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Minutes and Reports

Leiden, The Netherlands 2008

  1. Minutes of the IUAES Executive Council meeting, July 17 and 18, 2008, Leiden University

1. Minutes of the IUAES Executive Council Meeting, July 17 and 18, 2008, Faculty Room, Social Sciences Faculty, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Present: Luis Alberto Vargas (President), Peter Nas (Secretary General), Tomoko Hamada (Treasurer), Brunetto Chiarelli, Faye Harrison, Jing Jun, Keiichi Omoto, Soheila Shahshahani, Petr Skalnik, Andrew Spiegel, Anita Sujoldzic, Eric Sunderland, with the support of Michelle Schut.

1. Opening and welcome (Vargas)
2. Discussion on the agenda
3. Report about the postponement of the congress and the situation in China now (Jing Jun)
4. The next congress
5. IUAES Statement on Human Rights
6. Nominations Committee report (Shahshahani and Omoto)
7. IUAES leadership coming period and planning Permanent Council
8. Inter-congresses Ankara (Ercsin Gulec), Yogyakarta (Rahayu Saraswati) and Tirana (Albert P. Nikolla), Perth (Gregory Acciaioli), Cameroon (Paul Nkwi) and congress 2013 Manchester (John Gledhill) (report by Chiarelli and Nas)
9. Proposal change by-law for commissions (Shahshahani)
10. Memberships ICSU, ISSC, CISPH, ECOSOC, WCAA (Vargas, Nas)
11. Finances (Hamada)
12. Other items
13. Closure

Thursday July 17, 2008

After making brief presentations of all present Peter Nas opened the agenda for discussions. Some changes were made to the agenda in order to include honorary members and WCAA.

Jing Jun brings an official letter inviting the Union to postpone our Congress to Kunming in July 2009. He further explains the postponement of the 2008 Congress in relation to riots in Tibet. Our Congress was not the only international event that was put on hold, he said, adding that a number of concerts and trade fairs were also postponed. And after the Sichuan Earthquake took place, the decision to postpone the 2008 Congress became final as Yunnan was also one of the areas affected by the earthquake. However, the decision of the Chinese Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences to reopen the Congress in 2009 has been approved by and received support from Chinese authorities. In addition, the preparations for the Congress are still proceeding. By now, Jing Jun said, the film festival during the Congress has received enough submissions. Rooms for students are booked. All the chairpersons of the Commissions, distinguished speakers and other participants had been invited. The resources to pay for these activities are still available. Jing Jun's speech at the Executive Committee contained a formal apology to IUAES for the postponement of the 2008 Congress.

The possibilities are to postpone the Congress to December 2008 or July 2009, and there are arguments for and against both times. What is the biggest concern is that the Congress should no be postponed again, since this would hurt the Union deeply. There are arguments for holding the meeting at any of both times, and it is proposed that it is decided by the Chinese Organizing Committee taking into account arguments for both sides.

Jing Jun suggests that Peter Nas should travel to China to receive a commitment from the Chinese Government that the Congress will not be postponed again, and Mugsy Spiegel adds that this should include aspects in addition to the ones related to politics, such as floods, etc., plus allowing for academic discussions of delicate issues.

Tomoko Hamada suggests that this has to be made known to the anthropological community. Many people are scrutinizing our Union and institutions and we have to be very careful to demonstrate that we have been very careful in obtaining assurance that the conditions to hold the Congress have been acceptable.

Faye Harrison suggests that we also consider the possibility of changing the site of the Congress from Kunming to Hong Kong.

Decision 1: The Executive Committee unanimously agrees that we are in favor of holding the XVI IUAES Congress in Kunming, China preferably in July 2009. The Executive Committee will reach the final decision by email vote, after a visit to China led by the Secretary General who will obtain written assurances from the Chinese Government, that there will be no further postponements or cancellation. Freedom of speech and participation as well as provision of visas for all participants must be guaranteed.

The vote was unanimously in favor. Mugsy Spiegel states that we should have alternatives if the answer is negative.

Decision 2: It is agreed that in that case the Congress should be cancelled. We have a proposal for a next Congress in Manchester for 2013, which can be anticipated, but there is also the possibility of holding a meeting of the Executive Committee in Cameroon, during the Inter-congress in August 2009.

The Committee received a proposal to prepare a Statement on Human Rights by IUAES. B. Chaudhury is preparing a draft, to be sent to us. Petr Skalnik is also preparing an expansion of the Statement on Human Race with the results of the discussion held in the Pardubice Inter-congress. This opened the question on how to facilitate the Executive Committee to make statements about concrete matters, which are urgent.

Decision 3: The Statement on Human Rights will be done by a committee made up of Mugsy Spiegel, B. Chaudhury, Soheila Shahshahani and Hao Shiyuan, from the Institute of Ethnology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This will be presented by our Committee to the Permanent Council in China and then made public.

Decision 4: Petr Skalnik consulting other members who have already made contributions will prepare a similar situation for the Statement on Human Race.

Decision 5: The Executive Committee voted for Soheila Shahshahani to become our Senior Vice-president.

Peter Nas informs about the Congresses and Inter-congresses that have been proposed:

These (Inter-)congresses will be presented at the coming Congress to the Permanent Council. Peter Nas will inform the organizers about the bidding procedure.

Peter Nas announced that the book Anthropology now: Essays by the Scientific Commissions of IUAES and history of IUAES is ready. Only three Commissions did not participate. This book is programmed to be published in China, both in English and Chinese.

Soheila Shahshahani proposes changes in our by-laws. One problem is that the Commissions do not have a clear procedure on how to change their authorities. One probability is to have a small advisory council. Our Union should promote inter-commission meetings. Attention should also be given to the financial situations of the Commissions and their contribution to IUAES.

Commissions have the possibility of obtaining funds from foundations and other sources to support their activities. They are also to be encouraged to have their own websites with links to the one of IUAES.

Friday July 18, 2008

(We made further amendments to the resolution concerning the XVI IUAES Congress and unanimously voted for them.)

Tomoko Hamada presented the IUAES Financial Report from January 1, 2008 to July 7, 2008. One problem that we have faced is the changing rate of exchange of euros in relation to dollars. Payments have been made to ICSU, CIPSH and ISSC, and in addition we have had other expenses. Our current balance is of $779.48 USA dollars. Not all Commissions have paid their fees.

Decision 6: Tomoko Hamada proposes to create the possibility of offering life memberships. This is accepted.

Jin Jung explained that the organizers of the Congress in China cannot collect the membership fees for IUAES.

We discussed the financial crisis facing IUAES, since institutions are not paying and we have to relay on individual fees that are hard to collect.

Decision 7: It has been agreed that a Task Force for Finances and Fund Raising must be established: Jungi Koizumi, Faye Harrison, Charles Susanne and Tomoko Hamada.

Keichii Omoto suggests that formal invitations should be sent to Anthropological Associations inviting them to become members.

We reviewed the list of Honorary Members and found that four members have passed away, and we have no information about three of them.

Decision 8: Mugsy Spiegel will try to find about the ones from which we have no information.

Soheila Shahshahani presented the results of the Nominations Committee and links them with the need to have a clear view of the functions and the future of IUAES.

Decision 9: We decided by voting that we will have two candidates for Secretary General and two for President. (Comment Peter Nas: this is not in accordance with the statutes. As the Executive Committee cannot change the statutes - which has to be done via the Permanent Council - this vote should be considered merely an advice to the Nominating Committee.)

For all the candidates for every post, the Nominations Committee will provide the Secretary General with a brief curriculum vitae and a statement of their plans within IUAES. This information can be given to the members of the Permanent Council present at its meeting.

Jing Jun lets us know that he just got news from China asking that the Congress be programmed for Kunming during five days in July.

Peter Nas reminds us that IUAES is a member of ICSU, ISSC, CIPSH and ECOSOC. We have been participating in them and obtained funding for specific projects. At the moment we are not a member of the WCAA network. Mugsy Spiegel presented the results of the WCAA meeting recently held in Osaka. Our Union has to decide our relationship with WCAA.

Decision 10: Mugsy Spiegel and Luis Alberto Vargas will prepare material to be discussed in Kunming about our relationship.