This Constitution was adopted by postal and email ballot on October 31, 1999. There is also a a set of Bylaws for IVU.
2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- The name of the organisation shall be the International Vegetarian Union (abbreviated to IVU).
- For the purpose of membership of IVU, vegetarianism includes veganism and is defined as the practice of not eating meat, poultry or fish or their by-products, with or without the use of dairy products or eggs.
- The aim of the IVU shall be to promote vegetarianism throughout the world.
- In order to achieve this aim the main objectives shall be:
- To encourage the formation of local, national and regional vegetarian organisations, and co-operation between them.
- To promote both World and Regional Vegetarian Congresses to publicise and develop interest in the vegetarian cause and to give opportunities for vegetarians to meet together.
- To raise funds to support member societies wherever possible.
- To encourage research into all aspects of vegetarianism and the collection and publication, in all media, of material on all aspects of vegetarianism, by IVU itself and by all member societies.
- To represent the vegetarian cause on appropriate international bodies and to speak on behalf of the global cause when appropriate.
3. MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS
- Membership is open to any non-profit organisation that advocates vegetarianism and is governed exclusively by vegetarians.
- All members shall be autonomous and IVU shall not participate in their internal affairs except by express invitation.
- A Supporter of IVU may be any individual, family or organisation that supports the aims and objectives of IVU, regardless of whether they are vegetarian or not.
- Individuals may become IVU Supporters on payment of an annual or life contribution, or by volunteering their time to work on any appropriate project.
- Organisations, either profit or non-profit, and families may become supporters for an annual contribution.
- Supporters shall have no voting rights but may receive any other appropriate benefits.
- The affairs of IVU shall be governed by its members through General Meetings and/or by postal/electronic ballots.
- General Meetings shall normally be held in conjunction with World Vegetarian Congresses, but may be also be called by a majority of members.
- Members may vote at General Meetings by postal/electronic means without being required to attend in person.
- The IVU may form partnerships with Regional Organisations to promote the aims and objectives of the IVU in defined areas of the world.
- Between General Meetings the affairs of IVU shall be managed by the International Council, which shall be both elected by the members and appointed by the Regional Organisations.
- The International Council may arrange postal/electronic ballots of members on any issue which could be determined by a General Meeting.
- Responsibility for the day-to-day affairs of the IVU shall be delegated to all individual councillors, and carried out according to the decisions of the International Council.
- IVU may enter into partnerships with Regional Organisations (ROs) to act on behalf of IVU in defined geographic regions. There shall be only one partnership in any one region.
- All matters regarding the relationship between IVU and each partner RO shall be subject to separate contracts which shall be available for inspection by all members at any time.
- Each RO shall have complete autonomy of action within the region, provided such actions are compatible with the Constitution and Bylaws of the IVU, and the contract between IVU and the RO.
- Each RO shall be required to appoint a representative as a member of the International Council, s/he shall have full voting rights.
- All members or supporters of each RO shall become members or supporters of IVU, and vice versa where appropriate, according to the relevant membership criteria for each organisation.
- If there is no RO partner for a defined region then the International Council shall endeavour to appoint a Regional Co-ordinator as a full voting member of the council. The International Council shall encourage the formation of ROs in areas where none exist.
- The IVU shall be a non-profit-making organisation.
- No member of the International Council shall receive any fee, payment or salary other than the reimbursement of reasonable expenses as agreed by the full council.
- Anyone who is paid to carry out any work on behalf of IVU may be invited to attend sessions of the International Council in an advisory capacity, but shall not be entitled to vote.
- Alterations to this constitution shall require the approval of 75% of all members who exercise their right to vote.
- The principles defined in this constitution shall be further defined by procedures set out in bylaws.
- The bylaws may be altered by a simple majority of members who exercise their right to vote.
For historical interest:
- Dissolution of the IVU may be effected after one year's notice of such a proposal is given to all members and a vote being taken of all members with a minimum of 75% voting in favour.
- Upon dissolution, after all liabilities have been met, the remaining assets shall be given to vegetarian charitable organisations selected by the International Council.