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Statutes before the revision of December 25, 2012


The IUAES is one of the member organizations of the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and also of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (CIPSH), both of which are International Non-Governmental Organizations located in Paris.

The IUAES is also a member of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and is currently represented in ICSU by Prof. Dr. Peter J.M. Nas.

Co-operation and communication among members of the world community of anthropologists is maintained through its Executive Committee and the Secretary-General. The Executive Committee is internationally representative of geographic regions, and of the sub-disciplines of anthropological and ethnological sciences broadly defined. The administration of the Union is carried out by the Secretary-General and Treasurer, working closely with the Executive Committee.

The Union itself consists of national and institutional organizations in more than 50 countries in all parts of the world, together with some hundreds of Individual Members. Each country is represented by a delegation numbering not more than six individuals, chosen by the anthropologists of the country concerned, on the Permanent Council of the I.U.A.E.S. The Permanent Council is the governing body of the Union, each national delegation having a single vote in its decisions. All paid-up members of the I.U.A.E.S. are entitled to attend and to vote at the General Assembly of the Union, which is advisory to the Permanent Council, the President and the Executive Committee.

Detailed information regarding the administrative structure of the I.U.A.E.S. is embodied in the Statutes.

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Art. 1.

There shall be an International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, hereinafter referred to as the Union. The present Statutes replace all former statutes as from the date of their formal approval by the Permanent Council.

Art. 2.

  1. The Union is an international non-profit organization concerned with the advancement of knowledge.
  2. The Statutes of the Union are registered with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, such registration constituting its act of incorporation.
  3. While not bound by the decisions or policies of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Union may co-operate with and advise UNESCO.

Art. 3.

The objectives of the Union are:

  1. To develop international scientific and professional co-operation (consistent with the Charter of UNESCO) in the fields of anthropology and ethnology, in the broadest sense in which these are understood in different parts of the world, and related disciplines and areas of study;
  2. To foster the development of scientific and professional institutions internationally and regionally;
  3. To stimulate scientific and professional co-operation among institutions devoted to the relevant fields of knowledge;
  4. To co-operate with other international organizations, and particularly, though not exclusively, with the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, the International Social Science Council, the International Council of Scientific Unions, and the International Council of Museums;
  5. To develop appropriate roles for anthropology and ethnology in international inter-disciplinary scientific endeavours;
  6. To take appropriate steps to meet any other objectives consistent with the international scientific and professional concerns of the membership, as determined by the Permanent Council and the Executive Committee, and which are not inconsistent with Article 2.a. above.

Art. 4.

The Union may affiliate with other organizations in a manner consistent with Articles 2 and 3, and may enter into contracts and establish committees, commissions and institutions to further its objectives.

Art. 5.

There shall be the following categories of membership in the Union:

  1. National, internationally regional and international anthropological and/or ethnological societies and academies, recognized as such by the Executive Committee;
  2. Research institutions, university departments, and associations other than those defined in a. above, which the Executive Committee deems are concerned with work in those disciplines referred to in Article 3.a.;
  3. Individual members who shall be scholars active in research or administration of all activities under the authority of the President, the Permanent Council, and the Executive Committee;
  4. Other organizations or institutions which, while not meeting the requirements of categories a. or b., in the opinion of the Executive Committee contribute substantially to the work of the Union;
  5. Honorary Members, who shall be individuals appointed by the Permanent Council on the advice of the Executive Committee to a number not exceeding twenty. Honorary Members shall be selected on the grounds of outstanding contributions to scholarship, with due regard to a balance of regional and disciplinary representation. Honorary Members shall not pay fees, and shall be appointed for life.

Art. 6.

All applications for membership, other than Honorary Membership, shall be directed to the Secretary-General of the Union. Decisions on such membership status will be made by the Executive Committee, subject to approval by the Permanent Council. The Executive Committee may delegate elements of its functions in respect of this article to a Membership Committee which the Executive Committee shall appoint.

Art. 7.

Membership in the Union may be terminated:

  1. by resignation;
  2. through exclusion by the Permanent Council, based on a two-thirds majority vote of delegations present, for failure to comply with the conditions of Article 5;
  3. by failure to pay dues in accordance with the Statutes and the By-Laws, unless specifically exempted by the Executive Committee.

Art. 8.

  1. There shall be a President of the Union.
  2. The President shall be appointed by the Permanent Council, convened at the time of the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, on the recommendation of the Executive Committee.
  3. The President shall take office at the close of business of the Permanent Council sessions convened for the Congress at which the appointment is made. The President shall hold office until the close of business of the Permanent Council sessions of the next following International Congress, that is a term of approximately five years. The President shall at the expiration of his/her term act as a Past-President in the Executive Committee for a period of five years. The President shall not be eligible for re-election in any capacity.
  4. The President shall chair the Permanent Council, the General Assembly, and the Executive Committee. The President shall also represent the Union in those international organizations of which the Union is a member. In case of inability to attend, the President shall choose a designated alternate from the Executive Committee to fulfill these duties.
  5. The President shall not vote in the Permanent Council, or the General Assembly, unless otherwise provided for.
  6. Should the President of the IUAES not be able to fulfil his duties owing to death, illness, or any other reason, the Senior Vice-President should immediately assume his/her duties.

Art. 9.

  1. There shall be six Vice-Presidents who shall as far as practicable, represent the variety of anthropological and ethnological disciplines, and a balance of geographical representation. Among these six the Executive Committee shall designate a Senior Vice-President.
  2. The Nominating Committee (Article 12) shall present nominations, with at least two names for each vacancy, to the Permanent Council for election.
  3. The Permanent Council shall elect three Vice-Presidents at one Congress and three at the next, by majority of votes cast. In case of tied votes, the President shall have a casting vote.
  4. The term of office of the Vice-Presidents shall extend from the close of business of the Permanent Council meeting at the International Congress at which they are elected, to the close of business at the second succeeding International Congress, i.e. approximately ten years. They shall not be eligible for re-election, either as Vice-Presidents, or as Executive Committee members-at-large.
  5. A seventh Vice-President shall be appointed by the Permanent Council, convened at the time of the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences upon the nomination of the national delegation of the country in which the next following Congress shall take place. This Vice-President will be the organizer of the next International Congress. The term of the seventh Vice-President shall be limited to approximately five years. He/she will be eligible for re-election for an additional term of five years, subject to the same electoral rules as the other Vice-Presidents.

Art. 10.

  1. The administrative officers of the Union shall be a Secretary-General and a Treasurer. The Secretary-General shall be appointed for an indefinite term by the Permanent Council on the recommendation of the Executive Committee. The Secretary-General in consultation with the Executive Committee shall appoint a Treasurer for an indefinite term.
  2. The Secretary-General shall be the senior administrative officer of the Union; and shall be responsible for the general oversight and administration of all activities under the authority of the President, the Permanent Council and the Executive Committee.
  3. The Secretary-General may receive a salary on the decision of the Executive Committee.
  4. The Secretary-General shall maintain records of the affairs of the Union, minutes of the General Assembly, the Permanent Council and the Executive Committee, and maintain membership records. He/she will also administer the property of the Union and shall give notice of meetings.
  5. The Secretary-General shall appoint and manage the salaried staff of the Union.
  6. The Treasurer is responsible for the finances of the Union in accordance with the decisions of the Executive Committee. The duties of the Treasurer shall include the collection of dues, the management of Union funds, and the preparation of an annual financial report. In collaboration with the Secretary General, the Treasurer shall prepare a draft annual budget for consideration by the Executive Council.

Art. 11.

  1. a. There shall be an Executive Committee which shall consist of the President, the immediate Past-President, the Secretary-General, Vice-Presidents, six additional Members-at-Large, and the Treasurer.
  2. The Members-at-Large shall be elected by the Permanent Council for terms of five years from the date of the immediately following Executive Committee meeting, save that if a Permanent Council meeting is not to be convened within one month of notice of vacancy being received by the Secretary-General, the Executive Committee may elect a member to fill such a vacancy. The Members-at-Large may stand for re-election once, for a total term of ten years, and shall not thereafter be eligible for election to the Executive Committee either as Vice-Presidents, or Members-at-large.
  3. The Executive Committee shall make policy decisions on behalf of, and subject to the authority of the Permanent Council, shall appoint committees and delegate appropriate authority to them, shall authorize a budget, shall set membership fees, and shall authorize programmes of activity of an international scientific and professional nature, and shall take any other necessary steps on behalf of the Union, subject to the authority of the Permanent Council.

Art. 12.

  1. There shall be an ad hoc Nominating Committee, appointed from time to time, by the Executive Committee, which will propose at least two candidates for the elective positions referred to in Articles 9 and 11.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall make such other nominations as requested by the Executive Committee or the Permanent Council.
  3. For officers and other positions specifically referred to in the Statutes, additional nominations may be made in accordance with such by-laws as the Permanent Council may from time to time approve.
  4. No members of the Nominating Committee may be a candidate for any elective office while he or she serves on the Nominating Committee.

Art. 13.

  1. The governing body of the Union shall be the Permanent Council.
  2. The Permanent Council shall consist of national delegations and the Honorary Members.
  3. Each national delegation shall be entitled to one vote in decisions of the Council, and for purposes of voting, each Honorary Member shall be considered to be an extra-numerary member of the national delegation of the country to which he is accredited.
  4. Each national delegation shall consist of up to six members, plus Honorary Members, who shall be appointed by the principal member institution, or institutions (under Article 5a), of the country represented, according to whatever procedure such member institution or institutions shall determine.
  5. National delegations should register their names and addresses with the Secretary-General, together with official letters of appointment from their appointing institutions, and shall designate their delegation Head. No delegation shall be admitted to the meetings of the Permanent Council unless such registration has been completed at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
  6. If the principal member institution or institutions representing any country shall have failed to pay dues in accordance with the Statutes and By-laws, unless specifically exempted by the Executive Committee, as provided under Article 7.c., such membership or memberships shall be deemed to be terminated, and the Secretary-General shall decline to accept their letters of appointment and shall decline to accept registration of those delegates.
  7. Only one delegation shall be accredited for any one country. In case of dispute as to which delegation shall be accredited, or as to the application of article 13.f., the Permanent Council shall elect an Accreditation Committee of three delegations to resolve the issue.
  8. A quorum of the Permanent council shall consist of one-fifth of the national delegations registered with the Secretary-General by the time of the commencement of the meeting.
  9. National delegations may delegate their rights to vote at a specified meeting to another national delegation, provided that such delegation be indicated in writing to the Secretary-General at least one month prior to the meeting, and provided that the national delegation named as the proxy, agrees in writing to serve in that capacity.
  10. The Permanent Council shall be convened at the time of the International Congress, at least once in the interval between Congresses, and at any other time as determined by the President or the Executive Committee.
  11. Members of the Executive Committee and Officers of the Union who, at the time of their holding office, have not been named as members of National Delegations, shall, nevertheless, have the right to attend and participate in meetings of the Permanent Council, but without a vote.
  12. The Permanent Council may act upon any matters concerning the Union or the Congress, subject to the Statutes.
  13. Unless otherwise determined by Statute or By-law, all decisions of the Permanent Council shall be by majority of the national delegations present or represented by proxy. The President may cast a vote in the event of a tie.

Art. 14.

  1. There shall be a General Assembly of the Union which shall be advisory to the Permanent Council, the President and the Executive Committee.
  2. The General Assembly shall be convened at each Congress on the initiative of the President or the Secretary-General.
  3. The General Assembly shall consist of all members of the Union, or in the case of Institutions and Associations, one representative, in good financial standing at the time of the meeting.
  4. With regard to this Article, 'good financial standing' shall mean that dues shall have been paid for the calendar year in which the meeting takes place, except that members who have been excused by the Executive Committee in pursuance of Articles 5.e. and 18 shall be considered also to be in 'good financial standing'.
  5. All members in whatever category shall be entitled to one vote.
  6. There shall be no proxy votes in the General Assembly.
  7. Resolutions of the General Assembly shall be adopted by majority vote of those present, and shall be referred to the appropriate organ of the Union for consideration, and, where appropriate, action.
  8. The agenda for the General Assembly shall be circulated to members in such a manner as could be reasonably expected to arrive at least one month prior to the date of the meeting, and shall be posted in a prominent position during the Congress.
  9. Items may be added to the agenda for the General Assembly by written request deposited with the Secretary-General at the Congress, at least two days before the meeting, provided that such request be signed by at least ten members in good standing.
  10. The General Assembly may amend its own agenda by majority vote.

Art. 15.

  1. There shall be periodic International Congresses of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences which shall take place at intervals determined by the Permanent Council, normally every five years.
  2. At each Congress, the Permanent Council shall designate the time and place of the next Congress, for which the national delegation of the country in which the Congress is located shall form the Organizing Committee.
  3. The Organizing Committee shall appoint such other honorary, scientific and administrative committees as shall be deemed necessary, and shall have full authority over the theme, the finances, the administration, the locations within the country, invitations, communications, and all other matters pertinent to the operation of the Congress.
  4. The Organizing Committee shall present its overall plans for the Congress to the Permanent Council at least two years prior to the Congress, for discussion and advice.
  5. Participation in the Congress shall be open to bona fide anthropologiss and ethnologists from any country, irrespective of race, religion or ideology.
  6. The Organizing Committee shall be responsible for the publication and language policy of the Congress.

Art. 16.

  1. At the discretion of the Permanent Council, Inter-Congresses may be organized between Congresses at locations in countries which do not have the facilities or resources to take responsibility for World Congresses.
  2. The organization of Inter-Congresses shall parallel that for Congresses, with such modifications as the Permanent Council may approve from time to time to facilitate the task of the host country.
  3. In particular, the host Organizing Committee may set limits upon the numbers of participants in the Inter-Congress, and may select, subject to the non-discriminatory spirit of Article 15.f., all or part of the participants by invitation, or such other selective mechanisms as are approved by the Organizing Committee and the Permanent council.

Art. 17.

  1. Specific activities consistent with the objectives of the Union may be carried out within the framework of the Commissions.
  2. Proposals for the establishment of Commissions shall be directed to the Secretary-General, who will transmit them to the President and other members of the Executive Committee.
  3. All Executive Committee decisions with respect to the establishment, termination and other major aspects of Commission activities, shall be subject to ratification by the Permanent Council.
  4. The terms and procedures governing the establishment and conduct of Commissions shall be indicated in the By-laws of the Union.

Art. 18.

  1. The Executive Committee shall from time to time establish a scale of dues for each category of membership, and is authorized to waive or reduce the payment of dues in those instances in which it judges that financial or other considerations make payment onerous or impractical.
  2. Unless the Executive Committee has duly waived the payment of dues, members who have not paid their dues shall not have the right to vote.

Art. 19.

  1. These Statutes hereby replace and amend any and all earlier Statutes of the Union, as of the date of their adoption by the Permanent Council.
  2. Amendments to these Statutes may be made by a two-thirds majority of votes cast at a duly constituted meeting of the Permanent
  3. Notice of amendment must be given to the Secretary-General nine months prior to the meeting of the Permanent Council at which the amendment is to be debated, and must be circulated to registered national delegations at least six months before that meeting.
  4. All matters and procedures not covered by the present Statutes shall be dealt with by the Executive Committee, and reported to the Permanent Council.
  5. The Permanent Council may adopt by-laws to govern the operations of the Union insofar as these are not detailed by Statute.
  6. The Executive Committee shall appoint auditors and receive their reports.
  7. The President, the Secretary-General, and the Treasurer may individually sign documents in the name of the Union, relating to the receipts and disbursements of funds under their respective jurisdictions as from time to time determined by the Executive Committee, established in the Statutes, or set out in the By-laws, and may each appoint a deputy to undertake this duty on his/her behalf when circumstances warrant.
  8. The President and the Secretary-General may sign contracts in the name of the Union, other than those contracts referred to in paragraph above, provided that the President, or the Secretary-General, plus any one member of the Executive Committee may also sign contracts.
  9. The Statutes are drawn originally in English, and shall be translated into French. For interpretation purposes the original text in English shall be used. Languages of communication shall be French and English, and such other languages as used by UNESCO as are practicable. Languages of Congresses shall be English, French, and such other languages as the national organizers determine.

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By-Law Number 1


1. Collection of the finances shall be by the Treasurer.
The Treasurer may authorize payment in other currencies under suitable terms and conditions, may operate bank accounts in the name of the Union, and may authorize the disposition of funds, subject to the conditions noted in Art. 10.f. and 19g. of the Union Statutes.

2. Financial dues.
The schedule of annual dues is given on the Membership page of the IUAES website.

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By-Law Number 2

Electoral Procedures

1. Honorary Members.
Honorary Members shall be chosen for the excellence and creativity of their scholarly work, rather than for service to the community of scholars.

Nominations shall be made to the Nominating Committee by National Delegations to the Union by the date the Nominating Committee specifies.

Such nominees shall not be citizens of the country of the nominator, and shall normally have had their place of professional employment outside the nominator's country.

All nominations shall be accompanied by a short resume and a complete curriculum vitae including bibliography.

No nomination shall be considered by the Nominating Committee which does not meet the above conditions.

The Nominating Committee shall report to the Executive Committee and nominate to the Permanent Council those candidates who, in its opinion, best meet the qualifications in numbers appropriate to the current vacancies.

It shall not report the names of those not recommended.

The Nominating Committee may, at its discretion, pass on the papers of some or all those not recommended, to be reconsidered at a subsequent time by the succeeding Nominating Committee. In such a case, a repetition of procedures for nomination by a national delegation will not be necessary.

In accordance with Art.12.c. of the Statutes, additional nominations may be made from the floor of the Permanent Council; but only if:
  1. full documentation as listed above is made available by the nominator to all delegations present 24 hours ahead of the meeting,
  2. there is an appropriate vacancy in the quota of Honorary Members after the list proposed by the Nominating Committee is voted upon,
  3. the person nominated is from a country other than that of the nominator, and has agreed to stand, and
  4. the Nominating Committee has been informed, with documentation, 48 hours prior to the meeting of the Permanent Council.

    Prior to making its recommendations, the Nominating Committee shall ensure that candidates are willing to stand for election.

2. Officers.
All officers of the Union, except for the President and Secretary-General, shall be elected by the following procedures.

Persons nominated for office, shall, if elected, and if not at that time a member in good standing of the Union, pay appropriate membership dues.

The Nominating Committee shall seek proposals for nomination from all categories of membership of the Union by an appropriate date. In making its nominations, the Nominating Committee shall not be limited to such proposals, but shall take them into consideration.

The Nominating Committee shall consider the ability and willingness of a nominee to undertake the responsibility of the appropriate office, and endeavour to strike a balance in geographical and sub-disciplinary representation, taking together all positions, that is President, Past-President, Vice-Presidents and other Executive Members. The position of Secretary-General need not be included in such calculations.

The Nominating Committee will establish a numbered list of Vice-Presidents and other Executive Members, including continuing incumbents.

For each numbered position it will formally categorize a corresponding sub-discipline and geographical area.

The Nominating committee will assign at least two names for election for each open numbered position, in accordance with the categorization.

Supplementary nominations from the floor of the Permanent Council will specify the numbered position for which the nomination is being made, and will be in accordance with the defined categorization. The nomination must be accompanied by a curriculum vitae.

In recognition of its sovereign power, the Permanent Council may, by vote, replace any categorization with another. In that case, the motion must remove the nominees for the category from the slate before the Council, and must either (a) invite the Nominating Committee to bring forth alternative names suitable to the new category, or (b) itself propose names within the motion, with a curriculum vitae in each instance.

No candidate may be proposed without his or her Prior and formal approval.