The General Assembly of IHEYO that met in Vijayawada, India, on the 28th of October and 4th of November, accepted new members, amended the By-Laws and elected new members to the Executive Committee. The meeting was chaired by 2 nd Vice President Silvana Uhlrich.
IHEYO accepted four new member organizations
The Cameroon Freethought Association and the Atheist Centre ( India) were granted full membership by the General Assembly. Consultative membership were granted to the Transhumanist Students Network (global) and the Ugandan Humanist Effort to Save Women.
IHEYO now has 20 full members and 20 consultative member organizations in 22 different countries, (including a global organisation with its headquarters based in the United States of America). The list of IHEYO members can be seen at our website: http://www.iheyo.org/iheyo/members.htm
New IHEYO President and members of the Executive Committee
There were eight candidates to the vacant offices in the Executive Committee, of whom seven where elected. Lars-Petter Helgestad of the Norwegian Humanist Association was elected as the new president. Lars-Petter has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2003, and has had the function as Interim President of IHEYO since February 2006.
Vikas Gora of the Ateist Centre ( India) was elected as 1 st Vice President, and former President Gea Meijers of the Union of Freethinking Organisations ( Belgium) was elected as the new Treasurer.
Asaba Lawrence of the Ugandan Humanist Association was reelected as board member. Elected as new board members were Heini Oikkonen of the Prometheus Camp Association
(Finland), Rosemary Wanjala of the Youth Humanist League (the Netherlands) and Uttam Niraula of the Humanist Association of Nepal.
Everyone was elected for a period of three years. Not up for election this year was Secretary-General Yemi Johnson ( Nigeria), 2 nd Vice President Silvana Uhlrich ( Germany) and Board Member Sara Wastijn ( Belgium). The Executive Committee now consists of 10 vibrant and active young humanists who will do their best for IHEYO in the coming period. The composition of the Executive Committee is diverse, and it is balance with 50 % of each gender. See the Executive Committee on our website: http://www.iheyo.org/iheyo/ec.htm
Amendments to the By-Laws
The formal establishment of IHEYO reached its final step when the General Assembly accepted amendments to the By-Laws that was required by the government of Belgium, where IHEYO are now recognized with the status an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO).
One amendment was controversial among the delegates at the General Assembly, an amendment including a high level of obligatory quorum of member organisations present at future General Assemblies to change the By Laws and a clause that if the quorum Is not met the GA may convene a new meeting where the quorum is not required after at least 14 days.
After debate, this amendment was passed, with a clause that it applies only until 2008. At the General Assembly in 2008 it will be treated again. The full new By-Laws will soon be published at our website: http://www.iheyo.org/iheyo/bylaws.htm
New Standing Orders
The IHEYO By-Laws require us to have Standing Orders to regulate matters that are not treated in the By-Laws themselves. The Executive Committee proposed such Standing Orders to the General Assembly and the proposal was passed without changes.
The Standing Orders regulate, among other things, rules of making decisions in the Executive Committee, preparations, deadlines and roles for the General Assembly, financial guidelines and duties and rights volunteers, including a pledge of secrecy.
The Standing Orders are based on the routines of work in IHEYO that has emerged over the past years, as well as some rules to abide by requirements of Belgian law.
All IHEYO volunteers should have read the Standing Orders. The Standing Orders are published at our website: http://www.iheyo.org/iheyo/bylaws.htm