International Vegetarian Union
IVU logo Members and Supporters

Minutes of Meetings of The International Council
1997 September

Minutes of IVU Council Meeting, 20th September 1997, Hotel Gardesano, Bussolengo, Italy.

Present: Igor Bukovsky, Sigrid De Leo, Marcel Hebbelinck, Mitsuru Kakimoto, Hiren Kara, Maxwell Lee, Howard Lyman, Francisco Martin, John Mitchell, Hildegund Scholvien, Jashu Shah. Co-opted and present from item 3: Vanessa Clarke, John Davis

1. Presidents opening remarks.

The President welcomed council members and hoped that, despite the difficulties which had arisen, the meeting and the congress would be a success.

2. Apologies for absence

Jan Beeldman, Saurabh Dalal, Alex Hershaft and Kevin Pickard.

[At this point it was agreed that Vanessa Clarke and John Davis should be co-opted and they joined the mceting.]

3. Minutes of previous meeting.

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.

4. Secretary's report.

Newsletter: The General Secretary was congratulated on the quality of the newsletter. It was agreed that its value in promotional and recruitment terms justified the cost of producing it. New members received a newsletter straight away. Although sales revenue was not great new membership subscriptions were generated.

Correspodence: 8O to 90 per cent. of correspondence was dealt with immediately although the current volume meant that help would be required. There should be a fairer distribution of tasks and the General Secretary should consider preparing job descriptions for officers and councillors. Postage rates were still very reasonable in Spain.

Regional secretaries: The system had been inherited and had always been ineffective in some regions. Roles were not clearly defined and tended to be developed by the individuals concerned. Specific duties needed to be set out and distributed for comment. Israel and the Middle East were not covered by an organisation. Pornthep Srinarala had suggested splitting India and the Far East. In Australasia the current secretary bad not been active for a considerable time and a replacement [Robert Fraser] was suggested. In Africa, Dr. P.K. Jain was considering the position since the retirement of Jan Beeldman. Luis Pscala of Ecuador was appointed for South America. There was a need to consider the role of the secretaries further. Only those who were active on behalf of WU should continue in the post. It was agreed that anyone who neither resigned nor responded should be disqualified after an agreed period.

Finance: Since the VSUK grant related to a research bulletin which had been discontinued it was agreed that the payment should be discontinued.

Alex Hershaft's fundraising efforts had not yet achieved any concrete results. The President said that NALITH was considering making a grant.

5. Treasurer's report

The Treasurer said that the accounts should be available during the week but that they would not have been audited. There was not much variation from budget, but insufficient money was being generated. The Treasurer could take a more active role in helping the General Secretary. The General Secretary said that there was about 36,000 in an investment account and about 12,000 in the current account. The amount had been reducing but not rapidly. There was approximately 3,000 per annum in interest. The accounts would take two to three months to be audited No funds had been received from VUNA since 1994.

6. World Congress 1999 progress report

Pornthep Srinarula had given a good impression and promised information by January, but nothing specific had been received. The economic crisis would make prices lower but did not explain the lack of activity. The organisers did not respond to offers of help so money was not the problem. If an official printed leaflet could not be produced by the end of October the congress would be in doubt. It was agreed that if the present organisers could not produce information to the Council by the 20th of October and in printable form by 1st November IVU should withdraw support and look at other options, preferably in South-East Asia. Prices could be quoted in pounds or dollars.

Japan was considenng bidding for a congress in 2004. It was hoped that the Thai congress could somehow be salvaged.

7. Congress 2000, Toronto.

The General Secretary had heard nothing yet, but the President said that committees had been set up and he had brought brochures. The Council would have to agree any potential title. It was usual for a representative of the organising country to come to the immediately preceding conference. Pornthep Srinarula had just said that he would not be coming to Bussolengo. Had he been there, a lot of questions could have been settled. Such attendance should be a condition in the future.

Possible venues for 2002 were the Canary Islands, Malta and the UK. The Canadian proposal was accepted. It was suggested that details of the bidding process could appear in the magazine.

8. Management off funds

The Treasurer said that we should be more concerned about generating money than about spending the cushion. The funds were more or less as before and should be kept for a rainy day but should not stagnate. The President said that he would try to raise more money.

9. Electronic voting.

A quorum would be required and a time limit would be needed for responses to be received. Reasonable time must also be allowed for those not on-line. For postal ballots this was 28 days. Business between meetings was handled by the officers. A vote should be called only if there is real need. Limits must be established. The constitution could be altered at the next world congress It was agreed that "where appropriate for the international council to be asked to vote on a particular issue, appropriate use should be made of ectronic means".

The General Secretary would decide on the need for a vote, in consultation with other officers. That was already in the constitution. The President reminded the council that such voting would be advisory only.

A motion thanking John Davis for his diligence as webmaster was proposed by Maxwell Lee, seconded by Francisco Martin and unanimously approved.

10. Internet expenses

Initially the website had cost nothing except for the telephone cost. With expansion the bill was rising and more complicated equipment was needed. Robert Savage was invited to present a sponsorship proposal. It was agreed to try the suggestion for a year.

11. Membership fees

The current system involved an inordinate amount of work. EVU favoured paying a set amount once a year. Questions were asked about the practice in India. Jashu Shah said that the accoutit was still with Surendra Mehta. The President said that a separation of EVU from IVU would not be in the best interests of either. The disagreement about the Bussolengo congress showed that an agreement was needed balancing autonomy and control. It was agreed that better communication was essential.

12. Election procedures

Under the current procedure, derived from UK law, a lone candidate would be elected unopposed but some people wanted the opportunity to vote rather than have a candidate elected by default. A proposal to amend the voting procedures to this effect was defeated.

13. Councillor expenses

The possibility of paying expenses for councillors invited to speak on behalf of IVU was raised. It was explained that only the General Secretary received expenses.

Sigrid De Leo said that the hosts should pay expenses.

14. Constitution.

The constitution required overhaul but more time was needed to prepare proposals.

15. United Nations

It was agreed that registering IVU as an NGO should be pursued.

16. Assistance for General Secretary.

The possibility of some paid assistance was discussed. The President said that finance would have to be found first. Alex Hershaft had not yet produced any results.

17. Resource library

A real library would be impractical but there was now a vast amount of material on the Internet in a large number of languages.

18. Date of next meeting

3rd January 1999 in Thailand.