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Statutes 1

I. Denomination, Objectives and Domicile of the Union

A. The International Geographical Union, commonly referred to as IGU, is an international, non?governmental, non?profit scientific organization.

B. The purposes of the International Geographical Union are:

1. to promote the study of geographical problems;
2. to initiate and co?ordinate geographical research requiring international co?operation and to promote its scientific discussion and publication;
3. to provide for the participation of geographers in the work of relevant international organizations;
4. to facilitate the collection and diffusion of geographical data and documentation in and between all member countries;
5. to promote meetings of the International Geographical Union, regional conferences between the International Geographical Congresses, and other meetings in furtherance of the objectives of the Union;
6. to participate in any other appropriate form of international co?operation with the object of advancing the study and application of geography;
7. to promote international standardization or compatibility of methods, nomenclature, and symbols employed in geography.

C. The International Geographical Union adheres to the International Council for Science (ICSU) and recognizes it as providing a co?ordinating and representative body for the international organization of science.

D. The International Geographical Union adheres to the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and recognizes it as providing a co?ordinating and representative body for the international organization of the social sciences.

E. The domicile of the Union is the place in which the Secretary General is based.

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Statutes 2

II. The Membership of the Union

A. Membership of the Union shall be by countries. For this purpose a “country” shall be a territory wherein scientific matters are organized independently. Admission of a country to membership of the Union shall not constitute recognition of its political but only of its scientific status. In cases of doubt the advice of ICSU shall be sought. Each member country has the same rights and the same duties except as hereinafter provided.

B. Applications by countries to join the International Geographical Union may be made through a committee for the IGU, a principal academy, a Research Council, or some other similar institution, or through scientific societies or an association of such institutions or societies, or, in special cases, through an appropriate government department. All applications for membership shall be made to the Secretary?General, considered by the Executive Committee, and decided by the General Assembly.

C. A Committee for the IGU, fully representative of geographers, shall be formed in each of the countries belonging to the Union. It shall be formed on the initiative, or with the co?operation, of bodies such as those mentioned in B above.

D. The Committees for the IGU shall promote the objects of the Union in their respective countries with specific reference to international aspects. They shall diffuse information from the Executive Committee to the geographers in their country and report every four years to the Executive Committee about their activities and the state of geography in their country. The Committees for the IGU shall nominate delegates to represent them at meetings of the Union. Each Committee for the IGU, either singly or jointly with one or more other Committees for the IGU, has the right to submit to the Union, for discussion, questions within the objectives of the Union as defined in Section I. B.

E. In addition to full membership of the Union there shall be a class of associate members. If the development of geographical studies or the number of geographers is insufficient to make possible the formation of a Committee for the IGU as laid down in C above, any group of three or more persons may constitute themselves a Committee and apply for associate membership. The Executive Committee of the Union may submit to the General Assembly recommendations for the acceptance or the continuance of associate membership or for transfer of associate members to ordinary membership.

F. In order to maximize the Union’s contacts with geographers throughout the world there shall be a class of corresponding members. These members may be either individuals or institutions.

G. Upon recommendation of the executive committee, the general assembly may authorize the admission of non-voting Corporate Sponsors to the union. Corporate Sponsors may be academic institutions, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or private firms that support the goals and programs of the International Geographical Union. The dues for IGU Corporate Sponsorship shall be set at the time of admission and may be adjusted from time to time by the IGU Executive Committee.

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Statutes 3

III. The General Assembly

A. The work of the Union shall be decided by a meeting of the General Assembly of the delegates appointed by the member countries adhering to the Union or at other times by a postal ballot of the delegates from member countries in good standing registered with the IGU Secretariat.

B. The General Assembly shall hold an ordinary meeting, normally about once every four years, whenever possible at the time and place of an International Geographical Congress. A General Assembly normally will have two or more sessions on different days. The date and place of the meeting shall be determined by the General Assembly at its previous meeting or, if not so determined, arranged by the Executive Committee. An extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly may be called by the president in consultation with the Executive Committee and must be called on written request from at least half the member countries. At least four months’ notice must be given of all meetings of the General Assembly.

C. An Executive Committee consisting of a President, Vice Presidents, and a Secretary-General and Treasurer shall be elected by the General Assembly or by postal ballot.

D. All individuals present who are fully registered as attending a Congress may attend the meetings of the General Assembly and take part in the discussion without power of voting except as hereinafter provided. The President of the Union may also invite to attend meetings of the General Assembly, in a consultative capacity, representatives of international or national scientific and scholarly institutions and other appropriate scientists and scholars.

E. The Agenda for the meeting of the General Assembly shall be fixed by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee and shall be circulated to Committees for the IGU of adhering member countries at least four months before the opening of the meeting. A matter not appearing on the agenda may be raised by a delegation with the approval of the Executive Committee; a decision arising from such an item may only be taken in a following session of that General Assembly.

F. Resolutions upon scientific matters shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast by individuals fully registered as attending the Congress who are personally present at the meeting of the General Assembly.

G. Resolutions on matters of an administrative character shall be decided on a vote taken by countries of the Union represented at the General Assembly or eligible to vote in a postal ballot, each country having one vote. A decision shall only be valid if more than 50 per cent of the possible votes, i.e., of member countries present at the General Assembly or eligible to vote via postal ballot, are cast. Associate and corresponding members have no vote.
H. In cases of doubt as to the category to which a question belongs the President shall decide. Where there is an equal division of votes the President shall, in all cases, have a second or casting vote.

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Statutes 4

IV. The President

F. The President of the Union shall be elected by the General Assembly and shall normally be chosen from among those who have had experience as elected officers of the Union. He or she will assume office after the conclusion of the General Assembly or, if this is held during a Congress, after the conclusion of the Congress. He or she will remain in office until after the conclusion of the next ordinary meeting of the General Assembly, or, if a Congress is being held at the same time, until after the conclusion of the Congress. He or she is not eligible for re?election as President during the next period. The retiring President becomes a Vice?President for one further period.

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Statutes 5

V. The Executive Committee

A. Members of the Executive Committee serve in an individual capacity.

B. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, the immediate past?President, eight other Vice?Presidents and a Secretary?General.

C. In addition to the President and to the retiring President, who becomes a Vice?President for one further period, the eight Vice-Presidents shall be elected by the General Assembly or by postal ballot. They have specified duties: They shall stimulate activities and coordinate IGU Commissions while also representing the Union and furthering contacts within their own regions. One Vice-President shall act as a Publications Officer. The number of Vice?Presidents may be modified by a vote of the General Assembly on a proposal of the Executive Committee. Except as specified in Section V – I of these Statutes, the Vice?Presidents shall hold office for a period of four years and each shall be eligible for re?election for one further period only. The Vice?Presidents shall be chosen as widely as possible from amongst member countries of the Union, and at any given time the Executive Committee shall not include more than one representative from any one country. One of the Vice?Presidents shall be appointed by the Executive Committee as First Vice?President. He or she shall take the place of the President should the President be unable, temporarily or otherwise, to act. If the retiring President is unable to become a Vice-President, the IGU Executive Committee may designate one of the existing Vice-Presidents to replace the retiring president for the subsequent four-year period only.

D. Except as specified in Section V – J of these Statutes, a Secretary General shall be elected at a General Assembly or by postal ballot for a period of four years and shall normally be chosen from among those who have had experience as elected officers of the Union. He or she shall be eligible for re?election for one further four-year period only. The Secretary General shall also act as Treasurer and shall maintain a permanent administrative office or secretariat. With the approval of the Executive Committee and in order to provide for the efficient administration of the Union’s affairs, he or she may arrange for an Assistant Secretary?General or Assistant?Treasurer. The Secretary?General shall make arrangements for the publication of a Bulletin or other means of keeping geographers informed, through their Committees for the IGU, of the activities of the Union and for the circulation of information on publications sponsored or assisted by the Union.

E. In the case of any vacancy occurring amongst its members, the Executive Committee shall have power to fill it. Any person so appointed shall hold office until the next meeting of the General Assembly, which should proceed to a definite election for the following period only.

F. Membership of the Executive Committee shall be unpaid but members shall be entitled to traveling expenses and subsistence allowances for attending meetings of the Executive Committee on scales determined, as from time to time may be necessary, by the Executive Committee.

G. The Executive Committee shall meet during each International Geographical Congress and at such times and places as the President in consultation with the Secretary?General shall determine. There shall be at least one meeting between congresses at which the program proposed for the next congress shall be considered. The Chair of the Organizing Committee of the Congress or his or her representative shall be invited to this meeting for joint consideration of appropriate matters.

H. It is the task of the Executive Committee to monitor new trends and developments in the field of geographical education and research, to bring these to the knowledge of the committees of the IGU and to take all action required to ensure an optimal participation of the Union in international science programs. Further duties of the Executive Committee shall include those which have been entrusted to it from time to time by the General Assembly, and in particular:

1. the preparation of the Agenda for the General Assembly;
2. the consideration of invitations for general and regional congresses and the formulation of recommendations thereon for decision by the General Assembly;
3. collaboration with the organizers of the international congresses;
4. the consideration of items submitted by Committees for the IGU for inclusion in the agenda of the General Assembly;
5. the establishment of special or temporary committees or task forces for particular tasks;
6. the approval of Commissions to examine defined geographical problems.
7. the conferment, on behalf of the International Geographical Union, as a mark of distinction, of special honors on persons who have achieved particular distinction or who have rendered outstanding service for the international community of geographers.

F. In the August 2008 election for the IGU Executive Committee, four Vice Presidents shall be elected for single terms of six years (2008-2014) duration; the four Vice Presidents so elected shall not be eligible for re-election as IGU Vice Presidents at the conclusion of their terms in 2014. In the August 2008 election, four Vice Presidents shall be elected for terms of four years duration (2008-2012); the four Vice Presidents so elected will be eligible for re-election as Vice Presidents for one additional four year term (2012-2016) upon the completion of their original terms in 2012. From 2014 onward, four IGU Vice Presidents will be elected every even calendar year, and those elected will serve terms of four years, being eligible for election for no more than two consecutive terms.
G. In the August 2008 election for the IGU Executive Committee, the IGU Secretary General and Treasurer will be elected for a single term of two years (2008-2010) duration; the individual so elected shall be eligible for re-election as IGU Secretary General and Treasurer upon completion of his or her original term in 2010 for one additional term or four years only (to 2014). From 2014 onward, an election for IGU Secretary General and Treasurer will be held every fourth year, and those elected will serve terms of four years, being eligible for election as Secretary General and Treasurer for no more than two consecutive terms.

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Statutes 6

VI. Commissions

A. Commissions shall be established for the study of a specific problem or for the accomplishment of a task which requires international collaboration. Commissions shall promote individual and group research work, encourage the exchange of relevant documents and information, and organize conferences, meetings and, where appropriate, field excursions, both between Congresses and during International Geographical Congresses.

B. The establishment of a new Commission may be proposed by a member country or by the Executive Committee. The proposal, including a statement of objectives and a program of work, should reach the Executive Committee at least nine months before the time of meeting of the General Assembly. The objectives of the new Commission should be precisely defined. The proposal should be accompanied by a suggested list of the future chair and possible steering committee members. It shall then be discussed and may be approved by the Executive Committee

C. Commissions are clustered in thematic fields, each coordinated by a Vice-President. Commissions are renewable depending on evidence of activity and continued relevance to the objectives of the Union. In exceptional cases, an earlier termination or change in task and leadership is possible if the majority of member countries agree on the basis of a letter ballot.

D. A Commission shall consist of a Chair and a Steering Committee normally consisting of not more than ten other members, each of whom shall serve for approximately four years and be eligible for reappointment for a second term of similar length. From among its steering committee members a Commission may designate, if it wishes, a Vice?Chair and a Secretary. Normally, there shall not be more than one member from any one adhering country. The Chair shall normally be appointed by the General Assembly; the list of steering committee members shall be approved by the Executive Committee. No person shall be a member of the steering committee of more than one Commission. The Commission may co?opt an appropriate number of members. In the event of a vacancy in the chair occurring between General Assemblies, a new chair shall be appointed by the Executive Committee having regard to the recommendation of the members of the Commission Steering Committee. Vacancies in the Steering Committee of a Commission occurring after the approval of the list by the Executive Committee may be filled by resolution of the Commission.

E. A Commission may organize its work by establishing sub?committees on special problems.

F. Commissions may apply to the Executive Committee for grants of funds to enable them to carry out their work. The financial liability of the Union is limited to the grants made and approved by the Executive Committee that will divide available funds over the clusters.

G. A Commission may undertake research contracts and may request grants from national or international, or other appropriate, organizations. Commissions must inform the Executive Committee of the action taken and the results achieved.

H. A Commission may publish the results of its work or may collaborate in joint publications.

I. Each Commission shall prepare a concise report on its work which should be submitted to the Secretary?General for the Executive Committee at least nine months before the next ordinary meeting of the General Assembly. The report should include an account of the work carried out, the methods used, and the results obtained together, when appropriate, with a program of further research. The report shall be distributed to each Committee for the IGU and discussed in open meeting during the International Congress. The combined presentation, discussion and publication of reports by several Commissions may be arranged. The General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, decides whether the activities of a Commission justify the renewal of its appointment.

J. The maximum term of service on a Commission for a chair or steering committee member in any capacity shall be twelve years.

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Statutes 7

VII. Finance

A. Countries may adhere to the Union in one of the following fifteen categories. Each adhering country shall pay annually as a minimum the number of subscription units proper to its category in accordance with the following scale:

Category: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
Units: 1 2 3 5 7 9 12 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

B. Each country applying for membership of the Union shall specify in which category it wishes to be classed. For each country the organization which adheres to the Union shall be responsible for the payment of the contributions. Every country in arrears with its contributions shall be reported to the General Assembly. Any adhering member of IGU, which is in arrears for three years, shall have observer status until the outstanding dues are paid.

C. Associate member countries of the Union shall pay such annual contributions as the General Assembly may from time to time determine.

D. Corresponding members pay annual dues decided upon by the Executive Committee.

E. The Secretary General shall prepare a statement of accounts of income and expenditure for each of the years intervening between two General Assemblies. He or she shall also prepare, on behalf of the Executive Committee, an estimate of the budget for the period intervening between one General Assembly and the next. A Finance Committee, nominated for the purpose by the General Assembly, shall examine the accounts for the preceding years and the budget estimates and shall report on these matters to the General Assembly. The Finance Committee may make recommendations for change in the membership categories of countries. Following its examination of the budget and of the Finance committee’s report, the General Assembly shall fix the amounts of the subscription unit from full members and of the annual dues from associate members and also the currency or currencies in which the payment will be made.

F. The income of the Union is derived primarily from:

1. contributions by members;
2. subventions from other organizations;
3. sale of publications;
4. gifts and donations;
5. congress and conference registration fees;
6. research grants.

The income is to be devoted primarily to:

1. the cost of administration, including the maintenance of the Secretariat and the meetings of the Executive Committee;
2. the expenses of publications issued under the direction of the Union and specifically authorized by the Executive Committee;
3. subventions toward the expenses of Commissions;
4. subventions toward the cost of organization of International Geographical Congresses, and of regional meetings, especially in regions where the responsible organizations need help in organizing geographical studies;
5. contributions toward the cost of research undertaken under the direction, or with the approval, of the Union;
6. the cost of co-operation with ICSU, ISSC and other organizations, including dues.Any surplus may be used as the General Assembly may direct to advance the general purposes of the Union as determined by Article I. Funds derived from donations and grants shall be used by the Union with due regard to the wishes expressed by the donors. Any country which withdraws from the Union resigns by this act its right to share in the assets of the Union.

G. The Union has a Geography Promotion and Solidarity Fund, the aim of which is to further geography and to support geographers, especially from less equipped countries. The Fund is governed by a Board appointed by the Executive Committee.

H. The Secretary?General in his capacity of Treasurer shall keep accurate accounts and records of all financial transactions. He or she shall arrange for the accounts to be audited annually.

I. At each International Congress or Regional Conference, a sum, established by the Executive Committee, is to be included in the registration fee of all participants and transferred to the Treasurer within six months of the conclusion of the Congress or Conference.

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Statutes 8

VIII. Internal Regulations

A. The General Assembly may draw up internal regulations for the conduct of its business, the general duties to be assigned to the members of the Executive Committee and, in general, for all matters not provided for in the Statutes.

B. Similarly, each Commission may draw up regulations for the conduct of its own business. Such regulations shall be approved by the Executive Committee and no regulation shall be made which is contrary to the terms of the Statutes.

C. The working languages of the Union shall be English and French.

D. There shall be no discrimination as regards race, ethnic group, citizenship, religion, sex or political opinion within the Union or in the meetings organized by it or held on its behalf.

E. As a member of ICSU, the IGU follows ICSU guidelines on the free circulation of scientists.

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Statutes 9

IX. The International Geographical Congress

A. An international geographical congress shall, if possible, be held approximately every four years.

B. Invitations shall be addressed to the Secretary?General by member countries of the Union or by groups of member countries offering to act as hosts, and the acceptance of an invitation shall be by vote of the General Assembly by adhering countries of the Union. A General Assembly may accept invitations for the two next succeeding Congresses.

C. When an invitation has been accepted, the organization and financing of the Congress shall, subject to the other provisions stated in Article IX, be the responsibility of the host country or countries. However, the Executive Committee shall advise on the program planned for the Congress. It shall be the responsibility of the host country or countries that:

1. suitable facilities are provided for the meeting of the General Assembly;
2. provision shall be made for the meetings of the Executive Committee and for the functioning of the Secretariat;
3. facilities in time and space shall be made available for meetings of Commissions of the Union;
4. outline proposals for the Congress arrangements shall be submitted to the Executive Committee at least two years in advance of the date of the Congress. The Executive Committee shall satisfy itself that the proposals are compatible with the Statutes of the Union. A representative of the Organizing Committee of the next Congress shall normally be invited to attend the meeting of the Executive Committee at which the proposals are considered, and the host country shall be asked to invite a member or members of the Executive Committee for consultation

D. The Secretary?General shall inform member countries of the Union of the location of the next International Geographical Congress and of the address of the organizers. Thereafter communication may be directed between Committees for the IGU or individuals and the Organizing Committee of the next Congress.

E. The working languages of an International Geographical Congress shall be English and French. With the approval of the Executive Committee the language of the host country may be used in discussions provided that appropriate translation facilities have been arranged.

F. The Executive Committee may accept invitations for regional conferences or other international meetings of a more restricted character or for special purposes or may itself sponsor or organize such meetings.

G. A general international geographical congress or regional conference shall be open to delegates from all members of the Union and to individuals both from member countries and from countries which are not members.
H. The organizing committee of an international geographical congress or meeting may be invited to report on its activities to the General Assembly. After the conclusion of the congress or meeting, the organizing committee shall submit a final report to the Executive Committee

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Statutes 10

X. Affiliation of Other Scientific Institutions

A. The International Geographical Union may offer affiliation to other international associations having cognate interests, provided the aims, objects and constitution of such associations are compatible with those of the International Geographical Union. The relations with the affiliated organizations may have a thematic or a regional character.

B. The Executive Committee of the International Geographical Union, having satisfied itself that the Statutes of the Association proposed for affiliation satisfy these conditions, shall recommend to the General Assembly that affiliation be granted.

C. The International Geographical Union and the affiliated association shall continue as independent bodies having their own statutes, organization and finance. The degree of collaboration shall be left for mutual arrangement between the respective executive bodies.
D. The affiliation terminates when the General Assembly of the Union or the affiliated organization so decides and the other organization has been duly informed.

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Statutes 11

XI. Duration of Convention and Modifications

A. The duration of the Union is not limited.

B. No change shall be made in the terms of the present Statutes without the approval of more than one half of the votes cast at the General Assembly or by postal ballot by the adhering countries of the Union eligible to vote.

C. In the case of the dissolution of the Union, voted and agreed by at least two?thirds of the adhering countries of the Union, the available funds shall be given by the General Assembly to one or more scientific or scholarly institution.

D. The French and English texts shall be given equal weight in deciding the meaning to be given to the articles of the present Statutes.

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