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Minutes of Meetings of The International Council
1987 August



INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION

Minutes of meetings of the International Council of the International Vegetarian Union held at the Hotel Fiesta Americana, Guadalajara, Mexico on 1st and 2nd August, 1987.

PRESENT: Messrs Keith Akers, German Alberti, Joaquin Him, Maxwell Lee, Francisco Martin, Jashu Shah.

1. Election of Chairman for the Meeting

Dr Alberti proposed that Mr Lee should take the chair and this was agreed.

2. Apologies for Absence

Apologies had been received from Dr Latto, Mr Surendra Mehta, Mr WUliam Farrott, Mrs Madge Darneilie (due to a flight problem), Mr Rudolf Meyer, Mr Jan Beeldman, Mr Marcel Hebbelinck, Mrs Nelly Fernandez French, Mr B. Gunn-King.

3. Minutes of the Last Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held at various times during the World Congress at the Croatia Hotel, Cavtat, Yugoslavia from 25th March to 3rd April, 1986, were agreed with the addition to page 5 of the minutes of the evening meeting of 1st April, that Mr Akers was present.

4. Matters Arising

Item 6. In view of the fact that the Mexican hosts wished to extend hospitality to Council members, it was agreed that it was not practical to refuse such hospitality so the decision taken at the previous Council meeting not to all hospitality was rescinded.

Item 9. In response to a question about the accounts for the Yugoslav Congress promised by the President of the Yugoslav Vegetarian Society, the Hon. Secretary reported that no account had been received.

5. Minutes of the Meeting of Member Societies, Croatia Hotel

The minutes of the meeting of member societies held at various times during the congress at the Croatia Hotel from 25th March to 3rd April, 1986, were approved as a correct account of the meeting.

6. Matters Arising

No matters were raised.

7. Hon. General Secretary's Report The General Secretary reported his appreciation of the work being done on the Newsletters by Mrs Darneille and Mr Akers. Correspondence with vegetarians and societies in various parts of the world was reported. The importance of ensuring that all the arrangements for the Congress were satisfactory uas emphasised.

8. Financial Report & Accounts

The Treasurer had suggested that Jersey, Channel Islands, address should be used for the accounts in order to avoid problems over taxation and this was agreed.

The accounts for the financial year from 1st April,1986 to 31st March, 1987 were approved.

The financing of future congresses was discussed. The view was expressed that I.V.U. should finance congresses if necessary and receive any profit should it do so. Donations from wealthy vegetarians might be sought to enable the I.V.U. to develop its work.

The work of the VSUK rescearch officer was considered. It was reported that various research findings were being published.

9. Membership

The General Secretary reported the problems associated with obtaining annual subscriptions from I.V.U. member societies due to national controls over the transfer of funds, the unwillingness of some to pay and due to the fact that some only pay when they attend a congress. He asked members to encourage regular payment.

10. Congress 1988 matters

All aspects of the venue, the accommodation, catering, programme, publicity, responsibilities, dates etc. were discussed during several meetings with the Mexican organisers and various agreements were made. Hotel accommodation was inspected and approved. Emphasis on regular and frequent communication was agreed by all and the organisers stated that they would answer promptly. A possible I.V.U. loan of $2,500 if necessary was agreed.

11. Regional Congess Reports

It was reported that the European Congress in Ostend, Belgium was very well organised and supported. The General Secretary informed the meeting that the plans for the first North American regional congress were going ahead and he planed to attend it after the meeting of the Interational Council. It was being held in Toronto, Canada, and it was likely to prove a very successful event. Mr Akers said it was hoped to set up a regional executive committee at the congress. He also said that lateness of the information would be likely to keep the attendance down.

12. World Congess 1990

The General Secretary reported his contacts with the Israeli vegetarian society and the problems likely to result from at least two organisations wishing to be involved. The meeting agreed that we should ask the Israeli Vegetarian Society to encourage other vegetarian groups to participate. Possible dates were discussed but it was agreed that the dates would need to be negotiated with the Israelis.

13. World Congress, 1992

The meeting was reminded that it would be for the meeting of member societies to agree a venue when it met in Mexico in 1988. Possible venues were suggested but the most likely offer would seem to be from India.

14. Reports of Regional Secretaries

None received.

15. I.V.U. Newsletter

It was agreed to discuss the matter at the Toronto Congress. Mr. Akers indicated he might not be able to continue to help in its production. It was emphasised that information should be sent in if a successful newsletter is to be produced.

16. Constitution

As no comments had been received, it was agreed no action should be taken for the time being.

17. International Council Membership

In view of the small number attending and the lack of time this item was postponed.

18. Financial support for International Council members

Due to the fact that some members of the International Council find it difficult to afford the cost of attending meetings, it was agreed that it was desirable to offer some help to members if this were essential to enable their attendance. It was suggested and agreed subject to the approval of congress organisers, that those attending meetings of the international Council might be excused paying the congress registration fee.

19. I.V.U.'s future

Due to the lack of time this item was not discussed.

20. Any Other Business

It was agreed that International Council members should be asked to arrive at congresses a day early so that the International Council might meet during the morning of the first day of a congress.

Maxwell Lee was thanked for chairing the meeting and Francisco Martin for his acting as interpreter.


THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

The size of the International Council is 29 people including the officers, the regional secretaries, eight executive vice presidents and eight elected members. This is a very large body and many of them do not attend meetings whether at congresses or between congresses. Some of them do not respond to correspondence, even when a reply is particularly asked for.

The functions of the International Council could be carried out with a much smaller number of members and this could well lead to greater efficiency and a better working atmosphere at meetings. Suggestions for attendance at meetings to be financially assisted would be much more easy with a much smaller number of members.

Very few members attend meetings of the International Council between world congresses due to cost and distance problems. It is very important for a meeting to be held with organising committees of world congresses and this is the main purpose of any meeting taking place between congresses.

At world congresses there is the meeting of member societies to ensure a democratic system and this gives an opportunity for all delegates to participate in discussion and decision making.

It might be better to reduce the International Council to 15 persons. The suggested composition might be;-

The officers (President Deputy President, Hon. General Secretary, Hon. Assistant General Secretary, Hon. Treasurer).

Active regional secretaries (that is where regional congresses take place and the regional secretary is elected within the region rather than at a world congress).

Three elected members (elected at the meeting of member societies during a world congress).

This would gve a maximum size of 15 persons but, if all regions are not active a lesser number would be possible.

This is intended as a discussion paper rather than a firm proposal. It is hoped that the matter will be discussed at the Strasbourg meeting.

Maxwell G.Lee