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Minutes of Meetings of The International Council
1993 January



Minutes of meetings of the International Council of I.V.U. held during the World Vegetarian Congress in Madras, India from 5th - 10th January, 1993.

Meeting held 5th & 6th January.1993


Mr Surendra Mehta (President), Professor Marcel Hebbelinck (Deputy President), Messrs J. Shah, M.I.A. Khalik, B. Gunn-Kinq, F. Martin, M. G. Lee (Hon.General Secretary).


Apologies had been received from Mr K. Akers, Mr R. Meyer, Mr J. Beeldman, Mr J. Him, Mr Rob Snijders, Dr Alex Hershaft, Mr William Parrott, Mrs Madge Darneille.

1. President's Opening Remarks

The President welcomed everyone to the meeting. The meeting noted with great sadness the death of Philip Pick and John le Grice, two people who had long served the vegetarian cause and who had been very active in the international movement. He commented on the conference on scientific aspects of vegetarianism held in New Delhi on 2nd and 3rd. January. He mentioned the support it received from scientists in India and the press. It was desirable for further such conferences to be organised. He commented on the work there was for IVU to undertake and thanked the Hon. General Secretary for his efforts. He welcomed the attendance of East Europeans at the congress and looked forward to a successful event.

2. Apologies for Absence

Dr. G. Latto, Mrs M. Breuker, Messrs K. Akers, R. Meyer, J. Him, J.Beeldman.

3. Minutes of the Meeting Held 28th and 29th July.1991, Chester. England

The minutes were approved without amendment.

4. Matters Arising

Minute 4 - Item 25 The Hon. General Secretary reported that he and Francisco Martin had visited India to discuss the arrangements for the congress with the organising committee and had undertaken a number of lecturing engagements and press interviews. The Hon. General secretary had also carried out the opening ceremony at the new vegetarian village close to Madras.

5. Hon. General Secretary's Report

a. It was reported that the IVU Newsletters were still beinq sent to some societies and individuals who did not reply at all. This was in line with an earlier decision of the International Council. It was agreed that this should cease where there was a lack of response over a period of time. There were favourable comments about the Newsletter and it was agreed that we should aim to move towards four issues per year.

b. The Hon. General Secretary indicated the problems he had with a printer and the fact that the present computer system was not able to operate a desk top publishing system for the Newsletters. It was agreed that a top publishing system and a good printer, possibly a laser printer, should be purchased. The cost was left open and the Hon. General Secretary agreed to seek the best deal possible.

c. The Hon. General Secretary pointed out that he had been in the post since 1979 and that he had now reached his sixties. He suggested that the International Council should be thinking about a replacement for him in the post and that he was willing to continue, if required, until 1996. Members agreed to seek a suitable replacement with the above time scale in mind.

d. The attendance of two representatives of IVU at the Rome conference on nutrition organised by the Food and Agricultural organisation and the World Health organisation was reported. This was the first time that IVU had been granted Non Governmental Organisation status by the United Nations. The attendance had been a great success and the delegates had managed to make a statement on the vegetarian approach to the general assembly of the conference, distribute a specially prepared leaflet, display posters and give talks at fringe meetings. The future possibilities were exciting but much dependent on IVU being able to fund such participation. The International Council voiced its enthusiastic support for such initiatives.

e. There was some discussion about a conference on sustainable agriculture due to be held in the USA in July and a meeting of North American Jains. There would also be a meeting of the World Council of Religions in Chicago about the same time. It was agreed that IVU should be represented at such meetings and that, hopefully it might be possible to encourage some generous donations to IVU at the Jain meeting. The Hon. General Secretary agreed that he would attend these should he be available and try to arrange alternative representation should he not be. Both Jashu Shah and Surendra Mehta indicated they might be able to attend the Jain meeting if required. The Hon. General Secretary agreed to liaise with them about this matter.

f. The Hon. General Secretary emphasised the need to generate new financial support for IVU if the organisation is to grow any further and become a meaningful international force.

g. The Hon. General Secretary reported that he currently had invitations to make lecture tours and undertake media interview in Lithuania and Poland at Easter and to Australia and New Zealand in the latter part of the year. He had also been invited to Nigeria but this visit had not taken place due to the failure of the Nigerian Society to make adequate advance arrangements. Another invitation had come from the Romanian Vegetarian society. It was agreed that it was desirable for the Hon. General secretary to make such visits and that a suitable budget for this purpose should be agreed under the financial part of the meeting.

h. It was reported that Mr John Lee, who had been the regional secretary for Australasia, had resigned. Since there had not been an Australasian regional meeting to elect a successor, it was agreed that Mr Mark Berriman, who had been supported by several Australasian member societies, should be elected to the post. No suitable representative had been found for Latin America. Following the death of Mr Philip Pick, the Hon. General Secretary had sought advise from the Jewish Vegetarian Society about a successor for the Middle East. It seemed that a suitable person would be found in Israel and this was approved. Mr Jan Beeldman of South Africa had indicated he wished to retire from the post but had agreed to continue until a suitable replacement were found. Other regional secretaries were continuing in office for the time being although Mr Keith Akers was not planning to continue beyond the VUNA congress being held in July,1993.

i. It was reported that neither Marian Breuker nor Ingeborg Natz had been nominated for the International Council but that Mr Modi of India, Mr Montagna of Italy, Mrs Scholvein of Germany and Drs van Boven of The Netherlands had been nominated as well as the existing members who were standing again. It was agreed that Dr Gordon Latto, former president of TVU, should be elected an Honorary Fellow of IVU.

6. Hon. Treasurer's Report and Accounts

In the absence of the Hon Treasurer the Hon. General Secretary presented the accounts for the two years from 1st April,1990 to 31st March,1992. He reported the growth of expenditure which was due to increased activity. He referred to the growth in capital due to the new fund set up by the President, Shri Surendra Mehta, which also enabled IVU to give financial support from new vegetarian societies and those that were in particular need. Lower U.K. interest rates were continuing to lower the amount of interest gained by IVU. Total expenditure for the years was 3,140.73 and 4,827.55 respectively. Income had exceeded expenditure in the first of the two years at 5,311.94 but was less than expenditure in the second year at 4,026.93. At the end of the two year period the Accumulated Fund stood at 43,534.22 compared with 44,522.16 the previous year. The accounts were approved as presented and the Hon. Treasurer was sincerely thanked for his services over a number of years.

For the 1993-94 financial year it was agreed to include a budget of 3,000 for the Hon. General Secretary's travel to undertake speaking and media engagements around the world. Also that a further sum of 2,000 be allocated for the development of vegetarian societies and assistance and sponsorship. Other budget amounts would be agreed between the Hon. General Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer. It was agreed to continue until the next world congress the annual grant of 1,000 to the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom towards the salary of its research officer since material was made available to IVU. Should the sums approved in these budgets not prove sufficient, then any adjustment should be agreed with the Hon. Treasurer and the President.

7. Membership Report

The Hon. General Secretary presented the list of members. He reported that the figure for membership represented those which had paid directly to I.V.U. Quite a large number now paid their membership subscriptions either to E.V.U. or V.U.N.A. I.V.U. was eligible to receive half the sum received for each member. Where the information was available at the time the list was prepared, members of IVU through the regional organisations were listed. Some societies were granted free membership since they do not have the funds to pay. The report was approved.

8. Appointment of Hon. General Secretary & Assistant

It was agreed to reappoint the present Hon. General Secretary, Maxwell Lee, for the period until the next world vegetarian congress. He pointed out that he has now been in office since 1979 and that he is now considering his retirement from the post. He indicated that he would be willing, if required, to continue in office until the 1996 world vegetarian congress. He suggested that members of the International Council should find a suitable replacement for him by that time. It was agreed to reappoint Mrs Madge Darneille as Assistant Hon. General Secretary. They were thanked for their services.

9. Appointment of Hon. Treasurer and Auditor

It was reported that Mr William Parrott, as he had indicated at the last meeting of the International Council, was not offering himself for re-election as Hon. Treasurer. It was agreed that Mr Bernard Colvin, an accountant, who had agreed to stand for the office, should be elected for the period until the next world vegetarian congress. The Hon. General Secretary was asked to give sincere thanks to Mr Parrott for his services. It had been suggested that Mr Colvin should take over as Hon. Treasurer from the start of the next financial year, 1st April, and this was agreed. Since Mr Colvin was willing to audit the 1992-93 accounts it was agreed that he should do so and that Mr Parrott's offer to become the Hon. Auditor for the period after this until the next world congress be accepted. Thanks to both were expressed.

10. Manker Trophy

The meeting agreed to appoint Mr Lee, Mr Martin and Mr Gunn-King to make a recommendation to the International Council for the award of the Trophy. They proposed that the trophy should be presented to the President, Shri Surendra Mehta and this was enthusiastically approved.

11. Eggs and Dairy Products

The president explained why he felt that IVU should consider the banning of eggs and why he did not feel the same reasons applied to milk as he did not consider the production of milk led to cruelty to cows in India.

After some discussion it was agreed that IVU catered for the various approaches to vegetarianism so could not make such a restriction as had been suggested. It was agreed to drop the subject and not to initiate a discussion about the issue at the meeting of member societies.

12. World Congress 1996

The Hon. General Secretary reported that he had received two offers to host the congress; one from Italy and one from Australia. The meeting agreed that it was desirable for congresses to be held in various parts of the world but that no recommendation should be made to the meeting of member societies.

13. World Congress 1993

The President reported on the arrangements that had been made. He indicated the approach to media publicity that was being adopted.

The arrangements for meals, lectures and social events were reported.

It was agreed that Mr Evaristo Santaulaya of Malaga, Spain, should be made an Hon. Fellow of IVU in recognition of his long and dedicated service to the Spanish vegetarian movement.

Meeting held 7th January.1993

Present:- Mr Surendra Mehta (President), Professor Marcel Hebbelinck (Deputy President), Mr Maxwell Lee (Hon. General Secretary), Mrs Hildegund Scholvein, Mrs Diana Ratnagar, Messrs Francisco Martin, Jashu Shah, Gianbattista Montagna, Hans van Boven.

14. Regional Secretaries' Reports

In view of the fact that regional secretaries' reports had been presented to the meeting of member societies, it was agreed to move to the next business.

15. World Vegetarian Congress 1994

Drs Hans van Boven reported the arrangements that were being made.

a. Venue - The congress will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands.

b. Meeting Facilities - The congress would take place in a hall that could hold some 900 - 1,000 people and there would be smaller rooms available for other purposes.

c. Accommodation - A range of hotels was being arranged and the more expensive ones would be very close to the congress venue and cheaper ones somewhat further away from it. Camping facilities would also be available.

It was suggested that a restricted choice of hotels might be offered which could result in lower charges.

d. Registration - The organisers were considering a charge of 350 - 400 Dutch Guilders (132 - 153). Concern was expressed at the possible level of the charge and its potential effect on support for the congress.

e. Organisers' responsibilities - The organisers are responsible fully for the financing of the congress and drawing up the programme and meal arrangements, the taking of bookings and supervision of the congress.

f. IVU's responsibilities - The Hon. General Secretary has to see and approve the programme and meal arrangements and menus as well as approve the general plans for the congress on behalf of the International Council.

g. Programme - The theme for the congress is "The Rights of Nature".

There will be a call for people to offer to present papers and lectures in April, 1993. There would be a programme of excursions offered during the congress and pre and post congress tours. The general plan would be two days on animal rights, one day on food and one day on the environment.

h. Period of congress - the congress will take place between 30th July and 5th August,1994.

i. Ceremonies - A tree planting ceremony would take place.

j. IVU General Meeting - the Hon. General secretary explained that three three hour periods should be provided and that no other congress activities should be scheduled for these times.

k. Catering - both vegetarians and vegans should be catered for. It was suggested that only lunch should be provided and that participants should make their own arrangements for dinner. This did not find favour and it was felt that evening social events as well as dinner should be provided.

It was agreed that an attempt should be made to get well-known personalities to attend all or part of the congress. It was suggested that a youth camp should be arranged in conjunction with the congress. Hans van Boven was thanked for his report.

16. World Congress 1996

The Hon. General Secretary reported that he expected to visit Sydney during his tour of Australia and New Zealand. It was agreed that he should discuss the congress arrangements with the organisers during his stay and report to the next meeting of the International Council. It was emphasised that it was essential that representative of the organisers attend the 1994 world vegetarian congress to publicise the 1996 congress.

17. World Congress 1998

The Council was reminded that the 1994 world congress would decide on the venue for the 1998 world vegetarian congress and members were asked to encourage member societies to offer to host the congress.

18. Funding the Secretariat

The Hon. General Secretary mentioned the potential for the growth of IVU's work but explained that the lack of money made such development very difficult. The recent attendance at a United Nations conference on nutrition had cost IVU approaching 1,000. The finances needed to be improved to enable IVU to take advantage of future possibilities and to provide for the expansion of the secretariat and its work. It was agreed members should consider this problem and suggest solutions. The needs of the secretariat would be placed on the next agenda.

19. Revised Constitution

Since this had now been approved by the meeting of member societies, it was now in operation.

20. S.C.I.V.U.

It was agreed that IVU should reform SCIVU and put the matter on the agenda for the meeting in The Hague.

21. Congress Proposals and Organisation Paper

The Hon. General Secretary presented his paper. Due to the lack of time, he was thanked for the paper and members were asked to send him any comments and suggestions as soon as possible. He would then consider the suggestions and finalise the paper for circulation to potential congress organisers.

21. Any Other Business

It was agreed to make Mr Brian Gunn-King and Mr M. I. Abdul Khalik Hon. Vice Presidents of IVU in recognition of their service to IVU. It was agreed not to hold another International Council meeting until 9.00 a.m. on 30th July,1994 at the start of the world congress in the Hague. It was agreed that the officers who were available should meet in The Hague, when possible, with the 1994 congress organisers to arrange matters concerning the congress there.

The President thanked everyone for their participation and closed the meeting.