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IUSSP 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, in Tours on 22 July 2005 and in Cape Town on 1 November 2017.

 

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 demography and population science.

 

2. To achieve this aim, the Union shall foster relations between persons engaged in the study of population issues 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 organised 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 in campaign activities 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 the format as determined by the Council 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 approval by the Council. New members shall not be entitled to vote on Union matters before their membership is approved by the Council.

 

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

 

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

 

Article 3. Voting Rights and Procedures.

 

1. All 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 secret ballot be taken.

 

3. All votes organised via the Internet whether for the election of the Council and Officers, the election of the Committee on Nominations or during an Online General Assembly must ensure the secrecy of the ballot.

 

Article 4. 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 take effect 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. A member who has not paid dues without being excused by the Council shall be considered as having resigned. Such a member may be reinstated upon payment of dues starting from the day of reinstatement.

 

3. The Council may establish a grace period during which members whose membership has expired can renew their membership by paying their past dues. During this grace period members keep all rights associated with their membership.

 

Article 5. 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. However, Student Associates shall not have the right to vote in Union elections or in any other Union matters.

 

Article 6. 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. The General Assembly shall include time for open discussion of the affairs of the Union. 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 and shall circulate a draft agenda at least one month in advance.

 

3. The unintentional delay or omission of notification under Article 6.2, shall not invalidate the actions of the Assembly.

 

4. An Online General Assembly of members may be organised if circumstances call for such a meeting. The same rules shall apply for convening an Online General Assembly as for an ordinary General Assembly and the Online General Assembly shall have the same powers as the General Assembly but shall not replace the quadrennial face-to-face General Assembly meeting.

 

Article 7. Officers, Bureau and Council.

 

1. The Officers of the Union shall be a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-General and Treasurer. The three officers constitute the Bureau, whose role is to prepare the work of the Council and ensure that the Council’s decisions are implemented.

 

2. The Council of the Union shall consist of the Officers and other members elected in the manner laid down in Article 10.

 

3. 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 strategic administrative matters related to the operation of the Union.

 

4. Except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or by-laws, the Council shall act by a majority of those voting. In case of a tie, the President of the Union shall have a deciding vote. Any Council member may demand that a secret ballot be taken.

 

5. The President leads the Union, subject to the expressed wishes of the Council, the General Assembly and the Constitution. The President shall preside at meetings of the Council and of the Bureau, and shall be the key ambassador of the Union. 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.

 

6. The Vice President shall assist the President in discharging the duties of that office in a manner specified by the President.

 

7. The Secretary-General and Treasurer shall oversee the administration of the affairs of the Union, 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, shall be responsible for the maintenance, storage and archiving of the books, papers and assets 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. If an Executive Director is appointed, the Secretary General and Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the work of the Executive Director and Secretariat (see article 9).

 

8. At least one of the Officers shall be ex- officio members of all administrative committees appointed by the Council or the General Assembly except the Committee on Nominations.

 

9. The Council shall determine the location of the Union's administrative headquarters.

 

10. In the case where an Officer or a Council member fails to abide by the rules stated in the Constitution and by-laws or fails to meet the ethical standards of the position, the Council may, by a two-thirds majority, remove him or her from office. The replacement is made according to the rules defined in the by-laws.

 

Article 8. Period of Office.

 

1. The Bureau and Council shall assume office on 1 January of the year following their election.

 

2.The President shall serve for a period of four years, 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.

 

3. The Vice-President shall serve until the expiration of the President's term of office and shall then accede to the office of President.

 

4. The Secretary-General and Treasurer shall serve for a period of four years and shall be eligible for re-election in that position for one further term; thereafter (s)he shall not be immediately re-eligible as Secretary General and Treasurer, but may be elected as Council member, Vice-President or President.

 

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

 

Article 9. 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 decisions and recommendations 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’s role is to execute the programme set out by the Council to meet the organisation’s mission and strategic plan. The Executive Director reports directly to the Bureau, manages any hired or volunteer personnel to carry out the activities of the Union as needed, adhering to the labour laws in force in the country where the Secretariat is based.

 

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

 

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

 

Article 10. Elections.

 

1. An election of Officers and Council as well as that of the Committee on Nominations shall be held every four years. 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.

 

2. Members will elect nine members of Council as well as the Vice President and the Secretary General and Treasurer. In cases where the previous Vice President does not become President, members will also elect the President. Members will also vote whether to elect the past President to the position of Honorary President. 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 and all Union members have the right to vote for each 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 determined by the candidate’s declared citizenship at the time of nomination. All other members of Council shall be elected from a list of nominees at large. 

 

3. The role of Committee on Nominations is to present a list of candidates for Officer and Council positions for the following elections, which represents the diversity of the membership. The Committee on Nominations will be chaired by the most-recently elected Honorary President. Five members of different citizenships will be elected by the membership as set out in article 2 of the by-laws. If the immediate past President cannot or does not wish to serve, the committee will select its own chair. Members of the Council currently in office are not eligible for election to the Committee on Nominations. No member can serve more than once on the Committee on Nominations. Members of the Committee on Nominations cannot run as candidates for any position in the election for which they are serving on this Committee.

 

4. To prepare its list of candidates, the Committee on Nominations shall consult with the Officers of the Union and can be contacted by members. This list must include at least two candidates for each position open for election and at least 8 candidates for the Council members elected at large. The list of nominees for Council shall include no more than four nominees standing for re-election. 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 at least six months before the next scheduled election of Officers and Council.

 

5. Once the Committee on Nominations’ list has been circulated, members of the Union shall be invited to make additional nominations. Such additional nominations must be received at the Union's headquarters at least two months before the next scheduled election. Such a nomination must include a statement indicating for which position the candidate is running and 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 and declared citizenship of the nominated member.6. All candidates shall sign a document in which they attest they are fully aware of the tasks related to the elected position for which they are running and in which they state potential conflicts of interest.

 

7. Voting for Council elections and Committee on Nominations elections shall take place in accordance with the provisions of Article 3. The electoral list and procedure will be established according to the rules described in the article 2 of the by-laws. 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 Election Committee shall decide the result by drawing lots.

 

Article 11. 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. Financial income includes membership dues and donations, conference fees, book and other product sales, grants from governments, foundations and other organisations, as well as any other resources deemed adequate by the Council.

 

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

 

4. The amount and periodicity of dues and discounts shall be determined annually by the Council.

 

5. 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 date from which proposed change is to be implemented.

 

6. The Council shall be empowered to determine registration fees for members, student associates, and others who attend a meeting or conference organised by the Union.

 

7. 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 6.

 

Article 12. 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 to study specific issues in the field of demography and population sciences.

 

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

 

Article 13. Meetings and Conferences of the Union.

 

1. The Council may arrange scientific meetings and conferences.

 

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 there are no space restrictions.

 

4. 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 procedures whereby papers submitted are selected for presentation.

 

5. 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.

 

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

 

Article 14. Publications.

 

1. The Union shall publish in printed or digital form three regular publications: the proceedings of General Assemblies, the Constitution and by-laws, 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 15. 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 Chair, who shall conduct the relations between the National Committee and the Council.

 

Article 16. Affiliations.

 

1. The Union may affiliate itself to other organisations upon decision of the Council.

 

2. National or regional population associations, research and training institutions, university departments and other such bodies engaged in the study of the population may seek affiliation with the Union. Affiliated institutions have no voting rights in the affairs of the Union, which is an association of individual members, but may be consulted by the Council for advice on the scientific orientation of the Union and other relevant affairs. The Council shall be responsible for granting affiliation and determining dues and benefits of affiliated organisations.

 

3. Affiliations to, or by, the Union shall be communicated to the membership by the Council at least once a year, and shall be further included in the Secretary-General and Treasurer’s report to the General Assembly.

 

Article 17. Amendments.

 

1. Any proposal for the amendment of this Constitution should be submitted in writing to the Council 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 the latest six calendar months after they have been submitted to Council, together with a statement by its promotors giving reasons for the proposals as well as a statement by Council providing their opinion on the proposed amendments.

 

3.The Council shall appoint a Review 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 and after consulting a representative of the signatories . The Committee will then decide whether to propose the amendments for deliberation at the next General Assembly or to directly submit the proposed amendments for a vote by the membership. 

 

4. If presented at the General Assembly votes on proposed amendments shall take place in accordance with Article 3.2. If approved by at least two- thirds of the members present at the General Assembly, the proposed amendments shall then be submitted to the members.

 

5. Final approval of proposed amendments requires a vote by the membership. 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 18. 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.

 

Article 19. Operating rules.

 

1. The operating rules of the Union are defined by this Constitution and by-laws.

 

2. Matters of procedure that require administrative flexibility such as membership rules, specifics of electoral procedure and timing, and how to deal with vacancies shall be governed by the by-laws, provided that these are not in conflict with the Constitution. New by-laws or changes in existing by-laws may be adopted by the Council. Members must be informed of any changes made to the by-laws. 

 

3. Decisions on all matters not covered by these two texts shall be made as required by the Council, subject to approval by the next General Assembly.

 

 

BY-LAWS

 

1. Membership:

 

a. Membership will begin the day the application is processed and will extend for 12 months from that date for the payment of one year’s dues, subject only to approval by the Council (Article 2.2). This date on which members have initially joined becomes their annual membership renewal date. 

 

b. The Council has set a grace period of 6 months during which members shall keep all rights associated with their membership. Within that 6-month grace period, membership renewal covers the past membership period that was owed and members retain their original annual renewal date. 

 

c. After the 6-month period, memberships are considered expired and renewing members need to reapply for membership. Their membership will begin the day their re-application is processed. Those returning members do not require approval by the Council. Members who let their membership lapse may lose certain benefits associated with continuous membership.

 

d. Members can choose to pay for up to four years’ membership.

 

e. Honorary Presidents of the Union remain members for life or until they resign. They are exempted from dues.

 

2. Elections

 

a. For all elections and votes (elections for Council and Committee on Nominations, Online General Assembly), the electoral list will comprise all current members and members in grace, one month before the start of the ballot. The electoral list will be made publicly available and members will have 14 days to contest the list. The Election Committee (as defined in Article 10.1) will decide on the acceptability of the claim. The final list will be published at the latest 10 days before the start of the ballot.

 

b. Elections for the Council and for the Committee on Nominations shall be organised by internet using secure and independent voting software. Where desired, the two elections may be balloted concurrently.

 

c. Members must be given at least 6 weeks to cast their vote. 

 

d. Election results must be certified by the Election Committee and published no later than 1 November of the year in which the current Council term of office ends. 

 

e. For election to the Committee on Nominations, a list of candidates including at least 2 members from each region defined in article 10.2 of the Constitution and of at least 10 different citizenships shall be submitted by the Council for the members to choose from. Members will select one candidate per region. The candidates receiving the highest number of votes in each region shall be declared elected.

 

3. Vacancies

 

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 10):

 

  • 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.

 

f. In the case where a vacancy cannot be filled according to the rules stated above, the Council shall designate a member as a replacement until the next election.

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