International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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IVU Regions & Regional Vegetarian Congresses

IVU currently divides the world into six regions, each with a Regional Coordinator, some with Regional Organisations - for the current arrnagements see How to Contact IVU. This is how those regions have developed since they began in 1957:
  • 1957-71 - Early Development of the Regions - appointments of the first Regional Secretaries. Initially these were just 'India & the East' and 'The Americas', with the General Secretary covering 'Europe and the North'. This was a direct result of the 15th World Vegetarian Congress being held in India - the first to be held outside of Europe.

  • 1971 - Expanding Regions - IVU adopted a new Constitution, which is lost but appears to have introduced the idea of the whole world being divided into regions. The new Regional Secretaries were appointed between 1971-75, but as many documents from that time are missing it is not clear exactly how this proceeded. They were all in place by 1975, but Latin America had already made a start:

  • 1972 - 1st Latin American Congress, Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1974 - 2nd Latin American Congress, Colombia (no reports)

  • 1975 - the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress was the first to be held in North America.
    Appointments as Regional Secretaries (by 1975):
    • Africa - Mr.E. P. Morkel (Cape Town, South Africa)
    • Australasia - Mr. B. Standish - (Melbourne, Australia)
    • Europe - Mrs. I. James (England)
    • India & The East - Mr.J. N. Mankar (Bombay, India)
    • Latin America - Dr. Becerra Limas (Mexico)
    • Middle East - Mr. P. L. Pick (England)
    • North America - Mr. Brian Graff (New Jersey, U.S.A.)

  • 1976-78
    • Europe - In Europe attempts were made twice this year to hold an International Council meeting combined with a Regional Committee but air strikes twice caused cancellation of a mid-European location.
    • Latin America - In the Latin American Region the 3rd Congress was held at Santiago, Chile from 5th-11th April 1976 with countries represented officially and unofficially. The 4th Congress is being hosted by Mexico from 24th Sept. - 1st October 1978.
    • North America - The North American Region had a Congress from 7th-15th August 1976 at Ithaca College, New York State and a second from 26th July-30th, 1977 at ARCATA, California - both well attended.
      [all the above from the General Secretary's report to the 1977 Congress, no firther details]

  • 1979 appointments as Regional Secretaries:
    • Europe - Chrisopher Fettes (Ireland)
    • Latin America - German A. Vasquez (Venezuela)
    • Australasia - G. Karolyi (Australia)

  • 1980
    • Europe - European Vegetarianism - Co-ordination at Last? - the first European Talks
    • Latin America - Dr German Alberti informed participants . . . A successful Congress was held in Brasilia in 1980. (minutes of the 1982 IVU General Meeting, no further details)

  • 1981 Latin America [from the council minutes] Dr Alberti reported that 5 Congresses had taken place since 1972 in his region and that the Latin American Vegetarian Federation had been set up to co-ordinate activities and to represent I.V.U. in the region. Venezuela had been chosen as headquarters for the organisation and Dr Alberti is Executive Secretary for the region. A Congress will take place in Santiago, Chile in late 1981. Eleven countries have Societies or groups of Societies which are members of the Latin American Federation.

  • 1982
  • 1983 - Europe - plans for the first European Congress, which was cancelled.

  • 1985
  • 1986 appointments as Regional Secretaries:
    • Australasia - Fred Whittle (Australia)
    • India & the East - Jashu Shah and Dr. M. Bhamghara (India), joint
    • North America - Keith Akers (USA)

  • 1987
  • 1988 - a World Vegetarian Congress was planned for Guadalahara, Mexico, and would have been the first in Latin America, but was cancelled 'for administrative reasons'.

  • 1989
  • 1991
    • Europe - 4th European Congress - Chester, UK
    • North America - VUNA Congress at Denver, Colorado, USA - co-sponsored by the American Vegan Society and the Vegetarian Society of Colorado

  • 1993
    • New IVU Constitution - Regions Section - no significant changes
    • North America - VUNA Congress at Portland, Oregon, USA - co-sponsored by the American Vegan Society and Portland Vegetarians
    • Middle East - Mark Weintraub (Israel) appointed as Regional Secretary

  • 1994
    • Europe - no European Congress had been held in 1993 as the World Congress 1994 was in The Netherlands.
    • North America - Saurabh Dalal (USA) appointed as Regional Secretary

  • 1995
  • 1997

The new IVU Constitution, agreed in October 1999, gave more flexibility for IVU to form partnerships with Regional Organisations. Initially the only formal partnership was with VUNA which has held no separate Congresses since 1997.
The Constitution also abolished the roles of General and Regional Secretaries, replacing them with Regional Coordinators with greater responsibilties.

  • 2000
    • Latin America - Marly Winckler (Brazil) appointed Regional Coordinator
    • North America - Gerry Coffey (USA) nominated by VUNA as Regional Coordinator (at the Toronto WVC which replaced any Regional Congresses at that time)

  • 2001

In 2006 the Australasia Region was absorbed into 'East/SE Asia & Oceania', whilst South and West Asia was made into a separate region. However the AVU, as an independent organisation, is planning to continue to hold Asian Congresses.

At the beginning of 2007 a new Appendix to the Bylaws was agreed for Membership of IVU in Developing and Poor & Indebted Countries - giving RCs clearer roles in collecting the reduced subscriptions, and using local bank accounts. So far this has only been activated in India.

These are all the archives of the Regional Vegetarian Congress that we have on-line at present!

Were you there? Do you have any photographs, reports, personal memories or anything else that you can contribute?

If so please contact John Davis -