Statutes of the International Union of Biological Sciences
The IUBS is a non-profit, non-govermental organisation for advancing scientific goals in the field of Biology. The IUBS secretariat acts under the French law.
I. Objectives and Membership
The aims of the Union are:
- a) To promote the study of Biological Sciences.
- b) To initiate, facilitate and coordinate research, capacity building and other scientific activities that involve international and interdisciplinary cooperation.
- c) To ensure the discussion and dissemination of the results of cooperative research, especially those of IUBS Scientific Programs.
- d) To promote the organization of international conferences and to assist dissemination of their reports through publications or electronic media.
The Union adheres to the International Council of Science (ICSU).
- a) The Union comprises Ordinary Members representing countries or other territories, Scientific Members concerned with a particular discipline in the biological sciences, and Associate Members aspiring to Ordinary Membership.
- b) An Ordinary Member may be any country, territory or geographic region in which the study of the biological sciences has developed independently. The adhering organization may be its principal Scientific Academy, its Research Council or any other appropriate institution.
- c) A Scientific Member may be any international society, association or body that represents a biological discipline, or a discipline relevant to the scientific study of biology.
- d) An Associate Member may be any country, territory or geographic region in which the infrastructure of biological sciences has not reached the levels of development of most Ordinary Members. The Executive Committee will decide on a case by case basis about appropriate ways to involve that Associate Member in IUBS and to assist its development into full Ordinary Membership. The status of Associate Members should be reviewed every three years.
Final authority in the governance of the Union lies with the Ordinary Members. This authority is exercised collectively by the delegates of the Ordinary Members when meeting in a General Assembly with representatives of the Scientific Members.
The General Assembly ordinarily meets every three years. With the consent of the Executive Committee, the President of the Union, who is also President of the General Assembly, may summon an Extraordinary Meeting of the General Assembly for special purposes. The President must summon an Extraordinary Meeting when requested by at least one-third of the Ordinary Members of the Union.
- a) The General Assembly decides on the admission of Ordinary Members to the Union. Any territory, country or region desiring Ordinary Membership should make a request to the Executive Committee, or be nominated by an Ordinary Member. The Executive Committee will make a recommendation to the next General Assembly. Endorsement by existing Ordinary Members is encouraged.
- b) The Executive Committee decides on the admission of Scientific Members to the Union. An international association in a biological or other relevant discipline may request membership, or be nominated by an Ordinary Member. Endorsement by existing Ordinary or Scientific Members is encouraged.
- c) The General Assembly decides on the admission of Associate Members to the Union. Any territory, country or region desiring Associate Membership should make a request to the Executive Committee, or be nominated by an Ordinary Member. The Executive Committee will make a recommendation to the next General Assembly. Endorsement by existing Ordinary Members is encouraged.
- a) The affairs of the Union are conducted by an elected Executive Committee that acts in accordance with the decisions of the General Assembly.
- b) The General Assembly elects the Executive Committee of the Union, after receiving recommendations from a Nominations Committee of seven that consists of the Past President and six individuals named by the Officers from among the delegates present. Nominations should enhance diversity (scientific, geographic, and state of development) among Executive Committee members.
- c) The Executive Committee consists of the President, two Vice Presidents, the immediate Past President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer and a maximum of fourteen Members. The Executive Committee shall be representative of the main scientific interests of the Union.
- d) The Officers and members of the Executive Committee are elected for a period that begins at the end of the General Assembly that elects them and continues until the next General Assembly concludes. The President is not eligible for re-election. The Vice Presidents, the Secretary General, Treasurer and Members are eligible for re-election. The length of service of any individual shall not exceed three consecutive terms in all positions combined. The term of office as Past President shall not be counted against this total.
- e) If either the Secretary General or the Treasurer is unable to complete a term of office, the President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, may appoint an acting Officer for the remainder of the term before the next General Assembly. Such an acting appointment would not prejudice eligibility for election to that office at the next General Assembly, nor count against the total time of service in the Executive Committee.
- f) If the President is unable to complete a term of office, the Executive Committee shall appoint one of the Officers as Acting President for the remainder of that term. Such an acting appointment would not prejudice eligibility for election as President at the next General Assembly.
- a) The General Assembly or the Executive Committee may establish any Committee or Working Group deemed necessary for the administrative or scientific work of the Union. The General Assembly may also establish Steering Committees and Commissions. Members of all such bodies will normally be appointed by the Executive Committee, which should seek broad representation from appropriately qualified members of the international scientific community. The Executive Committee normally defines the size, charge, reporting lines and review process for each body.
- b) Committees and Working Groups may be established for a variety of purposes including, but not restricted to, developing new themes or activities, collaborating with other organizations, or conducting specific projects.
- c) A Steering Committee should be established for each new activity or theme adopted by the IUBS General Assembly. The Steering Committee is usually composed mainly of members of any previous committee or working group that developed the activity, with additional members selected to strengthen international or disciplinary scope. Each Steering Committee may establish its own committees and working groups to facilitate further development of its activities or projects.
- d) A Commission under the aegis of IUBS is responsible for a largely autonomous scientific programme, and has its own charter for independent development of new activities, collaborations and resources. A Commission may be established for an activity that has been successful through one or more triennia, that appears to have potential for long-term continuation, and that is judged by the General Assembly to be ready to expand its mandate.
- a) The General Assembly determines the amount of a unit contribution from Ordinary Members for the period between consecutive General Assemblies. Each Ordinary Member can choose the number of units it will pay.
- b) The Executive Committee may also accept financial support from other appropriate sources.
The Treasurer shall notify Ordinary Members annually if dues for that or previous years have not been paid. If an Ordinary Member has not paid its contribution for three consecutive years, the Executive Committee may determine that it has resigned, and that the outstanding annual payments be treated as outstanding debts.
- a) On all scientific questions, each Ordinary Member and each Scientific Member represented at a General Assembly has one vote.
- b) On all administrative questions, each Ordinary Member has one vote.
- c) Associate Members have no voting rights.
- d) In case of doubt, the President decides whether a question is to be considered as scientific or administrative.
- e) If the votes are equally divided, the President may cast a deciding vote. If the President does not cast a deciding vote, the motion does not pass.
- a) Within the framework of these Statutes, the General Assembly may draw up a system of by-laws.
- b) By-laws can be modified at a General Assembly by a simple majority of the votes cast. Proposed changes to the by-laws must be placed on the Agenda at least three months before the General Assembly.
VI. General Provisions
Changes to these Statutes must be approved by at least two-thirds of the Ordinary Members present at the time of the vote at a General Assembly. The number of approving votes must also equal at least half of the total number of Ordinary Members adhering to the Union. Proposed changes to the Statutes must be placed on the Agenda at least three months before the General Assembly.
The French text shall be accepted as authoritative for interpretation of these Statutes.
- a) Termination of the existence of the IUBS requires approval of at least 75% of the total number of financially current Ordinary Members. The vote should take place at a General Assembly or Extraordinary Meeting, following the rules in Statute 15, or by postal or email ballot if a meeting cannot be held.
- b) Should termination of the IUBS be approved, all financial and other records, documents, publications, library and any other assets should be transferred to ICSU.