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Minutes of Meetings of The International Council
1990 April



INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

Minutes of meetings of the International Council of I.V.U. held during the World Vegetarian Congress at the Kfar Maccabiah Centre, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Israel from 17th - 24th April,1990.

Meeting held 17th April

Present

Messrs Surendra Mehta1 Joaquin Him, Jashu Shah, Francisco Martin, Brian Gunn-King, Maxwell Lee, Rob Snijders, Keith Akers, Dr Alex Hershaft, Mrs. Ingeborg Natz.

1. Deputy President's Opening Remarks

The Deputy President, Mr Surendra Mehta, asked the meeting to observe a brief period for silent reflection and this was agreed. The Deputy President welcomed everyone to the meeting and read out a letter he had received from the President, Dr Gordon Latto, explaining his absence from the Congress.He had also indicated that he would not be seeking re-election to the post of President.

2. Apologies for Absence

Dr Gordon Latto, Mr William Parrott, Mrs Madge Darneille, Mr Anders Kocken, Mr Rudolf Meyer, Mr M. Abdul Khalik, Professor Marcel Hebbelinck, Mr Edwin Heller, Mrs Nelly Fernandez French, Mr Brian Graff, Mrs Melinda Marks, Mr Mitch Darer, Mr Jan Beeldman, Dr M. M. Bhamgara.

3. Minutes of the Meeting Held on 14th August. 1989. in Ostwald, France

The minutes were approved without amendment.

4. Matters Arising

Item 6 - The General Secretary explained the reasons for the dates of the Congress and explained that the Israelis had decided to keep to the dates they had chosen as they felt that anyone who would not wish to travel during the Jewish Passover period could come before it began and spend it in Israel.

5. The Constitution

It was agreed not to suggest a major revision of the Constitution such as is provided for in the draft version but to consider minor alterations at the Congress and to prepare a much simplified version for submission to the next World Vegetarian Congress. A working party was set up consisting of Keith Akers, Alex Hershaft, Brian Gunn-King and the Hon. General Secretary to prepare the revised constitution.

The following alterations to the existing constitution were agreed for submission to the meeting of member societies:-

Clause 2 iii) d Non vegetarians may become associate individual members under the same conditions as indicated in Clause 2 iii) c

Clause 2 iv) Insert "individual" between"any" and "society" in the first line of the Clause.

Clause 3 ii) Change "mankind" to "people" in line 2 of the Clause.

Clause 4 i) Insert "Hon. Assistant General Secretary" after "Hon.General Secretary" in line 4.

Clause 4 i) Delete "a maximum of eight and a minimum of four Executive Vice-Presidents" in lines three and four.

Clause 4 ii) After "re-election in line' seven add "except that the President and Deputy President may serve for up to two consecutive terms of office in their particular category."

Clause 4 ii) In line eight replace "shall" by "may".

Subsequently, the proposed revised version of the Constitution was discussed and a number of alterations was suggested. It was agreed that the revised version of the Constitution should be circulated to members of the International Council for their comments and that it should be considered at the next meeting of the full International Council. An agreed version would then be submitted to the meeting of member societies at the next World Vegetarian Congress for their approval.

6. Hon.General Secretary's Report

Contacts with Eastern Europe were reported. It seemed that a number of vegetarian societies were being set up now that the political climate was more relaxed. He reported that Richard Whitehead, a student of Russian, had made a number of contacts in Eastern Europe and was planning a further visit to the U.S.S.R. and several other countries this coming summer. It would be advantageous if he could act on behalf of I.V.U. and E.V.U., develop the contacts further and discover what help was needed to encourage vegetarianism in Eastern Europe.

It was suggested that Vegetarian Times might be approached to see if it would help financially with the project. It was agreed that the Hon. General Secretary might provide financial assistance for Richard Whitehead out of the Manker Fund at his discretion up to a sum of 5OO and subject to a satisfactory budget being provided.

The Hon. General Secretary expressed his continuing concern over the problems he experienced due to the failure of some members of the International Council to reply to letters. It was emphasised that a reply was usually the only way that he could be certain that a letter had been received. The working of I,V.U. would be much smoother and positive if all were to respond as and when necessary.

As there had been no conmunication from the Regional Secretary for Latin America since he attended the meeting of the International Council in Mexico, it was suggested that no appointment for Latin America should be made at this time and that the Hon. General Secretary should seek a suitable replacement who could be confirmed in office by a subsequent meeting of the International Council. This was agreed.

The Hon. General Secretary referred to the various problems which had occurred with the President since the congress in Baltimore in 1984. This should not have happened and it had put an impossible strain upon his relationship with the President due to the President's unwillingness to accept the wishes of the International Council over the post of Hon.General Secretary. Since there was to be a new President, he felt it most unlikely that such problems would arise again.

The problems over the Israel Congress had occurred due to the failure of the Israeli Vegetarian Society to closely monitor the work of Unitours, the firm they had appointed to organise the Congress.

No increase in membership subscriptions was being suggested at this Congress due to the fact that a number of members had not paid at the current rate and the financial state of I.V.U. was quite satisfactory at present. However, any increase in activity would call for an increase in subscription rates.

It was agreed to allow the late payment of annual subscriptions for several years by the Vegetarian Society of Ulster on this occasion and to permit voting rights but that, in future, this should not necessarily be allowed.

Meeting held 18th April

Present

All those named above with the deletion of Mrs Ingeborg Natz and the inclusion of Mr Philip Pick. Mrs Natz attended from the Hon.Treasurer's report.

7.Appointment of Hon. General Secretary and Hon. Assistant General Secretary

It was agreed to reappoint Mr Maxwell Lee as Hon. General Secretary and Mrs Madge Darneille as Hon. Assistant General Secretary for the period until the next World Vegetarian Congress.

8. Appointment of Hon. Treasurer

It was agreed to reappoint Mr William Parrott as Hon. Treasurer for the period until the next World Vegetarian Congress.

9. Hon. Treasurer's Report

The Hon. General Secretary reported that it had been agreed to give a grant of 100 to Mr Germar Bungener oi West Germany to enable him to attend the Congress and to give a lecture. Also a grant of 300 had been agreed to enable Mr Keith Akers to attend the Congress. The Deputy President suggested that a grant of $U.S.150 should be made to Mr Patel of Ahmedabad, Gujurat, India, to pay his Congress Registration Fee and this was agreed.

In order to help the developing vegetarian society in Czechoslovakia it was agreed to give a grant of 300 and that Dr Peter Pribis who was attending the congress should be asked to arrange a way of paying the sum to the Czechoslavakian society.

The financial report for the year from 1st April,1989 until 31st March,1990 was approved subject to audit.

10. World Gongress 1990. Organisation

A number of problems encountered at the congress was identified. In particular there were still problems over the food provided at breakfast and for the evening meal and the Hon. General Secretary was in discussion with the management over this. The charges for display space were excessive and had not been indicated by the Israelis prior to the congress. Although the Israelis had decided that Hebrew should not be the language used at the congress, one talk had begun in Hebrew without any translation and it was agreed to take this matter up with the organisers. It was clear that a number of matters were not being dealt with in the normal way and this was put down to the fact that it was a commercial organisation that was organising the congress. There were lessons to be learnt for the future from this experience.

11. Membership

The Hon. General Secretary read out a number of additions and alterations which needed to be made to the list of members which had been prepared several weeks before the congress. The revised list was approved.

12. General Meeting of Member Societies

The organisation of the meeting was discussed. It was emphasised that only paid up members would be allowed to vote.

13. Elections

The Hon. General Secretary announced that Surendra Mehta had been nominated and seconded for the post of President and Marcel Hebbelinck for Deputy President and that no other nominations had been received. It was possible for nominations to be made during the meeting. It was agreed to recommend Messrs Mehta and Hebbelinck to the membership.

Meeting held 19th April

Present

All those named above with the addition of Marian Breuker who was welcomed to the meeting by the President.

14. World Vegetarian Congress 1992

There was a full discussion about the dates and venues for the congress. It was agreed that the congress should take place in July, 1992 and that it should begin on 16th July. The congress would begin with five nights in New Delhi of which the first three would be tourist visits followed by two days of congress business. This would be followed by six nights in Madras of which the first four days would be business and the final day visits. There will be two nights in Bombay for those who wished to attend and this would include the final congress dinner. It was not felt that there should be breaks in the journeys to visit other places. It was emphasised that a programme of workshops should parallel the lecture programme and that workshops should be one at a time only.

15. World vegetarian Congress l994

At the previous meeting it had been agreed to recommend The Netherlands should be recommended to the meeting of member societies to organise the 1994 World Vegetarian Congress. It was reported that the congress would be held during the last week of July and the first week of August. International Council members had received a document from The Netherlands giving details of their proposal and this was welcomed.

16. Organisation of Congresses

Due to the problems that had been experienced using professional organisers, it was agreed any future such proposal should be fully investigated and subject to I.V.U. approval. Alex Hershaft offered to put on a congress at very short notice if there were local problems in the future which necessitated cancelling a congress in a particular country for which he was thanked.

The Hon. General Secretary was asked to produce a document on congress organisation for future consideration.

17. Financial Support for Internatioal Council Meimbers to Attend Meetings

It was agreed to continue the present policy that anyone seeking financial assistance should write to the Hon. General Secretary with details and that a decision would be taken in consultation with either the President or the Hon. Treasurer.

The president raised the possibility of sending people to variuus countries to meet with government officials and other people to promote vegetarianism and also to provide financial support to encourage the development of vegetarian societies in countries which needed such financial assistance. He suggested that I.V.U should fund such activities.and, to this end, he was prepared to guarantee a sum of at least $15,000 would be made available for this purpose. The Hon. General Secretary was asked to arrange the use of the funds being made available. It was agreed that money might be used to produce literature in particular languages.

Keith Akers and Alex Hershaft offered to provide names and addresses of people who might be able to act on behalf of I.V.U. The President was thanked for his kind offer and it was agreed to go ahead with the implementation of the scheme he proposed.

18. Reports from Regional Secretaries

As these would be given at the meeting of member societies, it was agreed that no such reports should be given during the International Council meeting.

19. Manker Trophy

It was agreed to appoint the President, The Hon. General Secretary and Francisco Martin to make a recommendation to the International Council for the award. Following their discussions, they recommended that the award should be made to Philip Pick for his long service to the vegetarian cause and promotion of international vegetarianism. This was agreed.

20. Tree planting Ceremony

It was announced that this was being arranged by the congress organisers and Mr Brian Gunn King was asked to supervise this by the Hon. General Secretary.

Meeting held 20th April

Present

Messrs Surendra Mehta, Keith Akers, Francisco Martin, Jashu Shah, Brian Gunn-King, Philip Pick, Joaquin Him, Alex Hershaft, Maxwell Lee, Mrs Ingeborg Natz and Mrs Marian Breuker.

21. Policy on Frequency of Congresses - World and Regional

There was a discussion on reasons for low attendance at the current congress. The lack of Israelis was hard to explain but there were several reasons for the low attendance from overseas. It was not felt that similar problems would necessarily ocour in the future. It was agreed to continue with congresses every two years and to review the situation periodically. Caution needed to be shown over the venues for congresses and the ability of a local society should be considered before accepting an offer.

The Hon. General Secretary mentioned the problems he had using a typwriter for newsletter production and for other purposes and that he had discussed with the Hon. Treasurer the possibility of purchasing a computer to help him in his work. It was agreed that a computer should be purchased for the use of the Hon. General Secretary at the best price possible but somewhere in the region of 1,000.

People were asked to send reports to the Hon. General secretary in order to enable him to produce a more interesting newsletter. It was agreed that a frequency of between two and four newsletters per year was desirable but it was emphasised that this would depend on the support of members in sending in information for the newsletters The Hon.General Secretary indicated that, for the present, it was likely that there would be a maximum of two newsletters per year.

Alex Hershaft suggested that one of the newer air mail services should be considered for distribution as they were often much cheaper than the traditional national services.

23. Communication Failure

The Hon. General Secretary mentioned the problems over a failure of some to reply to communications and that he did not know, in some cases, if they were going to the right address. It was agreed that he should cease sending to anyone who failed to respond after a suitable warning had been issued.

24. V.S.U.K. Researcher

The Hon. General Secretary reminded members that it had been agreed to donate 1,000 per annum to the V.S.U.K. towards the cost of employing a researcher and that this matter should now be reviewed. Members asked what services I.V.U. received from the researcher and were informed that, in the past, there had not been any unless people wrote to the V.S.U.K. for relevant information. It was agreed that information should be requested to be put into the newsletters issued by I.V.U. Also that the V.S,U.K, Fact Sheet titles should be circulated to those member societies which wrote in asking for them so that they might order them. It was agreed that I.V.U. should pay the cost of postage and printing for such requests.

It was agreed to continue the grant towards the cost of the V.S.U.K. Researcher until the next world congress when the matter would be reviewed. 500 should come from general funds and 500 from the Manker Foundation funds.

25.Future Meetings of the International Council

As many members would not be able to attend a meeting in India in 1991, it was agreed that a meeting of the International Council should be held during the European Regional Congress in England in July,1991. In addition, there would be a meeting in India concerned mainly with the organisation of the 1992 world vegetarian congress there at Easter 1991 so that a report could be made to other members of the International Council when it met in July,1991. It was agreed that those members who could do so should meet in India and that the fare of Francisco Martin should be paid by I.V.U. to enable him to travel from Spain to India to help the Hon. General Secretary.

26.Any Other Business

The Hon. General Secretary read out a letter he had received from Mr Dalmia of India concerning the availability of vegetarian cheese in India and other countries. He had asked for the topic to be considered during the congress. It was agreed that I.V.U. could not take any action in this matter and it was for individuals to lobby on the issue in their individual countries to ensure supplies.

There being no other business, the President thanked everyone for their attendance and declared the meeting closed.

[signed]
Sri Mehta
27/7/91