International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo Members and Supporters

The 1993 Constitution
of the International Vegetarian Union

Replaced in 1999


This Constitution was approved at the meeting of Member Societies during the World Vegetarian Congress held in Madras, India in January, 1993 and revised at the meeting of Member Societies held in The Hague,The Netherlands in August, 1994.

1. NAME

The name of the organisation shall be International Vegetarian Union (abbreviated to IVU).
2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
  1. The aim of the IVU shall be to promote vegetarianism throughout the world.
  2. The objectives of the IVU shall be to :-
    1. Collect and disseminate information on vegetarianism;
    2. Promote the understanding of the relationship between lifestyle and environment;
    3. Promote vegetarianism and the formation of vegetarian organisations;
    4. Promote co-operation among vegetarian organisations;
    5. Promote the holding of world and regional congresses;
    6. Represent the vegetarian cause in world and regional bodies.
  3. For the purpose of this Constitution, vegetarianism is defined as the practice of not eating meat, poultry or fish or their by-products, with or without the use of dairy products or eggs.

3. MEMBERSHIP

  1. Full membership is open to any organisation that advocates vegetarianism and is governed exclusively by vegetarians. Individual membership is open to individual vegetarians.
  2. Associate membership is open to individuals and organisations that are sympathetic to vegetarianism.
  3. Membership becomes effective upon payment of an annual subscription and acceptance of the application by the Hon. General Secretary or the appropriate Hon. Regional General Secretary, and subject to ratification by the International Council.
  4. Individual members or member organisations may be removed from membership for conduct contrary to the aims and objectives of the IVU by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of all the members of the International Council, following a minimum of two months' notice of the charges and the opportunity to present their defence at a meeting of the International Council.
4. ORGANISATION
  1. The affairs of IVU shall be governed by its member organisations through the General Meeting periodically held, usually at world congresses, or by a postal ballot
  2. Between General Meetings the affairs of IVU shall be managed by the International Council.
  3. The day-to-day affairs of the IVU shall be managed by its elected and appointed officers according to the decisions of the General Meeting and/or the International Council.
5. GENERAL MEETINGS
  1. General Meetings of member organisations shall be held in conjunction with World Vegetarian Congresses.
  2. General Meetings or postal ballots of member organisations may also be called by the International Council or as a result of a request by a majority of member organisations.
  3. Only delegates of member organisations shall be entitled to vote at a General Meeting.
  4. Each delegate may vote on behalf of only one organisation and provide the Hon. General Secretary with written authority for such vote.
  5. Fifty percent of the delegates attending a World Congress shall constitute a quorum.
  6. Each member organisation is entitled to one vote for up to 150 members and one additional vote for each additional 500 members or part thereof up to a maximum of ten votes.
6. INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL
  1. The International Council of the IVU shall consist of the President, the Deputy President, the Hon. General Secretary, the Hon. Assistant General Secretary, the Hon. Treasurer, one representative of each IVU Regional Organisation, and up to eight other elected members. The immediate Past President may serve on the International Council for two years from the date s/he ceases to be President.
  2. Meetings of the International Council may be called with a minimum of two months' notice by the Hon. General Secretary and the President or by the request of 1/3 of all the members of the International Council. Five members of the International Council shall constitute a quorum.
  3. Postal ballots of the International Council may be called by the Hon. General Secretary and the President or by the request of 1/3 of all the International Council members. One month's notice shall be given to the Hon. General Secretary of any request for a ballot and members of the International Council shall be given 28 days to reply from the date on which the ballot papers are posted to them.
7. OFFICERS
  1. The officers of the IVU shall be the President, the Deputy President, the Hon General Secretary, the Assistant Hon. General Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer.
  2. The President may preside at the meetings of member organisations or of the International Council. The Deputy President shall act for the President in the President's absence.
  3. The Hon. General Secretary shall be responsible for the general administration of the IVU under the direction of the International Council. The Hon. Assistant General Secretary shall carry out the duties delegated by the Hon. General Secretary and shall act for the Hon. General Secretary in the latter's absence.
  4. The Hon. Treasurer shall be responsible for supervising the financial affairs of the IVU and for placing the assets of the IVU under the direction of the International Council.
8. ELECTIONS
  1. The President, the Deputy President and the eight ordinary Council members shall be elected by the General Meeting of member organisations at a World Congress for a term of office lasting until they or their successors have been elected at the next World Congress.
  2. The President and the Deputy President may not serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same position.
  3. The Hon. General Secretary, the Hon. Assistant General Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer shall be appointed by the International Council for a term of office lasting until they or their successors have been appointed at the next World Congress.
  4. Only full individual members or members of member organisations are eligible for election to any position in the International Council.
  5. Vacancies among elected members of the International Council may be filled by the Council for a term lasting until they or their successor shall have been elected at the next World Congress.
  6. Council members may be removed from office for conduct contrary to the aims and objectives of the IVU by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of all Council members, following a minimum of two months' notice of the charges and the opportunity to present their defence at a meeting of the International Council.
9. REGIONS
  1. The International Council may establish Regional Organisations to promote the aims and objectives of the IVU in designated areas of the world.
  2. Each Regional Organisation shall formulate its own constitution which shall be consistent with the constitution of the IVU.
  3. Each Regional Organisation shall elect its own officers and council, including a Regional Secretary and/or a representative to the International Council. If the Regional Organisation does not exist or fails to elect a functioning representative, the International Council may appoint one.
10. AFFILIATED ORGANISATIONS
The International Council may establish other affiliated organisations to promote the aims and objectives of the IVU.
11. CONGRESSES
  1. The IVU shall hold World Congresses for the purposes of hosting the General Meeting of the Member Organisations and the International Council, exchanging information on the merits of vegetarianism, sharing experiences in the promotion of vegetarianism, and promoting vegetarianism in the host country and surrounding areas.
  2. The host country shall be responsible for proposing to the Hon. General Secretary the venue, the dates, the type of programme and the general arrangements for a future congress. The General Meeting shall be responsible for approving the general venue. The International Council shall be responsible for approving the specific venue, the dates, the type of programme and the general arrangements. The Hon. General Secretary shall be responsible for supervising the detailed implementation of the approved proposal in consultation with the president and the International Council.
12. FINANCES
  1. The International Council shall determine the signatories for IVU accounts.
  2. A statement of IVU accounts shall be prepared by the Hon. Treasurer for each year ending 31st March and these shall be presented for approval by the International Council.
  3. Auditors shall be appointed by the International Council but subject to approval by the General Meeting of member organisations.
13. ALTERATIONS
  1. Proposed alterations to this Constitution shall be submitted to the Hon. General Secretary no later than three months before the opening of the next World Congress and shall be circulated to the member organisations and the members of the International Council no later than two months before the opening of the next World Congress. Additional amendments may be proposed at the General Meeting.
  2. All proposed alterations shall be reviewed by the International Council which may make a particular recommendation to the General Meeting.
  3. Proposed alterations shall become effective immediately upon approval with a minimum of 75% of the delegates present at the General Meeting voting in favour.
14. DISSOLUTION
  1. Dissolution of the IVU may be effected by a request to that effect after one year's notice of such proposal is given to Member Organisations and a vote being taken of Member Organisations with a minimum of 75% of them voting in favour.
  2. Upon dissolution, after all liabilities have been met, the remaining assets shall be given to vegetarian charitable organisations selected by the International Council.