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Minutes of Meetings of The International Council
1995 July



Minutes of a meeting of the International Council of I.V.U. held on 25th July, 1995, at the Congress of the Furopean Vegetarian Union held in Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Present: Mr Surendra Mehta, Professor Marcel Hebbelinck, Mr Francisco Martin, Mrs Kathy Silk, Mrs Hildegund Scholvien, Mr Jashu Shah, Mr Maxwell Lee,

1. President's Welcome and Opening Remarks

The President welcomed those attending the meeting He hoped that our presence in Bratislava would help the development of the Slovak society and the interest in vegetarianism in the country. He emphasised that we were all working for the vegetarian cause and that we need to remernber this on all occasions and not dwell on strengths and failings of individuals. He emphasised the role of the Hon.General Secretary between meetings and commented on the amount of work he undertook for IVU. He also mentioned that he and the Hon. General Secretary had kept in regular communication since the last meeting and had exchanged many letters, faxes and telephone calls.

2. Apologies

Mr Jan Beeldinan, Mrs Diana Ratnagar. It was agreed that apologies would only be recorded for those who were unable to attend either the Bratislava or the San Diego meetings. It was reported that Mr Rob Snijders had resigned as European Regional Secretary of IVU and that the meeting of EVU later in the congress was expected to appoint his successor.

3. Minutes of the Meetings Held During the World Vegetarian Congress in The Hague The Netherlands from 7th-13th August 1994.

Minute 17 second paragraph was amended and the words shown in bold type were added so that it now read "The Council considered the proposal of the group appointed to make a suggestion to make the award to Dr Gordon Latto. Following considerable debate and a vote it was agreed the trophy should be awarded to Mr Rudolf Meyer."

Minute 18 c) second paragraph was amended and the following words added to the end of the sentence "and they should approach Dr Medkova".

4. Matters Arising

Minute 18 a) It was agreed that the Hon. General Secretary should be asked to include a statement in the IVU newsletter indicating the various reports etc. that were available from the Research Officer of the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom.

Minute 20. The Hon. General Secretary reported he had not sent a written reply to the Nederlandse Vegetariershond concerning their paper on defining the term 'vegetarian" He and the Deputy President had considered the suggestion but did not feel there was any possibility of getting an agreed definition acceptable to Governments and felt no further action was possible at this time. The Hon. General Secretary reported that the Dutch secretary had not communicated to him about this matter although they bad exchanged correspondence on a number of occasions about various matters. Their suggestion was approved.

Members expressed their concern that the Proccedings of the Dutch Congress which people had paid for and which had been promised had not appeared almost a year after the event. The Hon. General Secretary reported a number of complaints about this and that he had asked Hans van Boven about the availability of the Proceedings on a number of occasions. Each time he had been told they would appear shortly. The Deputy President reported that his approaches to Hans van Boven on this matter had also failed to obtain a satisfactory result.

5. Hon. General Secretary's Report

The Hon. General Secretary's written and oral reports were approved. The reports covered the production and distribution of the IVU newsletter, visits to Singapore and Australia, contacts with vegetarian societies and individuals around the world, the problems involved in holding two meetings of the International Council in two venues with identical agendas, the support given by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom to IVU, the continuing need for IVU to move to a situation where there is a paid General Secretary with an adequate budget and the correspondence from Julia Jacquel.

The correspondence from Julia Jacquel was discussed at some length. Concern was expressed at the approach she had taken, especially in view of her very limited experience of the International Council and its work. It was considered she should have taken any queries to the Hon. General Secretary directly and not distribute her ideas and views before she had done so. A view was expressed that the correspondence was an attack on IVU and that the reputation of IVU was at stake. Another view as that it would be better to delay discussion until the San Diego meeting since Julia Jacquel would be present.

The President proposed the following two resolutions which would also be considered in San Diego:

1. This meeting of the International Council has full trust in the honesty and integrity of Mr M. G. Lee as the Hon. General Secretary of IVU and registers its confidence in his conduct of its affairs. This was approved with all but Mr Lee voting in favour and he abstaining from voting.

2. This Council regrets that Julia Jacquel, as a newly elected member of the International Council, did not fully consult the Hon. General Secretary to discuss her ideas, and has written in the way she has, without having the proper background and knowledge about the Hon. General Secretary and his work. This was unanimously approved.

It was agreed that the minutes of this International Council meeting should remain confidential until the meeting of the International Council in San Diego.

It was resolved that, should any matters of great importance be voted on at the San Diego meeting and result in strong disagreement, not having been considered at the meeting in Bratislava, there should be a postal ballot of all members of the International Council.

The Hon. General Secretary reported an invitation to a meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations to be held in Quebec from 11th-13th October, 1995. It was agreed he should approach Peter McQueen to find suitable people to represent IVU from Canada or from the USA if this was not possible.

A letter from Nigeria asking IVU to supply letters requesting the British High Commission to grant visas to Nigerians to enable them to travel to the United Kingdom was reported. It was agreed that IVU should only give such letters where such travel was to meet an IVU need such as to attend a congress.

It was agreed that the investigation into vegetarianism in Latin America and the development of a vegetarian data base by the Vegetarian Resource Group should be continued in a phased manner up to total cost of an additional $3,000.

The loan made to Thomas Nocun of Poland to enable him to develop a vegetarian magazine had been repaid to IVU at the beginning of July, 1995.

6. a) Hon. Treasurer's Report & Accounts for 1994-95

In the absence of the Hon. Treasurer, the Hon. General Secretary presented the accounts and report.

The accounts for the year 1994/5 were not yet fully approved by the Hon. Auditor so subject to possible amendment. He had indicated that the investments value should be reduced by 2,034 due to the fall in value during the year and this would lead to a reduction in the surplus for the year to 426. The level of donations was influenced by to a generous donation of 9,500 by Indian diamond merchants in Antwerp although their donations were well below those of the previous year of 23,O00, Total income for the year was 14,221 and total expenditure was 11,761 After allowing for the fall in value of investments during the year, the net assets were 56,436. All figures are subject to the final audit and will be affected by the decision taken over the loan to the EVU in connection with the costs of the Bratislava congress. Since the Council was informed that the final figures for the congress would not be available for a few months, the finally audited accounts for 1994/5 will be presented to the meeting of the International Council during the next world congress.

It was agreed that the Hon. General Secretary should sign off the accounts when they are ready which is an auditing requirement.

The Hon. Auditor had enquired what would be the position in respect of the computer when the Hon. General Secretary retired from the post since he had the cost of the CD Rom facility. The Hon. General Secretary indicated he would be willing to buy the computer and printer should his successor not require it. Due to the speed of technological changes taking place the value of the items would not be as high as shown in the accounts if they were sold. It was agreed that, subject to the successor not needing the items, the Hon. General Secretary should be allowed to purchase them for a nominal sum.

It was reported that the Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Auditor had now agreed with the British Inland Revenue authorities that IVU was not liable for taxation on its income in the United Kingdom.

The annual accounts and report were accepted subject to any necessary amendments which would be given in the final audited accounts.

6. b) Budgets 1995/6

Following comments from the Hon. Auditor asking for the explanation for the drop in annual subscriptions, it was agreed that the figure approved for the financial year was a guess and not based on evidence. In view of this, it was agreed to reduce the expected sum for subscriptions in the budget by 25% to a sum of l,125. In addition, the Hon. General Secretary reported that the President had agreed that IVU should go on internet and that a sum of 250 should be budgeted for this under capital expenditure. This was approved.

The total revenue expenditure budget was agreed at 12,500, the capital expenditure budget was agreed at 2,250 and the income budget at 9,125

7. Appointment of the Successor to the Hon. General Secretary in 1996

The Hon. General Secretary reminded the International Council of the need to consider not only a new Hon. General Secretary but also the appointment of an Assistant Hon. General Secretary.

8. Minutes of the Meeting of Member Societies held during the World Vegetarian Congress. The Hague. The Netherlands. 6th 13th August, 1994

The minutes were approved with the correction of "from" to "for" in clause 9 on page 2.

9. World Congress 1996

The Hon. General Secretary reported his visit to Sydney and the correspondence from Mark Berriman who was organising the congress. Considerable concern was expressed over the delays in circulating full congress information and the problems involved in informing members of societies, especially where newsletters and magazines are infrequent. It was agreed to await full information from Mark Berriman who is due to attend the San Diego Vegan Festival before making any decision over the congress.

10. World Congress 1998

The Thai organisers were getting their plans worked out early and had indicated they wished to hold the congress in mid January, 1999. It was agreed that the congress should begin as soon as possible after Christmas and by very early January at the latest. The Hon. General Secretary would negotiate with the organisers over the year and timing etc.

11. World Congress 2000

It was reported that Toronto had indicated it wished to bid for the congress and that it would report fully to the VUNA meeting in San Diego and seek the support of VUNA for its bid. The Hon. General Secretary had also had an approach from another Canadian city Alberta, but there had been no follow up.

12. Management of IVU Funds

Following discussion, it was agreed that where a decision is required in respect of the budget and of the management of IVU fluids, a decision may be taken by any three of the President, Deputy President, Hon. General Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer. All four should be kept informed of action taken.

13. & 14. Julia Jacquel's Letters of 17th March. 1995 & of the 9th June 1995.

The International Council did not consider it appropriate to deal with these agenda items due to their complexity and the absence of their proposer.


It was felt that it was desirable to resucitate SCIVU but that the name of the organisation should be The Scientific Committee of the International Vegetarian Union. The Hon. General Secretary was asked to put an article in the Newsletter about the possibilities for such a development.

16. Regional Secretaries' Reports

Africa - Mr Jan Beeldinan reported the development of the South African society and the hope for the future of a regional organisation now the political changes in South Africa had taken place

Australasia - The Hon. General Secretary reported the comments of the Regional secretary, Mark Berriman, that vegetarianism was developing well in Australia and that there is growing interest from the media and the general public.

Due to the lack of time, it was agreed that the Hon General Secretary should consider giving other reports in summary in a future newsletter if they are sent to him.

17. International Action

It was felt that IVU should propose suitable slogans to member societies that they might use during their national vegetarian day celebrations. It was agreed that ideas should be sent to the Hon. General Secretary and they should be judged by a small group of Francisco Martin, Hildegund Scholvien, anyone suggested by the San Diego meeting and the Hon. General Secretary. Ideas would be considered with a view to their implementation in 1996.

18. Vegetarian Definition

The question of a definition had been considered in the past and one is given in the constitution. If there is a wish to elaborate on this, it would be best to do so as a byelaw.

19. The Role of IVU

It was agreed that the future development of IVU was dependent on raising the level of financial support and developing sufiicient capital to ensure it could employ staff and finance office accomodation and travel cost. Fund raising was central to future growth and members were asked to send ideas for fund raising to the Hon. General Secretary.

20. Any Other Business

The Hon. General Secretary agreed to provide the minutes of this meeting to those participating at the meeting in San Diego.

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

Sri Mehta