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anonymous contributorWritten anonymously. (English)
anonymous contributorWritten anonymously. (Spanish)


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in WORLD, 17/03/2004

Oakland 2001 Conference: Constitution

Read also ILGA's Standing Rules

This constitution of The International Lesbian and Gay Association was passed at the World Conference in Oakland in 2001 and came into force immediately. This version of the constitution was later revised at ILGA's world conference in Geneva/2006. New constitution as voted in Geneva.



Recognising the fundamental pride that lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people have in their sexual identities and orientation;
Conscious that social and legal discrimination on the basis of sexuality is pervasive and that effective work against oppression calls for international solidarity;
Seeking in ILGA an international organisation within which women of different political and personal choices (for example, separatism, feminism, orientation and identity) can work together;
Concerned with the vulnerability of youth in a world that continues to practice so many forms of discrimination, the need for their protection from abuse and the goal of ensuring that young people experience both freedom and support as they develop their own sexualities and identities;
Mindful of the impact of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, disability, economic status, national origin and ethnicity on lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people, and the way in which such discrimination can exploit homophobia;
Building on the work of previous generations who have struggled for equality and liberation;

We approve this document as the Constitution of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.


1. It is hereby created an international non profit organisation called “ International Lesbian and Gay Association” or “ILGA” in its abbreviated form. The association is incorporated for an unspecified period. It is covered by the law of 25 October 1919.

2. The registered office is situated in Belgium, in the district of Brussels, 1000 Brussels, rue Marché-au-Charbon, 81. The registered office of the association can be transferred anywhere in Belgium, by a decision of the Executive Board, published in the Moniteur Belge (official journal).

3. The working languages of ILGA are English and Spanish.


1. The Aims and Objectives of ILGA are

(i) To work for the equality of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people and liberation from all forms of discrimination;

(ii) To promote the universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the elimination of all forms of discrimination and also including the realisation of the specific provisions of the following international human rights instruments:
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
- The International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination;
- The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women;
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child

2. To work towards these goals, ILGA shall:

(i) create a platform for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people internationally, in their quest for recognition, equality and liberation, in particular through the world and regional conferences;

(ii) work towards equal representation in all regions for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people in our quest for recognition, equality and liberation;

(iii) give locally initiated and determined support for our organisations in all parts of the world;

(iv) collect information, conduct research, publish material and organise seminars, training, briefings and specialised conferences;

(v) offer facilities for co-ordination of activities and actions.


1. Membership in ILGA is divided into three categories:

(i) Organisations can become full members of ILGA if they represent lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgendered people and support the aims of ILGA. Organisations can become full members, as well, if they meet the above criteria but form part of a larger organisation, such as, for example, a lesbian grouping organised within a trade union or professional organisation.

(ii) Organisations can become associate members if they support the aims of ILGA.
(iii) Individuals can become individual members if they support the aims of ILGA.

2. Admission

(i) An applicant for any category of membership of ILGA must

(a) apply in writing to the Administrative Office;
(b) affirm agreement in writing with the aims of ILGA and
(c) if the applicant is an organisation applying for full or associate membership, provide a description of itself, its aims and the composition of its membership.

(ii) Applications which are in conformity with the aims and objectives in this constitution shall be accepted by the Executive Board, subject to final decision by the World Conference.The Executive Board can delegate the acceptance of new members in a region to a regional structure set up in accordance with E.1.

3. Suspension and expulsion

(i) A member may be suspended from membership by the Executive Board for failure to comply with this constitution. The suspension, unless revoked by the Executive Board, shall remain in force until the next World Conference. A member may be expelled from membership by motion at a World Conference for failure to comply with this constitution.

(ii) Members facing the possibility of expulsion have the right to present their defense.


1. The members in a region may form their own regional, subregional, binational and/or national structures, and these structures may make decisions on their own behalf for any purposes under this constitution and the policies set out by the world conferences.


1. A Women’s Secretariat shall be elected by the World Conference.

2. It is the responsibility of the Women’s Secretariat to

(i) collect and co-ordinate information/visibility world wide on lesbians, bisexual women and transgendered women, in close co-operation with the Executive Board;

(ii) initiate articles world wide on women issues for the ILGA Bulletin including the women’s bulletin;

(iii) attend relevant conferences within and outside ILGA and make policy inputs to international organisations and agencies;(iv) co-operate with other international women’s organisations;

(iv) co-operate with other international women’s organisations;

(v) co-ordinate and arrange women’s caucuses and workshops in co-operation with the group planning for a World Conference;

(vi) carry out tasks allocated to it by ILGA World Conferences.


1. The highest body of ILGA is the World Conference. The World Conference shall meet at least every second year.

2. The time and place of the World Conference shall be determined by a prior World Conference or by the Executive Board. The procedures for the World Conference shall be those set out in this Constitution and the Standing Orders for ILGA (as approved by the World Conference).

3. Resolutions, motions and nominations of all kinds can be submitted to the World Conference by the Executive Board, Women’s Secretariat, Regional Executive Boards and all full members of the organisation, in accordance with the provisions in the Standing Orders.

4. In advance of the World Conference the Executive Board shall send to all members, in accordance with the provisions in the Standing Orders, a preliminary agenda including proposed resolutions, proposed constitutional amendments and a statement of accounts.

5. The agenda of the World Conference shall include:
(a) A report from the Executive Board
(b) A report from Women’s Secretariat
(c) Approval of the financial statement, any change in the membership fee, and the naming of an auditor,
(d) Resolutions and constitutional amendments
(e) Election of the Executive Board and alternates
(f) Election of the Women’s Secretariat.

6. Only full members are entitled to vote at a World Conference. Delegations with female and male members will have two votes. Delegations of women’s organisations with two female delegates will have two votes. Delegations with only male members will have one vote. Associate and individual members are entitled to attend World Conferences and speak in all workshops and plenary sessions. The Executive Board can permit others to attend and take part in any World Conference.

7. Decisions of a World Conference are taken in plenary session, recorded in a special register and signed by two Executive Board members. A plenary session can decide on questions of membership, resolutions, constitutional amendments, policy statements, budgetary decisions, elections and other business, in accordance with the procedures in the Standing Orders.

8. Decisions in a plenary session of a World Conference shall be taken on the basis of a majority of the votes cast for and against, with the exception of amendments to this Constitution.

9. A full member that cannot participate may be represented in accordance with the provisions for proxies in the Standing Rules.

10. An extraordinary World Conference shall be convened by the Executive Board if:
a) a World Conference decides that an extraordinary conference should be held, or
b) 20% of the full members including members from at least twelve countries and two regions request such a conference in order to discuss and take decision on particular issues, or
c) the Board considers that it is in the interests of ILGA for such a conference to be held and make decisions on particular issues.

11. The notice for such a conference shall specify the issues that are to be discussed, and the agenda for the conference shall be restricted to these issues. At extraordinary conferences decisions can be taken only if at least 15% of the full members including members from at least fifteen countries and three regions are represented at the conference by delegates or by proxy. In all other respects, the provisions of this constitution and the standing orders shall apply.


1. The Executive Board shall act on behalf of ILGA between World Conferences, within the framework and goals of this Constitution and the resolutions of the World Conference.

2. The Executive Board shall include two members, one female and one male, from each region recognised by ILGA, the two Secretaries-General, and one representative of the Women’s Secretariat. The regions to be represented are Africa, Aotearoa/New Zealand/Australia/Pacific Islands (ANZAPI), Asia, Europe, Latin America/The Caribbean and North America. The regions can be altered by the process set out in section E 1, subject to confirmation by a simple majority vote at a World Conference.

3. Regional members shall be selected by the appropriate regional structures, according to their procedures. At the 1997 World Conference regional caucuses shall select interim members, pending the selection of non-interim members by the appropriate regional structures.

4. The Executive Board may appoint an ex officio member of the board of the nationality of the country of registration if so needed.

5. The World Conference shall elect two Secretaries General, one female and one male, to join the Executive Board.

6. The Executive Board has the following functions:
(i) to represent ILGA internationally and implement ILGA policies,
(ii) to ensure the organisation of world conferences
(iii) to manage an administrative office, including the employment of staff
(iv) to report regularly on their activities to the membership and to each World Conference,
(v) to select signing officers for the organisation.
(vi) to undertake fundraising for the organisation.
(vii) to work closely together with the Women’s Secretariat
(viii) to promote women’s equality within and outside ILGA

7. The Executive Board shall set up its own order of business and determine its own timetable for meetings in order to carry out its functions.

8. Meetings of the Executive Board will be open to observers representing full members of ILGA, with the exception of discussions involving confidential personal information concerning employees.

9. The term of office of the Executive Board shall be from the end of the World Conference at which it is elected until the end of the next World Conference. In case of a vacancy for a regional representative, a replacement may be appointed by the relevant regional structure according to its procedures. If this is not possible, the Board may appoint a replacement until such time as the relevant regional structure can elect a replacement. Members of the Executive Board may be re-elected.

10. The Executive Board will have its first meeting shortly after the World Conference at which it was elected. Meetings can be conducted by telephone or electronically.

11. The quorum for a meeting of the Executive Board shall be at least 50% of the regions represented, and one Secretary-General present.

12. Decisions of the Executive Board are recorded in a special register and signed by two Board members.

13. Any three members of the Executive Board, acting under the authority of the Board, may sign legal acts which engage the association, and pursue actions in justice both as plaintiff and as defendant.


1. The financial year of ILGA is the calendar year, unless otherwise determined by the Executive Board or a World Conference.

2. ILGA is a non-profit, international, non-governmental organisation. It may receive income from membership contributions, gifts, grants or other legally acceptable sources.

3. The Executive Board is responsible for ensuring that accurate accounts are kept of the capital, income and expenditures of ILGA, and shall present the audited accounts and balance sheets for the previous financial year or years to the World Conference for approval and adoption, together with a financial report outlining the situation in the current financial year.

4. The Executive Board shall determine detailed financial regulations for the proper control of the financial resources of the organisation and the keeping of accurate financial records, which shall include provisions for the audit of ILGA accounts.

5. Only signing officers designated by the Executive Board shall be able to withdraw funds from any ILGA bank or giro account.

6. The World Conference shall appoint a suitably qualified auditor who shall be independent of the Executive Board.


1. The names The International Lesbian and Gay Association and ILGA can only be used with the authorisation of the Executive Board or the World Conference.


1. An amendment to the Constitution can only be considered at a World Conference if notice of the amendment is given in the conference papers, mailed at least four weeks in advance of the conference. The World Conference can consider the amendment proposed and any alterations to the amendment which are not outside the scope of matters covered by the proposed amendment.

2. Adoption of changes to the constitution requires a majority of 75% of the votes cast for and against.

3. All amendments to the Constitution shall be approved by royal decree and published in the annexes of the Moniteur Belge.


1. Dissolution of ILGA can be decided by a World Conference under the rules for the amendment of the Constitution. Notice, in this case, shall be mailed to members at least three month in advance of the conference. In the case of the dissolution of ILGA, the World Conference shall appoint one or several liquidators, shall define their powers and indicate how to affect distribution of the net assets. The assets of the organisation shall go to an organisation or organisations having similar aims, the organisations to be decided by the World Conference or, in default of such decision, by the Executive Board.

2. Anything not expressly addressed in these statutes will be decided according to the law of 25 October 1919, giving legal status to international associations.

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