STEERING THE FUTURE OF THE ASSOCIATION
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
THE POLICYMAKING ORGAN OF WAITRO
- Election of President, two Vice-Presidents and other members of the Executive Board
- Review and approval of working programs and budget
- Review and approval of activities
- Adoption of amendments to the Constitution, By-Laws of the Association and the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly
25TH WAITRO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Date: 9 December 2020
Place: CSIR International Convention Centre (Pretoria, South Africa)
- 2018: Penang, Malaysia
- 2016: Medellin, Colombia
- 2014: Copenhagen, Denmark
- 2012: Delhi, India
- 2010: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- 2008: Seri Kembangan, Malaysia
- 2006: Saskatoon SK, Canada
- 2004: Nairobi, Kenya
- 2002: Porto Alegre, Brazil
- 2000: The Hague, Netherlands
RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Section I: Meetings
Rule 1: Meetings
1. Ordinary meetings: The General Assembly shall meet at least once every two years for ordinary meetings (cf. Clause 3.02 of the By-Laws).
The place, date and duration of the meeting shall be fixed by the Secretary-General after consulting the Executive Board and the authorities of the inviting country, taking into account any preference which the General Assembly may have expressed at the previous meeting. In the event of circumstances developing which render it unsuitable to hold the General Assembly at the place previously fixed, the Executive Board may convene the meeting elsewhere.
2. Extraordinary meetings: The General Assembly may hold an extraordinary meeting at the request of at least one third of its full members in good standing during the General Assembly or if summoned by the Executive Board. Extraordinary meetings shall be held within 90 days of the motion being presented to the Executive Board in a place and on a date designated by the Executive Board.
Rule 2: Notification of Meetings
1. The Secretary-General shall notify the members of the Association not less than four months in advance of the date and place of the ordinary meeting and if possible not less than two months in advance of the date and place of an extraordinary meeting.
2. Relevant organizations of the United Nations family shall be notified of the convening of the General Assembly and invited by the Secretary-General to send observers.
3. Other appropriate organizations may be invited by the Secretary-General to send observers.
Rule 3: Publicity of Meetings
The meetings of the General Assembly shall be held in public unless the full members in good standing of the General Assembly by simple majority decide otherwise.
Rule 4 – Delegates
Each member in good standing may nominate one or more delegate(s) to attend the General Assembly. However each full member in good standing shall have one vote only (cf. Clause 3.04 of the By-laws).
Rule 5: Vote by Correspondence and Proxy
Votes by correspondence and proxy are accepted. Vote by correspondence can be given to the Secretariat. Vote by proxy can be given to a full member in good standing. Each full member in good standing shall only hold and cast a maximum of three votes, including his own.
Section II: Agenda and Working Papers
Rule 6: Preparation of the Provisional Agenda
The provisional agenda shall be prepared by the Secretary-General and approved by the Executive Board. This agenda shall include items whose inclusion have been requested by:
- the General Assembly at the last meeting
- the Executive Board
- a member in good standing of the Association
- other relevant bodies with which the Association has formal relationship.
Rule 7: Working Papers
1. The Secretary-General shall transmit to members the provisional agenda and all documentation required for consideration of the various items on the provisional agenda at least one month before
the convening of the General Assembly. In particular this documentation shall include:
- a list of candidates for the election of members of the Executive Board and other positions in the Association (if any);
- a draft working programme and budget estimates for the next two years;
- the report of the Executive Board; and
- proposals for place, date etc. for the coming meeting of the General Assembly.
Rule 8: Supplementary Items to the Provisional Agenda
Any member in good standing may, at least two weeks before the date fixed for the convening of the General Assembly, request the inclusion of supplementary items to the provisional agenda. The
two weeks shall be calculated from the date of receipt by the Secretary-General. If short of two weeks, the Secretary-General may decline to include the item in the provisional agenda.
Rule 9: Approval of the Agenda
The provisional agenda shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval as soon as possible after the convening of the meeting. The General Assembly may request the advice of the Secretary-General on any item on the agenda.
Rule 10: Amendments, Deletions and New Items
During a meeting of the General Assembly, items may be amended or deleted from the agenda by a simple majority of the full members in good standing. New items of an important and urgent character may be added to the agenda by approval of a simple majority of the full members in good standing.
Rule 11: Preparation of the Provisional Agenda
1. The Secretary-General shall prepare the provisional agenda and it shall be approved by the Executive Board. It shall be sent to the members at least one month before the convening of the extraordinary meeting.
Rule 12 – Content of the Provisional Agenda
The provisional agenda of an extraordinary meeting shall consist only of items proposed either by the previous General Assembly, or by the Executive Board, or by the Member in good standing at whose request the meeting is to be convened.
Rule 13 – Approval of the Agenda
The provisional agenda shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval as soon as possible after the opening of the extraordinary meeting. The General Assembly may request the advice of the Secretary-General on any item on the provisional agenda.
Section III: Organization of the General Assembly
Rule 14: Ordinary Meetings
Each ordinary meeting of the General Assembly shall elect the President, the two Vice-Presidents and the members of the Executive Board, and establish such subsidiary bodies as may be required for the transaction of its business.
Rule 15: Extraordinary Meetings
Such committees and subsidiary bodies shall be established as may be required by the agenda of the meeting.
Section IV: Officers
Rule 16: Elections
The procedure to fill the elected posts at each of the ordinary meetings of the General Assembly shall be as follows:
1. All full members in good standing shall be entitled to stand for election, nominate candidates and vote in the election. Before submitting nominations the members shall ascertain from the nominees their willingness to serve, if elected. The closing date for the Secretariat to receive nominations for all posts is 60 days before the coming General Assembly. If short of 60 days, the Secretary-General may decline to receive the nominations for the post.
2. The General Assembly shall appoint a Returning Officer, who shall scrutinize the nominations, present a list of all accepted nominations, and present the result of the elections.
3. If the vacant posts have more than one candidate, the full members in good standing shall proceed to cast their votes by secret ballot. If the candidates secure an equal number of votes, re- casting of votes shall be carried out by a show of hands in the absence of the candidates concerned. If the candidates still secure an equal number of votes, the successful candidate shall be returned by drawing lots.
Rule 17: Terms of Officers
1. President, Vice-Presidents and Members of the Executive Board shall take office on the 1st of January of the year following that in which the meeting took place. (cf. Clause 4.01 of the By- Laws).
2. Should an officer of the Association no longer be employed by the member of the Association, he must resign immediately from his post as an officer.
3. If a post as a member of the Executive Board of the Association should become vacant, the Executive Board may, when appropriate, decide to invite another member to fill such a post until the next meeting of the General Assembly.
Rule 18: Re-election and Re-appointment
Members of the Executive Board of the Association shall be eligible for re-election provided that they shall not hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms. However, the Secretary- General may hold office for more than two consecutive terms.
Section V: Conduct of Business
Rule 19: Powers of the President and the Vice-President
1. The President or the Acting President shall declare the opening and closing of each plenary meeting of the General Assembly of the Association, direct the discussions, ensure observance of the Rules of Procedure, accord the right to speak, put questions and announce decisions. The President shall rule on points of order, and subject to these Rules, shall have complete control of the proceedings of the General Assembly and over the maintenance of order at its meetings. The President shall have the casting vote in case the votes are tied.
2. The President may, with the simple majority of the full members in good standing of the General Assembly, adjourn the meeting.
3. Vice-Presidents (or substitute): In the absence of the President, the First Vice-President, or in his absence the Second Vice-President, or their substitute, shall assume the duties and powers of the President and exercise such other powers as delegated to him by the President. In case of death or resignation of the President, he shall take over the duties of the President until a new President has been elected. When acting in personal capacity, the Vice-President shall have full voting powers except when presiding he shall vote only in case the votes are tied.
Rule 20: Speeches and Time Limit
1. The President shall call upon speakers in the order in which they have expressed their desire to speak; he may call a speaker to order if his observations are not relevant to the subject under discussion.
2. During the course of a debate, the President may announce the list of speakers, and with the consent of simple majority of the General Assembly declare the list closed. He may, however,
accord the right of reply if a speech delivered after he has declared the list closed makes this desirable.
3. Generally, no delegate should be called to speak a second time on any question except for clarification until all other delegates desiring to speak have had an opportunity to do so.
4. The President may limit the time allowed to each speaker.
Rule 21: Motions
1. A motion or an amendment shall not be discussed until it has been seconded. Motions and amendments may be presented and seconded only by full members in good standing.
2. No motion may be withdrawn by its proposer if an amendment to it is under discussion or has been adopted.
3. The following motions shall have priority over all other motions and shall be taken in the following order:
a) to suspend the meeting;
b) to adjourn the meeting;
c) to adjourn the debate on any question;
d) to close the debate on any question.
4. During the discussion on any matter, a full member in good standing may at any time raise a point of order, and the point of order shall be immediately decided by the President. A member in good standing may appeal against the ruling of the President. The ruling of the President shall stand unless overruled by a simple majority of full members in good standing.
Rule 22: Division of Motions
On request of any full member in good standing in the General Assembly and unless the General Assembly decides otherwise by simple majority of full members in good standing, parts of a motion shall be voted on separately. The resulting motion shall then be put to a final vote in its entirety.
Rule 23: Quorum
At meetings of the General Assembly one third of the full members in good standing of the Association shall constitute a quorum to commence the meeting.
Rule 24: Counting of Votes
Full members in good standing who abstain from voting or whose votes are not valid are not considered.
Rule 25: Method of Voting
Voting shall normally be by show of hands. In meetings of the General Assembly, when the result of the vote of show of hands is in doubt, the President may take a second vote by roll-call if requested by at least two full members in good standing. The vote of each member participating in a roll-call shall be recorded in the minutes.
Rule 26: Simple Majority
Decisions of the General Assembly shall be made by a simple majority of the full members in good standing voting unless otherwise provided.
Rule 27: Re-opening of Debate
Re-opening of a debate already completed by a vote on a given question shall require a majority of two-thirds of votes cast by full members in good standing. Permission to speak on a motion to re- open a debate shall normally be accorded only to the proposer and to one speaker in opposition after which it shall be immediately put to the vote by a simple majority.
Section VI: Amendments to the Rules
1. Subject to provisions of its Constitution and By-Laws, the Association may make any additions, amendments or deletions in the Rules of Procedure. Such changes shall be effected by a resolution at a General Assembly meeting.
2. The notice of any proposal for a change in the Rules made aforesaid shall be sent to the Secretary-General at least thirty days prior to the date of the General Assembly meeting, unless such amendment, addition or deletion is proposed by the Executive Board. If short of thirty days, the Secretary-General may decline to accept such amendment, addition or deletion unless proposed by the Executive Board.