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Constitution

Adopted at the General Assembly held in London on 8 September 1969 and amended at the General Assemblies held in Liège on 30 August 1973, in Florence on 11 June 1985, in New Delhi on 29 September 1989, in Montreal on 30 August 1993, in Beijing on 16 October 1997 and in Tours in July 2005.

 


Article 1. The Union.
1. The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (herein after referred to as the Union) is an association of individual members, having as its aim the furtherance of the science of demography.

2. To achieve this aim, the Union shall foster relations between persons engaged in the study of demography in all countries of the world, and stimulate interest in demographic matters among governments, national and international organisations, scientific bodies and the general public. The Union shall have power to organise meetings and conferences, and to publish scientific information, dealing with population issues.

3. The Union is organized and operated exclusively for scientific, educational and charitable purposes. It does not profit from its scientific activities, does not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities, and does not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates.

 


Article 2. Membership.
1. Membership in the Union is open to all persons who have made contributions to the scientific study of population issues through their research, teaching, writing, or other activities, who support the goals of the Union, and who pay dues.

2. Applications for membership shall be in writing, containing a brief description of the candidate’s present position, principal past positions and scientific publications. Qualified applicants shall be accepted as members by the Executive Director or, in his or her absence, by the Secretary-General and Treasurer, upon submission of the application and payment of dues, subject only to confirmation by the Council. New members shall not be entitled to vote on Union matters before their membership is confirmed by the Council.

3. The Council shall confirm new members at least once a year.

4. A list of all confirmed new members shall be distributed to the membership through an IUSSP newsletter or circular at least once a year.

 


Article 3. General Assembly.
1. At intervals, not less frequent than once every four years, a meeting of all members shall be convened on the authority of the Council. Members of the Union attending such a mee­ting shall constitute a General Assembly. Should circumstances make it impossible to convene a General Assembly within four years of the previous Assembly, a General Assembly shall be convened as soon as may be practi­cable thereafter.

2. The Secretary-General and Treasurer shall give notice to each member of the Union of the date and place of the next General Assembly not less than six calendar months before the beginning date.

3. The accidental omission of notification under Article 3.2, shall not invalidate the actions of the Assembly.

 


Article 4. Officers and Council.
1. The Officers of the Union shall be a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-General and Treasurer.

2. Members who have held office as President may be elected as Honorary Presidents of the Union and shall hold that office while they remain members of the Union.

3. The Council of the Union shall consist of the Officers and other members elected in the manner laid down in Article 11.

 


Article 5. Period of Office.
1. The President shall serve for a period not exceeding four years, except as outlined in Article 5.5a, and shall not be eligible to stand for any other elected office, except that of Honorary President, after the expiration of the term of the presidency.

2. The Vice-President shall serve until the expiration of the President's term of office and shall then succeed to the office of President, except as outlined in Article 5.5b.

3. The Secretary-General and Treasurer shall serve for a period not exceeding four years and shall be eligible for re-election.

4. Members of the Council shall serve for a period not exceeding four years, and shall be eligible for re-election for one further term, except as outlined in Article 5.5e; thereafter they shall not be immediately re-eligible as members of Council, but may be elected to the office of Secretary-General and Treasurer or Vice-President.

5. Vacancies in the Council resulting from death, resignation, election to another office, or any other cause, shall be filled in the following manner:
a) If there is a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice-President shall succeed to the office and shall serve for the remainder of the former President's term of office. Provided that the Vice-President was elected to that office and serves as President for less than two years, he or she shall continue as President for a further term. If the Vice-President was not elected to that office, that person may run in the next election of officers for any office for which he or she was eligible at the time of filling the vacancy.
b) If there is a vacancy in the office of Vice-President, the member of Council who is senior in terms of length of membership of the Union shall serve as Vice-President until the next election of Officers. That person may run for any office for which he or she was eligible at the time of filling the vacancy.
c) If there is a vacancy in both the office of President and the office of Vice-President, the member of Council who is senior in terms of length of membership of the Union shall serve as President and the member of Council who is next most senior shall serve as Vice-President until the next election of Officers. These persons may run for any office for which they were eligible at the time of filling the vacancies.
d) If there is a vacancy in the office of Secretary-General and Treasurer, the Council shall appoint a member of the Union to serve in that office until the next election of Officers.
e) The filling of a vacancy on the Council varies for replacing members elected at-large or on a regional basis (defined in Article 11):
(i) The vacant position of a member elected at-large shall be filled by appointment of the at-large candidate who received the largest number of votes in the immediately preceding election but was not elected at that time.
(ii) The vacant position of member elected on a regional basis shall be filled by appointment of the candidate from that regional slate who received the largest number of votes in the immediately preceding election, but was not elected at that time.

 


Article 6. Executive Director.
1. The Council may appoint an Executive Director. The Executive Director may be paid a salary by the Union and serves subject to the wishes of the Council.

2. The Executive Director shall perform such functions as the President and the Secretary-General and Treasurer may assign and, if the Union has an office, shall direct that office.

3. The Executive Director shall not be a member of the Council but may be asked to attend its meetings.

4. The Officers in consultation with the Executive Director may appoint such ancillary personnel as may be necessary.

 


Article 7. Powers of Council and Officers.
1. Subject to the directions of the General Assembly, the Council shall direct the affairs of the Union, setting guidelines for the Union’s scientific activities, establishing procedures for the preparation and issuance of Union publications, and addressing administrative matters related to the operation of the Union.

2. The President may in cases of urgency act on behalf of the Council, but shall report to the Council the actions taken. Should the President be prevented, by reason of disability or otherwise, from acting, the powers of that office shall devolve on the Vice-President during the period of such disability.

3. The Secretary-General and Treasurer shall oversee the administration of the affairs of the Union, be the liaison between the Executive Director and the Council, keep minutes of the meetings of the General Assembly and the Council, and assist the President in carrying out the decisions of the Council and the General Assembly. The Secretary General and Treasurer shall cause accounts to be kept of the finances of the Union, and shall make a report to the General Assembly on the activities and finances of the Union for the period since the last General Assembly.

4. The President and the Secretary-General and Treasurer shall be ex-officio members of all administrative committees appointed by the Council or the General Assembly except the Committee on Nominations.

5. The Council shall determine the location of the Union's administrative headquarters. The books and papers of the Union shall be kept at headquarters, and the Executive Director shall reside in the locality where the headquarters are situated.

 


Article 8. Voting Rights.
1. All confirmed members of the Union shall have equal voting rights.

2. Votes at a General Assembly may, in the first instance, be taken by a show of hands. After the results of the vote have been announced, the President or any five members present may demand that a ballot be taken.

 


Article 9. Suspension of Membership.
1. The Council may for good and serious reasons and by a two-thirds majority suspend a member from the privileges of membership. Such suspension shall become operative immediately, but shall be reported to the next General Assembly. The suspended member shall have the right to address the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall uphold or reverse the action of the Council and its decision shall be final.

2. Members who have not paid dues for two successive years without being excused payment by the Council shall be considered as having resigned. Such members may be reinstated on payment of dues for the year of reinstatement and the preceding year.

 


Article 10. Student Associates.
The Council shall decide the conditions under which students shall be eligible for associate membership, the dues they should pay, and the benefits they shall receive from the Union. Student Associates shall not have the right to vote in Union elections or in any other Union matters.

 


Article 11. Election of Officers and Council.
1. An election of Officers and Council shall be held every four years.

2. The Committee on Nominations will be chaired by the outgoing President. Six members will be elected by the General Assembly and serve until the next General Assembly. If the outgoing President cannot serve, seven members will be elected and the committee will select its own chair. All members shall have different citizenships. Members of the Council currently in office are not eligible for election to the Committee on Nominations.

3. The Committee on Nominations shall meet at least ten months before the end of the Council’s term in office or at least six months before the next scheduled meeting of the General Assembly, whichever is earlier. The Committee on Nominations shall prepare a list of candidates for election as Honorary-President, Officers and members of the Council. In preparing this list, the Committee shall consult with the Officers of the Union. The list must include at least two candidates for each of the Officer positions open for election—Vice-President and Secretary General and Treasurer—and two candidates for each post of member of Council to be elected in accordance with Article 11.4. The list of nominees for Council shall include no more than four nominees standing for re-election. If there is to be an election for President, either because the Vice-President was appointed or cannot assume the Presidency, the list shall also include at least two candidates for President. The ballot shall offer voters three options regarding the candidate for Honorary President: for, against, abstain.

4. There shall be at least nine members of Council in addition to the Officers. If the total membership exceeds 2000 but is less than 2501, there shall be 10 members; and if it exceeds 2500, there will be 11 members of Council. All Union members have the right to vote for each position. One Council member shall be elected from each of the following five regions: (1) Africa; (2) Asia and Oceania; (3) Europe; (4) Latin America and the Caribbean; and (5) Northern America. There will be a slate of nominees for each regional position. The Council shall establish every four years, before nominations are made, the list of countries or areas included in each region. Eligibility for regional positions shall be based on citizenship as registered with the Union. All other members of Council shall be elected from a list of nominees at large.

5. The list of proposed candidates shall be sent to all members of the Union by means of a circular signed by the Chair of the Committee on Nominations. Once the list is circulated, members of the Union shall be invited to make alternative nominations. Such alternative nominations must be received at the Union's headquarters at least one month before the next scheduled meeting of the General Assembly or by 15 June of the year in which Council’s term of office ends, whichever is earlier. An alternative nomination must include a statement indicating if the additional nominee should be placed within the slate of a region or within the slate of nominees at large. It must be seconded by at least fifteen Union members of at least five different citizenships and accompanied by the written acceptance of the nominated person.

6. Voting shall take place in accordance with the provisions of Article 8.1. A ballot shall be sent to Union members by post or another secure communication means, including via the internet, at the latest by 30 July of the year in which the Council term of office ends. To be counted, duly filled ballots must be received at the Union’s headquarters by 1 October of the same year. If a meeting of the General Assembly occurs before 30 September of that year, members in attendance may submit their completed ballot at that meeting.

7. The counting of the ballot forms must be completed by 15 October. For each category of office, the person (or persons, if more than one position is involved) receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. In case of a tie, the President of the Union shall have a deciding vote.

8. The electoral procedure shall be controlled by an Election Committee composed of three members of the Union appointed by the Council. No candidate may be a member of the Election Committee.

9. The Officers and Council elected shall assume office on 1 January of the following year.

 


Article 12. Finance.
1. The financial affairs of the Union shall be administered by the Secretary-General and Treasurer, acting under the direction of the Council.

2. Members of the Union and student associates shall pay dues to the Union, unless they are excused by resolution of the Council.

3. The amount and periodicity of dues shall be determined by the Council.

4. If the Council decides that it is necessary to change dues, it shall inform the members of the Union of the reasons for that decision at least two months before the start of the calendar year when dues are to change.

5. The Council shall be empowered, if necessary, to set a registration fee for members, student associates, and others who attend a meeting or conference organised by the Union.

6. The Officers shall appoint professionally qualified auditors, who shall examine the books, vouchers and accounts of the Union annually, and determine whether they have been properly kept. The auditors shall make a report for the period between regular General Assemblies to the Secretary-General and Treasurer who shall submit their report to the General Assembly at its meeting scheduled according to Article 3.

 


Article 13. Committees and Scientific Groups.
1. The Council or the General Assembly may appoint committees of Union members to deal with internal matters concerning the Union, or its external relations.

2. The Council or the General Assembly may also appoint scientific groups of Union members to study specific issues in the field of demography.

3. All Union committees and scientific groups thus appointed shall take office immediately upon appointment. Each committee or scientific group shall be appointed for a specified period, but may be reappointed by Council with or without revision of its membership at the expiration of that period.

4. The Chairman of each committee or scientific group shall make a written report on its work to each General Assembly.

 


Article 14. Meetings and Conferences of the Union.
1. The Council may arrange scientific meetings and conferences which shall, as far as is possible, be arranged in conjunction with General Assemblies. It shall, however, be open to the Council to organise regional or other meetings, which shall not be regarded as General Assemblies.

2. The Council shall determine the conditions for participation in Union meetings and conferences, including whether registration fees should be set and their amount, and the terms under which non-members should be permitted to participate.

3. Meetings and conferences organised by the Union shall be open to all members of the Union provided that members pay their own costs and registration fees.

4. The Council may appoint an organising committee for each conference or meeting and may delegate power to such committees.

5. The Council may make rules regarding the presentation of communications to meetings and conferences by members of the Union and other participants. It shall have power to limit the number of communications presented by any one person, and to make rules regarding the length of communications, and their method of presentation. The Council shall establish selection procedures when presentation of all papers submitted by members of the Union cannot be accommodated in the time or space allotted to a meeting or conference.

6. The Council shall make arrangements to circulate the contributions selected for presentation to persons attending a meeting or conference. The Union has no obligation to publish papers selected for presentation in any other form.

 


Article 15. Publications.
1. The Union shall publish in printed or digital form three regular publications: the proceedings of General Assemblies, the statutes, and a current list of members. It shall also publish or co-operate with other organisations in the publication of materials which are appropriate to the aims set out in Article 1 and which are regarded as special publications.

2. Members of the Union, who have paid the appropriate dues, shall receive all regular publications of the Union. The Council shall decide the conditions under which special publications shall be made available to members of the Union and student associates.

 


Article 16. National Committees.
1. A majority of members in a particular country may at their discretion organise a National Committee of the Union. Membership of such committees shall be open only to members of the Union, and no member of the Union resident in the country in question shall be de­barred from membership.

2. Each National Committee shall elect a Chairman, who shall conduct the relations between the National Committee and the Council.

 


Article 17. Affiliation with international organisations.
The Union may be affiliated with other international organisations on the recommendations of the Council after approval by the General Assembly.

 


Article 18. Amendments.
1. Any proposal for the amendment of this Constitution should be submitted in writing by not less than fifteen members belonging to at least seven different nationalities.
2. Proposals for amendments shall be circulated to members of the Union at least three calendar months before the General Assembly at which they are to be debated, together with a statement giving reasons for the proposals.

3. The General Assembly shall appoint a Committee of not less than five members to examine any amendments proposed. The Committee shall have the power to make minor modifications to the proposed amendments, provided these do not alter the intent. The Committee shall consult a representative of the signatories to any amendments before accepting such modifications.

4. The General Assembly shall vote on proposed amendments in accordance with Article 8.2. Proposed amendments shall be approved if at least two-thirds of the members present vote in favour of them.

5. After approval by the General Assembly, proposed amendments shall be submitted to the members. The Secretary-General and Treasurer shall organise a secret ballot, and invite members to return ballot forms within a period of six weeks. If at that date fewer than half the votes have been cast, the Secretary-General and Treasurer shall once again invite members who have not cast their votes to return their ballots within a further period of six weeks. At that date the ballot shall be closed, and the votes counted. An amendment shall become operative if a majority of votes have been cast in its favour.

 


Article 19. Dissolution of the Union.
1. The Council may decide by a two-thirds majority to start proceedings to dissolve the Union. The Council shall then instruct the Secretary General and Treasurer to organise a secret ballot on the proposal to dissolve the Union and invite members to return ballot forms within a period of six weeks. If at that date fewer than half the potential votes have been cast, the Secretary-General and Treasurer shall once again invite members who have not cast their votes to return their ballots within a further period of six weeks. At that date, the ballot shall be closed, and the votes counted by a group consisting of three Union members appointed by Council. The proposal to dissolve the Union shall be approved if at least half of the votes have been cast in favour of dissolution. 

2. Within four weeks of the proposal being approved by the ballot, the Council shall appoint three liquidators, at least two of whom must be members of the Union, who shall name the organisation(s) to which the assets should be distributed after payment of all debts and liabilities.
 

3. Upon the dissolution of the Union, its assets shall be distributed to one or more non-profit organisations that are organised and operate exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, to be used for tax-exempt purposes. Those organisations should have charitable and scientific objectives similar to those of the Union.

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