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Minutes of Meetings of The International Council
1996 July



INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

Minutes of a meeting of the International Council of 1.V.U. held at various times during the world vegetarian congress held at the University of Pittsburgh, Pitt-Johnstown Campus, Pennsylvania, USA.

Meetings held 29th July, 1996

Present: Mr Surendra Mehta, Mrs Sigrid De Leo, Mrs Hildegund Scholvien, Mrs Madge Darneille, Mrs Kathy Silk, Mr Jashu Shah, Dr Alex Hershaft, Mr Saurabh Dalal, Mr Francisco Martin, Mr Maxwell Lee. Dr Igor Bukovsky.

Meetings held 1st August, 1996.

Present: Mr Howard Lyman. Mr Surendra Mehta, Mr Maxwell Lee, Mrs Sigrid De Leo, Mrs Hildegund Scholvien, Dr Igor Bukovsky, Dr Alex Hershaft, Mr Jashu Shah, Mr Kevin Pickard, Mr Pomthep Srinarula, Ms Pat Carney, Mr Hiren Kara, Mr Saurabb Dalal, Mr Francisco Martin. Mrs Kathy Silk (by invitation).

Mr Maxwell Lee acted as Hon. General Secretary for all the meetings.

1. President's Welcome and Opening Remarks

The President welcomed those attending the meeting He regretted that Professor Marcel Hebbelinck was unable to attend due to illness. He mentioned hopes for the congress and wished for success in the deliberations of the International Council. He felt we owed a debt of gratitude to the North American Vegetarian Society for offering to host the congress at such short notice. He referred to the effort put into the role of Hon. General Secretary by Mr Maxwell Lee who was retiring from the post at this congress.

2. Apologies

Meetings held 29th July, 1996: Professor Marcel Hebbelinck, Mr Jan Beeldman, Ms Diana Ratnagar, Mr Mark Berriman, Dr Riccardo Trespidi, Mr Mark Weintraub.

Meetings held 1st August, 1996: Professor Marcel Hebbelinck, Mr Jan Beeldman, Mr Mark Berriman, Dr Mitsuru Kalumoto

3. Minutes of the Meetings Held During the European Vegetarian Congress at the Congress Centre. Bratislava. Slovakia 22nd - 29th July. 1995.

Minute 2 Remove the name of the Hon. Treasurer from the list of apologies for absence.

Minute 6a 3rd paragraph, 2nd line, replace "... he had made a contribution towards the cost of the computer which had a CD Rom facility" with "...paid for an additional CD Rom facility for his personal use."

4th paragraph, 1st line, replace "agreed with" and replace it with "received agreement from."

Minute 7. Add at the end of the paragraph "and the Hon. Treasurer."

The minutes were approved as amended.

4. Minutes of the Meeting Held During the Vegan Festival at the San Die~o State University. California. USA, 6th - 13th August, 1995.

Minute 2 Remove the name of the Hon. Treasurer from the list of apologies for absence.

Minute 6a 3rd paragraph, 2nd line, replace "...he had made a contribution towards the cost of the computer which had a CD Rom facility" with "...paid for an additional CD Rom facility for his personal use."

4th paragraph, 1st line, replace "agreed with" and replace it with "received agreement from."

Minute 7. Add at the end of the paragraph "and the Hon. Treasurer,

The minutes were approved as amended.

5. Matters Arising from the two meetings

Minute 2. It was reported that the Hon. Treasurer had not apologised for absence from the previous meeting of the International Council. He had stated that his reason was the failure of IVU to pay the cost of attending International Council meetings of the Hon.Treasurer

Minute 4 It was noted that the proceedings of the world congress in the Hague, The Netherlands, had not been circulated until some 21 months after the congress.

6. Hon. General Secretary's Report

The Hon. General Secretary provided a written report and spoke about the various aspects of the role which he was giving up after 17 years. He mentioned the growth of the post over the period and the fact that the demands of the work made it increasingly difficult for anyone to do it as well as following their own career. The urgent need was for the post to become full time and paid. The role has grown to encompass visiting congress venues, making lecture tours, advising newly developing societies, and dealing with a growing amount of correspondence by letter, fax and e-mail.

The potential for IVU as an international organisation was growing and there was now a possibility of IVU attaining recognition as an Non Governmental Organisation by the United Nations which would enable IVU to be represented at appropriate meetings. This would add to the administrative costs of IVU and increase the workload of the Hon. General Secretary. The increasing importance of the internet for communication was leading to a growing need for IVU to lead the way and to take some responsibility for the Vegetarian Pages which were becoming more and more popular. All these activities had financial implications and would add to the urgent need for a much higher level of funding if IVU was to become an important and noteworthy international organisation.

The Hon. General Secretary thanked everyone for their support during his time in the post which had not always been easy and had made increasing demands on his time during the period.

The President, Mr Surendra Mehta, thanked Mr Lee most sincerely for all his efforts over a long period and paid thanks also to Sylvia Lee who had helped and supported her husband throughout his period of office. He mentioned how closely and harmoniously he and Mr Lee had worked together. His remarks were supported by the International Council.

7. 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, having been approved by the Hon.Auditor, were approved by the meeting. The value of investments had been reduced by 2,034 due to the fall in value during the year and the write off of the loan to EVU together resulted in the surplus being converted to a deficit of 2,109. The level of donations was influenced by a generous donation of 9,500 by Indian diamond merchants in Antwerp although their donations were well below those of the previous year of 23,000.

Total income for the year was 12,186 including the donations from the Indian diamond merchants after allowing for the fall in value of investments; total expenditure was 14,295 including the write off of the loan of 2,534 to EVU. Net assets were 53,902.

7. b) Hon. Treasurer's Report and Accounts for 1995-96

The accounts for 1995-96 had been approved by the Hon. Auditors and the Hon. General Secretary reported that official copies of the accounts, signed by the Hon. Auditor, were available for members to see. In addition, the Hon. Treasurer had provided copies of details of actual income and expenditure for 1995-96 compared with the budget and the previous year's actual.

Due to a considerable reduction in donations, the total income was 5,759 compared with 12,186 in the previous year. Expenditure was also reduced being 6,333 compared with 14,295 in the previous year. The deficit of income compared to expenditure was 574 compared with a deficit of 2,109 in the previous year

7. c) EVU Loan

The action of the officers in writing off the loan to EVU was approved.

7. d) V.S.U.K. Grant

The Hon. General Secretary reported the grant of 1,000 per annum paid by IVU to the VSUK was for services rendered and to help with the cost of the society gathering research findings and publishing its Research Bulletin. The Society also provided literature to IVU member societies and to enquirers at the request of the Hon. General Secretary. It was agreed to continue the grant for 1996 and 1997.

7. e) Proposal from the Hon. Treasurer

The Hon. Treasurer had provided a paper explaining why he felt the fare and accommodation costs of the Hon. Treasurer should be paid by IVU to enable him to attend meetings of the International Council. Whilst it was agreed that it was desirable for the Hon. Treasurer to attend meetings of the International Council, it was not felt that IVU's financial situation made it feasible at present.

It was agreed to continue as at present until IVU is financiaHy able to afford the additional expense.

7. f) Budgets 1996/97

Following some discussion about the present computer, fax machine and modem equipment held by the Hon.General Secretary it was agreed that it would be better for the new Hon. General Secretary to purchase new equipment in his home country. It was agreed that the existing equipment should be written off in the accounts and be retained by the present Hon. General Secretary. Mr Lee thanked the International Council for this generous gesture.

The Revenue Expenditure Budget was agreed at 13,500 having increased the sum for newsletter expenses to 1,500. The Income Budget was agreed at 7,065. The Capital Budget was agreed at 2,050 to allow for the new Hon. General Secretary to purchase a computer, a fax machine and a modem.

It was agreed that three of the four Officers, President, Deputy President, Hon. General Secretary and Hon.Treasurer, should agree any variation to the budgets up to a sum of 2,000. Beyond this sum the approval of a majority of Intemational Council members would be necessary

Alex Hershaft agreed to seek funding in the United States for IVU special purposes. It was agreed that the new Hon. General Secretary should make a great effort to identify new vegetarian societies which might be potential recipients of IVU financial support.

8. Appointment of the Hon. General Secretary and Hon Assistant General Secretary

It was agreed to appoint Francisco Martin as the Hon. General Secretary and Hiren Kara as the Hon.Assistant General Secretary for the period until the next world vegetarian congress.

9. Appointinent of the Hon. Treasurer and Banking Arrangements

It was agreed to appoint Mr Juan Manuel Lozano Tapia of Madrid as the Hon. Treasurer for the period until the next world vegetarian congress

It was agreed to keep the lVU accounts at the TSB Bank in Jersey, C.I. and that cheque signatories should any two of the President, Deputy President, Hon. General Secretary and Hon. Treasurer. The hand over between the retiring Hon. Treasurer and the new Hon. Treasurer should be arranged between them.

Mr Maxwell Lee reported that it was hoped the present accounts would be closed from 31st August and then finalised by the retiring Hon. Treasurer and audited by the retiring Hon.Auditor.

The Hon. Treasurer, Mr Bernard Colvin was warmly thanked for his services as Hon Treasurer.

10. Appointment of the Auditors

The Hon. General Secretary was asked to investigate and find suitable auditors. The decision over the appointment was delegated to the Officers who should use their discretion over the appointment of the auditors

Mr Ray Drake was thanked for his services as Hon. Auditor which were greatly appreciated.

11. Meeting of Member Societies

a) Procedures

It was resolved that only member societies which had paid an annual subscription in 1995 and/or 1996 and those societies which were given free membership of IVU should be permitted to vote during the meeting of member societies.

b) Elections

It was proposed and agreed that voting for the International Council and the venue for the world congress year 2,000 should take place during the second meeting of member societies.

As Mrs Madge Darneille was not standing for election to the International Council, the President, Surendra Mehta, thanked her for her outstanding service to IVU. She mentioned how much she had enjoyed working in IVU and thanked the Hon. General Secretary for his co-operation and friendship during her period on the international Council.

The International Council thanked Mr Mehta for his own outstanding work for IVU and in particular for his efforts during his period as President. His work to improve the finances of IVU was particularly appreciated Mr Mehta replied and thanked the International Council and, in particular the Hon. General Secretary, Maxwell Lee, who had worked efficiently and well and performed in a laudable manner. He had enjoyed working with Mr Lee who reciprocated his comments. He also emphasised the thanks to Sylvia Lee who had supported her husband's efforts. Francisco Martin commented on Mr Lee's dedicated work.

Mr Lee felt it was time for someone else to take over the work of Hon. General Secretary and thanked everyone for their comments. He promised he would do his best to ensure the hand over went smoothly and that he would do all he could to help Francisco Martin.

c) Timing of Meetings

The Hon. General Secretary reported the dates and times proposed for the meetings of member societies and these were approved.

d) Membership Report

The Hon. General Secretary reported the difficulties experienced due to membership subscriptions being collected by regional organisations as well as IVU centrally. He suggested that normally subscriptions should be paid to regional organisations but that they should ensure regular reports to IVU and the transfer of the half of each subscription which was due to IVU. This was agreed.

The list of members for the period from 1st January, 1994, was approved.

12. The Manker Trophy

It was agreed to appoint Mr Surendra Mehta, Mr Francisco Martin and Dr Igor Bukovsky to consider who should be recommended as the recipient of the Manker Trophy Following their consideration, they recommended that Madge Dameille should be awarded the trophy and this was approved.

13. The World Wide Web and the Internet

The retiring Hon. General Secretary, Maxwell Lee, reported the problems of the future of the Vegetarian Pages on the internet and the need for IVU to play a major role in future. He mentioned the views of Mr John Davis who was responsible for putting IVU information on the world wide web which he had received as a paper. Maxwell Lee reported that John Davis and Gedge Edwards worked together to ensure the material was on the Vegetarian Pages. He reported the proposal that IVU should should jointly with the VSUK take over responsibility for the Vegetarian Pages and that both should contribute to the cost. The VSUK might provide a home for the necessary computer. Following some discussion, it was agreed that a small group should make proposals to the International Council following consultation with appropriate people not on the International Council. Kevin Pickard agreed to act as convenor and the other members of the International Council agreed were Saurabh Dalal, Maxwell Lee and Francisco Martin.

14. World Congress 1996

The Hon. General Secretary reported the negotiations with the North American Vegetarian Society to ensure a congress would take place, the offer to host the congress having been withdrawn by Mr Mark Berriman of the Australian Vegetarian Society. He stated that the organisation of the congress had proceeded well and that all the arrangements appeared to be satisfactory.

The voting procedure was discussed and it was agreed that only member societies which had paid an annual subscription in 1995 and/or 1996 should be permitted to vote during the meeting of member societies.

It was agreed that the voting for Officers, International Council members and the venue for the year 2,000 world congress should take place during the second session of the meeting of member societies.

15. World Congress 1999

Mr Pomthep Srinarula, attending the meeting for this item, reported the arrangements so far made to develop the world congress. He stated that they wished to hold the congress in Chiang Mai and in Bangkok. The proposal was to begin the congress on 4th January, 1999 with three days in Chiang Mai, one day for travel to Bangkok and then three days in Bangkok, the congress ending lOth January.. He described the possible venues and it was agreed the incoming Hon. General Secretary should inspect these when possible. A range of accommodation would be provided to suit the various needs of participants.

Following discussion about the food, it was agreed that the International Council should accept that the food at the congress should be vegan in sympathy with Veg Bangkok's normal practice. Publicity material should make this clear. Participants who wish may bring their own dairy products for their own consumption.

The organisers were planning to have an international team of speakers as well as a number of local ones. Simultaneous translation would be provided ifthirty or more participants of a particular language group asked for it. The main languages used would be English and Thai.

The flyer produced by Veg Bangkok was approved with two amendments.

16. World Congress 2000

It was reported that Toronto Vegetarian Association and the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom had offered to host the congress. The decision would be taken by the meeting of member societies.

The problems which had occurred due to congress organisers not wishing to follow the decisions of the International Council over their congress were mentioned. The present congress was an exception since the organisers had co-operated fully with IVU. However, in the past there have been many problems which had detracted from the success of several congresses. The main problems had been over the menus, the lecture programme and advance publicity. It was suggested that the International Council might consider whether it should decide where a congress should be held and that the organisation could be placed with professional organisers. This would be considered at a future meeting of the International Council.

17. Scientific Committee of IVU

It was reported that Professor Marcel Hebbelinck had suggested that IVU should make efforts to resuscitate SCIVU and this was agreed in principle. Professor Hebbelinck (convenor) in conjunction with Mr Saurabh Dalal and Dr Igor Bukovsky were asked to discuss the matter and provide a report and proposal for the next meeting of the International Council.

18. The Role of IVU

The discussion centred on how the new Hon. General Secretary might operate. It was agreed that he should have a dedicated telephone line entirely for IVU purposes. The Hon. General Secretary suggested the desirability of having an office for IVU. It was agreed that this was a matter to be considered when he had settled into the post and could fully assess the need. It was agreed to allow the Hon General Secretary to act within the budget in respect of office accommodation and equipment subject to and following approval of the Officers.

The Hon. General Secretary reported that he would assess the needs on the basis of as low cost as possible.

Development of the role of IVU was of the utmost importance and this would depend on available funding. The President, Mr Howard Lyman, said he would try to obtain support from suitable wealthy people.

19. Regional Secretaries' Reports

The lack of regional secretaries for Latin America and the Middle East was a matter for concern. The Hon.General Secretary was asked to find appropriate representatives.

Due to the lack of time detailed discussion of the reports was not possible but members were able to see them and they would be reported during the meeting of member societies and could be considered for inclusion in a future newsletter.

It was agreed that the resolution from Mr Surendra Mehta concerning Indian Government policy in respect of mechanised slaughter houses and the export of meat and meat products should be presented to the meeting of member societies.

20. Any Other Business

It was agreed that the next meeting of the International Council should take place on 2Oth September, 1997 prior to the start of the European Vegetarian Congress on Lake Garda in Italy.

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