular IVU website cost was 1292 Pounds in 1999 with advertising and partnership revenue coming in steadily and expected to rise significantly.
The total value of IVU assets has risen from 53328 Pounds in March 1996 to 69189 Pounds in March 2000. Included in the last figure are the investments in Lloyds TSB offshore account in the amount of 41995 Pounds.
David expressed that IVU has a sound financial base to support its work of promoting vegetarianism into the new millenium.

The motion was put forth to accept the accounts subject to audit and the voting was all in favor with no objections.

b. The motion was put forth that Drake and Co. be appointed as the auditors for IVU for 2000/1 and 2001/2 and paid 150 Pounds per annum. This was passed as all were in favor.

8. Membership Report

Tina Fox, IVU Membership Secretary, reported that there are 208 overall members of IVU presently. It was noted that her number only partially included North American members since those that sign-up with VUNA directly are in a separate database and these were unavailable at that time. The 208 members are comprised of 63 member groups, 34 supporting organizations, 62 individual members, and 49 patron members. Geographically, two are in Africa, 30 in Asia, eight in Australia, 119 in Europe, 38 in North America, and 11 in South America.

Tina informed that new members have been recruited in Mongolia, Armenia, Hungary, Nepal, and Slovakia. Various materials on vegetarianism were provided to them by IVU.

9. Elections for the IC

At this Point, Kevin Pickard had to leave the meeting and handed the control of the meeting to Saurabh Dalal (IVU Regional Secretary for North America who was not standing for election).

a. Saurabh informed that the list of nominations were not technically in accordance with established procedures in the new constitution. The list of nominations was to be circulated one month before the date of the GM at the WVC, but the list was actually circulated about 2 days shy of one month. Since the dates were so close and the list included known, capable, and talented persons, he inquired on behalf of the existing IC if the member societies were willing to use this list as official. A motion was made from the floor to this effect and the vote passed without exception.

b. Saurabh then informed that there were only eight nominations for the ten positions. The names of the nominees were read and those in attendance were asked to stand. The names were: Gerry Coffey, Richard Dimech, Tina Fox, Mitsuru Kakimoto, Claude Pasquini, Kevin Pickard, David Pye, and Paul Turner. (Kevin and Richard were not present at that time.)
With less nominees than open positions for the IC, voting was simplified by a motion to accept all the candidates in a single vote. As all present were in favor and the member societies who had voted by mail were also in large majority, the motion was carried by large majority.
Saurabh declared all the nominees elected to the new IC of IVU and congratulated each on behalf of the outgoing IC.

10. Mankar Foundation and Trophy

A replica of the original Mankar Trophy was shown and circulated to the attendees. Tina Fox mentioned that the original was made of sandalwood and has become difficult to handle. Jashu Shah (IVU Regional Secretary of India and the Far East) gave a brief history and details of the Mankar Foundation.
Tina informed that a subcommittee will be formed by the new IC to recommend a recipient at this WVC. The announcement will be made and the Mankar Trophy conferred at the banquet on Saturday 15 July 2000.

11. Fellows

a. Tina Fox explained that Fellows of the IVU existed in the past and now none were living. She explained appointments of Fellows to be a lifetime honorary membership based on exceptional and extended service to the IVU. A vote was taken and all were in favor of the idea of reinstating the Fellows program.

b. Tina mentioned the outgoing IC's recommendation of placing a limit on the number of Fellows elected to 12. A vote was taken and all were in favor of the idea of limiting the number of Fellows to 12.

c. The list of proposed Fellows suggested by John Davis (IVU Webmaster) and recommended by the outgoing IC was read out, including the number of years of service for each. The names are: Jan Beeldman (South Africa), Madge Darneille (USA), Brian Graff (USA), Brian Gunn-King (UK), Marcel Hebbelinck (Belgium), Alex Hershaft (USA), M. I. Khalik (Singapore), Maxwell Lee (UK), Howard Lyman (USA), Francisco Martin (Spain), Surendra Mehta (India), Rudolf Meyer (Germany).

Tina suggested that they could be approved as a group if there were no objections to any of the names. Since there were no objections, a vote was taken and the Fellows were approved as read with all voting in favor.

12. IVU Magazine

Paul Turner presented an overview of the content and production of the IVU magazine. Its quality and style have changed significantly from previous newsletters and he encouraged more articles and input from member organizations and individuals. Paul asked for specific suggestions and ways of improvements. A number of suggestions were made from the floor and noted for future issues.

Paul was thanked for his creativity and diligence with the new IVU magazine.

13. Resolutions

Tina Fox explained that the IVU has been using the internet for more rapid and efficient communications with member societies. The dramatic increase in the use of email has been made easier with the prevalence of free and web-based internet services. She proposed that all member societies should provide IVU with a reliable email address for correspondence and decision-making.
After some discussion, a proposal was made. This would involve a grace period, until July 2001 for societies easing into internet use, for all societies to provide IVU with a reliable email address. In the interim, discussions and voting would take place primarily over the internet but via post for those who are not already on-line. Starting 1 July 2001, the IVU will conduct all communications using email and the web. Email addresses must be supplied by member societies as a means for them to take part in IVU discussions and voting. Of course, the General Meeting at any WVC would remain for in-person delegates and any proxies.
The proposal was agreed to with all voting in favor.

There were no other resolutions.

14. World Vegetarian Congress (WVC) - 2000, 2002, 2004

a. Peter McQueen, 2000 WVC Coordinator from the Toronto Vegetarian Association (TVA), presented a report on the efforts leading to the current congress. He summarized the planning of five years worth of effort, including site logistics (and difficulties with the University of Toronto), program planning, volunteer support, and finances.
For improvements, one suggestion was made from the floor in regard to offering additional conveniences to attendees, e.g. afternoon tea. Another suggestion involved a tree-planting ceremony at each WVC.
Peter and the TVA congress organizers / volunteers were given heartfelt thanks from IVU for the tremendous job they had done.

b. Tina Fox, as the 2002 WVC representative from the Vegetarian Society of the UK (VSUK), reported on the developments of the WVC in Edinburgh, Scotland. The dates are 8-14 July 2002 and she indicated that the VSUK was pleased with the progress. Tina will be making a slide presentation at the WVC banquet on Saturday 15 July 2000.

c. Robert Fraser, as representative from the Vegetarian Network Victoria (VNV), presented a bid for the 2004 WVC in Melbourne, Australia. The approximate dates were 7-11 January 2004 and would include the adjoining weekend. Robert provided information on the multi-cultural atmosphere of Melbourne and its suitability as a venue for a WVC. A brief video from their tourist bureau was shown.
After some discussion (and since there were no other bids for the 2004 WVC), a motion was made to accept the VNV bid. All voted in favor.

15. Subscription Rates

a. Following a suggestion by the IVU webmaster John Davis, David Pye put forward a proposal to increase the internet business supporter fee from US$20 (12 UK pounds) per year to US$40 (25 UK pounds) per year. They felt this was easily justifiable since the rate had already been quite low and the IVU website (www.ivu.org) was now getting enormous exposure and a fast increasing number of hits. All voted in favor of this change.

b. David Pye also put forward a proposal for an increase in the base organizational member rate from US$16 (10 UK pounds) per year to US$20 (12 UK pounds) per year. This would put that rate in-line with the rate paid by an individual member of IVU. All were reminded that the IVU still offers no charge, one-year memberships to organizations that could not afford to pay. All voted in favor of this change.

16. Other Business

There was no other business.

The meeting ended at 12 noon.