International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo 35th World Vegetarian Congress
'Food for all our futures'

Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
July 8-14, 2002
Hosted by

The Vegetarian Society
of the United Kingdom

IVU GENERAL MEETING MINUTES

Thursday 11 July 2002 and Friday 12 July 2002

Edinburgh, Scotland

SUMMARY

The General Meeting (GM) of member societies of the International Vegetarian Union (IVU) was held to conduct the business of IVU. It took place at the 35th World Vegetarian Congress (WVC) on Thursday 11 July 2002 from 9 am to 11 am and Friday 12 July 2002 from 7:15 pm to 8:30 pm at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.

ATTENDEES

Member organizations numbered 26 with a total of 33 votes. Individuals numbered about 70 and included:

  • International Council (IC) members - Gerry Coffey, Saurabh Dalal, Tina Fox, Mitsuru Kakimoto, Claude Pasquini, Kevin Pickard, David Pye, Jashu Shah, Paul Turner, and Marly Winckler.
  • Elected to the IC at the 35th WVC - Maxwell Lee, Francisco Martin
  • IVU Webmaster - John Davis.

FACILITATOR

Kevin Pickard (IC Chair) chaired the meeting and was assisted by Tina Fox (IC Deputy Chair), Saurabh Dalal (IVU Secretary), and David Pye (IVU Treasurer).

SCRIBE

Saurabh Dalal as IVU Secretary took the meeting minutes and was assisted by David Pye for a brief duration in the meeting. (These minutes were prepared by Saurabh and reviewed by IC.)

1. Welcome

Kevin Pickard chaired the meeting and welcomed the attendees.

2. Meeting Procedures

The agenda was distributed to the attendees, as were copies of the minutes from the previous meeting of member societies and the agreement between IVU and the Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA). Kevin Pickard explained the general meeting procedures. The voting system had been put in place just before the beginning of the meeting for eligible member societies.

3. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were sent by Robert Fraser (IVU Regional Secretary for Australasia) and P.K. Jain (IVU Regional Secretary for Africa).

4. Minutes of Previous Meeting of Member Societies

The minutes of the previous meeting of member societies, held at the 34th WVC in Toronto, Canada, on 12 July 2000, were prepared by Saurabh Dalal. These minutes were reviewed by IC in 2000 and circulated to the member societies via email for comments. Since the minutes had been reviewed in detail, a motion was made to accept the minutes as written. All but 2 voted in favor, none voted against, and 2 abstained. Therefore the minutes of the meeting of member societies held in 2000 were approved.

5. Secretary’s Report

Saurabh Dalal presented a brief report on the affairs of IVU since the WVC in 2000. In this period, minutes from the 34th WVC in Canada were produced, reviewed, and circulated; the minutes from the meetings of the IC were produced and reviewed; three issues of the IVU News magazine were produced; the IVU website and email lists continue to generate tremendous interest in IVU and vegetarianism; continuous discussions were held regarding the current WVC in Scotland; potential bids for WVCs 2004 and 2006 were sought with early discussion; proposals for refinements to the IVU bylaws and one constitutional alteration proposal were made; the IVU Grants program was created and launched; candidates were recruited for the IVU’s elections in 2002 and their statements were circulated; an agreement was reached between the IC of IVU and VUNA; the IVU had gained status as a registered company in the UK; early progress was being made for status as an NGO; general correspondences were made with many individuals and organizations.

IVU’s sympathy was expressed on the passing away of Arne Vindquist, a longtime friend and supporter of IVU.

Saurabh concluded his report by stating that more information regarding IVU would be included in the Treasurer’s report and the Membership Secretary’s report.

6. Treasurer’s Report

David Pye handed out the IVU Treasurer’s Report dated July 2002. David mentioned subscriptions and donations were gradually increasing; the IVU News magazine is becoming more sophisticated and costs were about 3150 GBP for printing three issues; and the website is becoming very popular and attracts many people, and while costing IVU about 2000 GBP in 2001-2, brings in revenue from subscriptions, business supporters, and commission from book sales.

David showed income over expenditure for 2000-1 to be about 4200 GBP whereas that number dropped to less than 900 GBP in 2001-2. The total value of IVU’s assets was 69189 GBP at the end of March 2000 and rose modestly to 73278 GBP at the end of March 2002.

David expressed that the financial future of IVU is generally good, and although income is not high, IVU should be able to support its planned work with this financial base.

David explained that IVUs Gilt fund investment worth 40,000 pounds brings in 2,434 pounds per annum. Our dollar and sterling current accounts together have 32,000 pounds but only brings in 660 pounds in interest per annum. David recommended that IVU should invest up to 25,000 pound of this cash in Gilts or ethical investment to increase the annual income.

Several questions and comments came from the floor. These included: IVU having 10 times its expenditures in reserves is high; what was the development fund and where did the funds come from?; and that Lloyd’s may support greater third world debts and we should consider a different ethical investment.

Responses were made as follows. Higher reserves were needed to support the expansion of IVU’s work (the grants program and establishing IVU as an NGO as two examples) and since IVU’s income is not high, greater reserves were needed to create income.

David further explained that the 40,000 pound invested in the guilt fund was made up of the old Mankar, Mehta, and patrons funds.

Other concerns would be addressed and deliberated by the IC.

The motion was put forth to accept the accounts; the voting was all in favor with no objections or abstentions.

7. Membership Report

Tina Fox (IVU Membership Secretary and Deputy Chair) reported that IVU has about 300 members. About 100 of these are groups that promote vegetarianism around the world. The remainder is comprised of business supporters or individuals (which include Patrons). In the past year, business and internet supporters are the largest area of growth.

Tina urged member organizations to send any news to IVU for the IVU News magazine.

8. Elections for the IC

Kevin informed that there were 10 individuals standing for election and 10 slots for the IC. The names of the nominees were read and those in attendance were asked to stand. The names were: Saurabh Dalal, Tina Fox, Maxwell Lee, Francisco Martin, Claude Pasquini, Kevin Pickard, Jashu Shah, Paul Turner.

With the same number of nominees as open positions for the IC, voting was simplified by a motion to accept all the candidates in a single vote. With all present but 1 in favor, no votes against, and 1 abstention, the motion was carried.

All 10 candidates were declared as elected to the new IC of IVU and congratulated. Those councilors not continuing on the new IC (Richard Dimech and Mitsuru Kakimoto) were thanked for their service to IVU and the greater vegetarian cause.

9. Governing Documents

a. Company Registration

David Pye explained that if IVU became a registered UK charity and a registered UK company, the status of IVU would increase, security to the organization would result, and IVU would be allowed to hold a bank account and investments in the UK without incurring tax. This would also help greatly in allowing IVU to gain NGO status in the UK.

As the first step on this path, IVU became a registered company on 10 May 2001. The decision to register IVU was taken by the IC and is subject to ratification by the general membership. As a registered company, the constitution of IVU had to be divided into Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. This was completed without changing the meaning of the constitution and is available on the IVU website.

A motion was made to accept the decision of IVU being a registered company in the UK and to convert the IVU Constitution to the Articles of the Company. All voted to pass the motion with none against or abstaining.

b. Alterations / Amendments

One alteration to the IVU Constitution (now the Articles of the Company) was proposed. It was recommended by the IC to change Section 3.a. from:

‘Membership is open to any non-profit organization that advocates vegetarianism and is governed exclusively by vegetarians’
to:
‘Membership is open to any non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to promote vegetarianism and is governed exclusively by vegetarians’.

All but 1 were in favor of the change, with none against and 1 abstention.

***

At this point in the meeting, the allocated time was nearly exhausted. A motion was made to move to item #14 of the agenda and allow the Vegetarian Society Singapore to make their presentation for the WVC in 2004. Then the current meeting would be adjourned and would reconvene at a suitable time during the WVC. All but 1 were in favor of the motion, with none against and 1 abstention.

***

14. World Vegetarian Congresses

b. 2004: Representatives of the Vegetarian Society Singapore (VSS) - Yeow Nguan Loh, Kau Wee Ngo, and Haresh (Harry) Sakhrani - presented a bid for the 2004 WVC in Singapore. Information was provided on the multi-cultural atmosphere, its large number of hotels and meeting facilities, and suitability as a venue for a WVC. A brief video from their tourist bureau was shown.

A number of questions and comments arose from the floor regarding the potential congress facilities and financial considerations. These were discussed and then the attendees decided it would be best to have the IC in close contact with VSS to understand and resolve any issues. (There were no other bids for the WVC in 2004.)

A motion was made to accept the VSS bid provisionally for 2004 and the IC to work with VSS to help ensure a successful WVC. All voted in favor with no objections or abstentions.

***

The Meeting of Member Societies was reconvened on Friday 12 July 2002 at 7:15 PM. About 50 people were in attendance including 23 voting delegates.

***

10. Bylaws Amendments

The following bylaw amendments were proposed and approved by the meeting.

a. Bylaw 7.h. be changed from:

"Voting on Bylaw amendments shall be conducted by mail or electronic means."
to:
"Voting on Bylaw amendments may be made at a General Meeting or by mail or electronic ballot."

All voted in favor with no objections or abstentions.

b. Bylaw 4.4p. contradicts 4.4.i. Bylaw 4.4.p. would be deleted and Bylaw 4.4.i. would be changed from:

"The IC may fill any vacancies which may occur on the Council between Congresses and may co-opt up to two additional members who shall have full, voting rights."
to :
"The IC may fill any vacancies which may occur on the Council between Congresses and may co-opt up to three additional members who shall have full, voting rights."

Questions arose on the duration of the term of co-opted IC members and the removal process for them. After some discussion, it was decided to make another proposal, later in the meeting, to clarify such matters.

A motion was made to accept the proposal as read. All voted in favor with no objections or abstentions.

c. Bylaw 4.3.d be changed from (1st sentence only):

"The Secretary shall mail or email a list containing the names of candidates to all voting member organisations one month prior to a membership meeting."
to :
"The Secretary shall mail or email a list containing the names of all candidates to all voting member organisations one month prior to a membership meeting."

All but 2 voted in favor, with no objections and 2 abstentions.

d. Bylaw 4.2.k. be changed from:

"Only delegates of member organisations shall be entitled to vote at a General Meeting or ballot, and all delegates must be vegetarians. ."
to :
"Only delegates of member organisations shall be entitled to vote at a General Meeting or ballot. All delegates must be vegetarians and a member of the society for which they are a delegate."

All voted in favor with no objections or abstentions.

e. To bring the Bylaws in-line with a decision made at the Meeting of Member Societies at the 34th WVC in Toronto, Canada, a new bylaw before Bylaw 4.2.c. would have to be inserted:

"IVU will conduct all communications with member societies using email. Email addresses must be supplied by member societies as a means for them to take part in IVU discussions and voting, other than at a General Meeting."

Minor changes would be made throughout the Bylaws to make the document consistent for email communications and removing ‘postal’ communications.

A concern was raised about groups not having reliable email access and their ability to participate in email discussions. The IC will work with such groups to help them gain internet access and/or to participate in discussions.

The motion was made to accept the proposal as read. All but 7 voted in favor with no objections and 7 abstentions.

f. To clarify the term of co-opted IC members and those elected to fill vacant IC positions as well as any removal process, the following bylaw was proposed and would be inserted at the end of Bylaw 4.4.i.:

"All such positions shall be valid until the next General Meeting or such earlier date as IC shall determine by a 2/3 majority."

The motion was made to accept the proposal as read. All but 3 voted in favor with no objections and 3 abstentions.

g. To clarify the term of Regional Representatives and any removal process, the following bylaw was proposed and would be inserted at the end of Bylaw 5.e.:

"All such positions shall be valid until the next General Meeting or such earlier date as IC shall determine by a 2/3 majority."

The motion was made to accept the proposal as read. All but 3 voted in favor with no objections and 3 abstentions.

11. Regional Organizations

  1. The regions of IVU were identified and the current regional representatives were asked to stand if present. They are:
    Africa – P.K. Jain
    Asia – Jashu Shah
    Australasia – Robert Fraser
    Europe – Claude Pasquini
    Latin America – Marly Winckler
    North America – Gerry Coffey

    A comment from the floor was made that a continent like Africa was so large and diverse that IVU might want to split the region. The IC would look into such possibilities as needed.
    Since time was short, it was suggested that regional reports be made via the IVU News and email.

  2. The IC and VUNA had come to a formal understanding and agreement in early 2001 on how the two parties would work together. Copies of the agreement were available and also on-line at www.ivu.org/members/vuna.html

    After some basic questions, a motion was made for IVU to adopt the IVU/VUNA agreement. All but 4 were in favor, with no objections and 4 abstentions.

12. Mankar Award

Some discussion was held about the criteria the IC should use for selecting the recipient for IVU’s Mankar Award.

13. IVU Communications

  1. IVU News/Magazine
    Paul Turner, Editor of IVU News, was thanked for his efforts with the IVU News magazine. It was noted that the publication was an excellent means for IVU to communicate to its members and others.
    A comment was made from the floor that IVU consider making IVU News quarterly.

  2. Website (www.ivu.org)
    John Davis, IVU Webmaster, was thanked for his efforts with the presence of IVU on the internet. The tremendous growth in the number of website pages accessed and increasing use of IVU email lists were a tribute to John’s diligence and resourcefulness.

14. World Vegetarian Congresses

  1. 2002: Tina Fox, Chief Executive of the Vegetarian Society of UK (VSUK), made a few remarks regarding the current 2002 WVC. Tina reported that 270 plus delegates representing 29 countries have attended the WVC. Financially the congress is likely to just about break even and that she was very pleased with the excellent atmosphere and facilities at Heriot Watt University.
    Tina and the VSUK congress volunteers were given heartfelt thanks from IVU for the fine job they had done.
  2. 2004: (Reported earlier in these minutes, after agenda item 9.)
  3. 2006: The IVU is still looking for bids for the WVC in 2006. Initial interest has been shown by 1 or 2 societies but nothing concrete has occurred.
  4. 2008: IVU will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2008. The centennial celebration is a tremendous opportunity to promote IVU and should be incorporated into the 2008 WVC.

15. Other Business

IVU will send a statement advocating vegetarianism to the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. This statement would be made available for all member groups who required it for press and promotional efforts.

16. Vote of Thanks

Thanks were given to all for attending IVU’s meeting of member societies at the 35th WVC in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The meeting ended at 8:30 pm on Friday 12 July 2002.