STATUTES OF THE INTER-AMERICAN CHILDREN'S INSTITUTE

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(Amended in the framework of the 77th Meeting of the Directing Council,
held 13 to 15 May, 2002, in Washington, D.C., United States of America)[1]
 

The Institute and its purposes 

Article 1           The Inter-American Children's Institute is a Specialized Organization of the Organization of American States, in charge of promoting the study of the areas of motherhood, children, adolescents, the family, and the community in the Americas and the adoption of the corresponding integral protection measures. 

Article 2           As an Inter-American Specialized Organization, the Institute shall enjoy the fullest technical autonomy in planning and carrying out its objectives, within the limits established by the Charter of the Organization, the Standards for the implementation and Coordination of the Provisions of the Charter relating to Inter-American Specialized Organizations, and the present Statutes.  The Institute shall take into consideration the recommendations of the General Assembly and of the Councils of the Organization, in keeping with the provisions of the Charter. 

Article 3           Primary aims of the Institute are to promote and to cooperate with the governments of the member states in the establishment and carrying out of activities contributing to adequate overall development of minors, as well as constant improvement of standards of living, particularly of families. 

Article 4           Relations between the Organization and the Institute shall be governed by the provisions of the Charter of the OAS, the Standards for the implementation and Coordination of the Provisions of the Charter relating to Inter-American Specialized Organizations, the Agreement between the Organization and the Institute concluded on November 14, 1975, these Statutes, and any general or special provisions that the General Assembly may adopt in that regard. 

Functions of the Institute 

Article 5           The Institute shall have the following functions: 

a)    To stimulate and promote the development of an alert awareness by all the people of the American States with respect to all the problems related to motherhood, children, adolescents, the family, and the community; to awaken or increase a sense of social responsibility towards these problems; and to channel this feeling towards the carrying out of activities intended to solve them by the means within their reach. 

b)    To collaborate with the national administrations of the American countries, their institutions and representatives, and with the organs of the Organization of American States and other international institutions that may contribute, directly or indirectly, to the improvement of future generations by means of activities foreseen in these Statutes. 

c)    To promote, with the cooperation of the government of national and international organizations: 

1.  Research on the nature, magnitude, seriousness, and importance of the various problems affecting motherhood, adolescence, the family, and the community in the Americas; 

2.  Determination of the most effective methods and procedures to solve them, and dissemination of information on these methods and procedures in the American States; 

3.  Regular and advanced training or technical and administrative personnel to take part in the various activities concerned with protection and welfare of children. 

d)    To stimulate and assist the governments of the member states to establish, expand, and improve the institutions and services designed for the protection and welfare of mothers, children, adolescents, the family, and the community, particularly in the suburban and rural regions, and to provide them with the advisory services, technical assistance, and cooperation that they may request or accept. 

Article 6           The Institute shall provide technical advice to the General Assembly and the Councils. Likewise, at the request of any other organ of the OAS, it shall furnish any information available. 

Organization, Headquarters and permanent observers 

Article 7           The members states of the Organization of American States are members of the Inter-American Children's Institute. 

Article 8           The member observers to the IIN shall be accredited in accordance with the criteria established by the Permanent Council of the Organization and any rules that the Institute may establish taking into account such recommendation as that Council may make in that regard. 

Article 9           In the framework of the policies approved by the Directing Council, the IIN may conclude agreements with states not members of the Institute that cooperate in its programs in a continuing and substantial basis; the conditions for and extent of their participation in the activities of the IIN shall be indicated in those agreements. Such agreements must be reported to the Permanent Council of the Organization after the signature. 

All covenants and agreements concluded between the Institute and international, governmental or non-governmental, organizations shall be approved by the Directing Council of the IIN. 

Article 10         The headquarters of the Institute shall be in Montevideo, Uruguay. 

Article 11         The Institute shall carry out its aims through the following organs: 

a)    The Directing Council
b)    The Pan-American Child Congress
c)    The Office of the Institute
 

THE DIRECTING COUNCIL 

Composition of the Council 

Article 12         The Directing Council shall be composed of the representatives of the members states of the Institute appointed by each participating government, selected among senior officials of government agencies specialized in questions relating to motherhood, childhood, adolescence, the family, and the community, who have had experience in the social aspects of such issues, or persons of recognized competence in these matters. 

Each member state may appoint the alternate delegates it deems necessary.

If the representative is unable to attend a given meeting of the Council, the government concerned may appoint a special representative for that meeting. 

The appointment of representatives of the states, referred to in this article, must be made through a communication addressed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in each country to the Office of the Institute. 

Functions of the Directing Council 

Article 13         The Directing Council shall have the following functions: 

a)    To formulate the general policy of the Institute and to exercise supervision over the fulfillment of its responsibilities; 

b)    To consider and approve the annual report submitted to it by the Director General; 

c)    To establish its own rules of procedure; 

d)    To consider and approve the program submitted to it by the Director General in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Charter, the General Standards, and the pertinent resolutions of the General Assembly, so that the Director General may present it to the Secretary General of the OAS within the established time period for purposes of its inclusion in the proposed Program-Budget of the Organization, which must be approved by the General Assembly. 

e)    To determine the place, and to inform the Permanent Council of the date as well as the draft agenda and rules of procedure for the Pan-American Child Congresses, so that it may make any necessary observations concerning coordination on the date as well as on the aforementioned agenda and rules of procedure; 

f)     To make recommendations in the areas of competence of the Institute, for inclusion of topics in the agenda of the meetings of the General Assembly, of the Councils of the Organization, and of other Inter-American Specialized Organizations; 

g)    To promote adoption by the governments of the conclusions and recommendations of the Pan-American Child Congresses and their dissemination throughout all the member states. 

Meetings of the Council 

Article 14         The regular meetings of the Council shall be held once a year.  The agenda shall be prepared by the Director General and transmitted to the Member States not less than sixty days in advance. 

In these meetings, the Directing Council will also proceed to the election of its President and Vice-President and will propose the three candidates for the position of Director General, when pertinent, in accordance with articles 20 and 30 of the Statutes. 

Any other matter not meriting a convocation to special meetings (article 16) should be resolved upon by the Director General ad referendum of the Directing Council and submitted to the next regular meeting. 

Article 15         The regular meetings of the Council shall be held alternately one year at the headquarters of the Institute and one year in such country of the Americas as the Council may determine. However, on occasion of the holding of a Pan American Child Congress, the Council shall endeavor to hold its regular meeting in the city in which the Congress is held. 

Article 16         The Directing Council, at the request of one or more members states of the Institute or of its Director General, with the approval of two thirds of its members, may hold special meetings. 

To that effect, the state or states interested must address to the Office of the IIN their request to call the meeting, indicating the reason for such convocation. The Director General will immediately proceed to consult the Member States about this request, which should give their opinion as soon as possible. 

If the quorum is reached, the President, in agreement with the Director General, shall proceed to the convocation to the Special Meeting, as long as the date and draft Agenda is communicated in advance to the Permanent Council, so that it  may make any necessary observations in that regard. The Order of Business of a special meeting shall be limited to the subject that gave rise to its convocation. 

If the quorum is not reached to convoke a special meeting, the subject that gave rise to the request will be incorporated into the order of business of the following regular meeting of the Directing Council. 

Article 17         The representatives of an absolute majority of the member states shall constitute a quorum of the Directing Council. 

Article 18         Each member state shall have the right to one vote in the meetings of the Council. 

Article 19         Decisions of the Council that affect the program of the Institute shall be taken by the vote of a majority of the member states.  Other decisions shall be taken by the vote of a majority of the representatives present at the meeting. 

Article 20         The Directing Council shall elect, from among the Delegates that compose it and by the vote of a majority of the member states present, a President and Vice-President, and five member states, whose Delegates shall serve on the Executive Committee, which shall be composed of seven members, for a term of two years.  The President and Vice-President of the Directing Council shall also serve as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively of the Executive Committee, which shall meet at least once a year. 

When a vacancy occurs in the office of President, he/she shall be replaced by the Vice-President until the next meeting of the Directing Council, where an election shall be held to fill the office until the end of the unexpired term.  

In the event of the temporary absence of the President and/or Vice-President during meetings of the Directing Council, that body, meeting in plenary, shall elect, from among the Delegates present and by the vote of a majority of them, an acting President and/or Vice-President. 

Article 21       No member state may present its candidacy for more than one vacant office per term.  In electing member states to the Executive Committee, the meeting of the Directing Council shall seek to observe the principle of equitable geographic balance among the following five subregions: (1) United States of America, Canada, and Mexico; (2) Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago; (3) Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama; (4) Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela; and (5) Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. 

Article 22         The President and Vice-President may be re-elected for only one consecutive term.  The other five member states comprising the Executive Committee may not be re-elected for consecutive terms, but their Delegates may be elected for the offices of President and Vice-President. 

THE PAN-AMERICAN CHILD CONGRESS 

Article 23         The Pan-American Child Congress is to promote an exchange of experience and knowledge among the peoples of the Americas regarding the problems that are the responsibility of the Institute and to make recommendations intended to solve them.  If will be composed of Ministers, Secretaries of State or their representatives, who are responsible for the area to which the issue under discussion pertains. 

The Pan-American Child Congress shall meet every four years, convoked by the Directing Council of the Institute in accordance with the procedure established in Article 13 (e) of these Statutes.  In special circumstances, it may be postponed by the Director General, in consultation with the authorities of the Directing Council informing the Delegates of the Member States about the decision.  In such case, the Director General shall promote the convocation of subregional meetings on priority topics under the sphere of competence of the Institute, in consultation with the Government concerned. 

Article 24         The Pan-American Child Congresses may have the status of Inter-American Specialized Conferences when they deal with special technical matters or develop certain aspects of Inter-American cooperation, and they are held as the result of a resolution of the General Assembly or of the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. 

Article 25         The agenda and rules of procedure of the Pan-American Child Congresses, whenever they are an Inter-American Specialized Conference, shall be prepared by the Directing Council and submitted to the Permanent Council so that the latter may present them and its observations to the member states for consideration, in accordance with the provisions of Article 123 of the Charter of the Organization. 

Article 26         All the members states of the Institute have the right to be represented at the Congress.  Each state has the right to one vote. 

Article 27         The representatives of an absolute majority of the members states shall constitute a quorum.

Article 28         Decisions shall be taken by the vote of a majority of the members states of the Institute that are present. 

THE OFFICE OF THE INSTITUTE 

Article 29         The Office of the Institute shall function at the headquarters of the Institute. 

Article 30         The Office shall be under the direction of the Director General, who shall be appointed by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, selected from a slate of three candidates proposed by the Directing Council of the Institute; he/she shall hold office for four years, and may be reappointed to the post, following the same procedure, for successive terms that shall not exceed four years each.

The Secretary General shall appoint the staff of the Institute's Secretariat upon the proposal of the Director General of the Institute,  and in accordance with the General Standards and the budgetary provisions established by the General Assembly. Both the Director General and the Personnel of the Office are members of the Staff of the General Secretariat of the OAS.  

In the event of temporary or permanent absence of the Director General, his/her office shall be exercised provisionally by the official of the IIN designated by the Secretary General of the OAS. 

In case of absence of the Director General from the headquarters of the Institute, either because of official business or leave, he/she shall appoint among the professionals of the Institute the person who will provisionally exercise the office of Director General. 

Article 31         The Director General of the Office shall act as Secretary of the Directing Council and of the Pan-American Child Congress, and he/she shall participate in the meetings of both these bodies with voice but without vote.

Article 32         The duties and functions of the Office shall be as follows: 

a)    To provide technical and administrative services to the Congress and the Directing Council, and to assist in carrying out the resolutions that may be adopted by them; 

b)    To carry out the work program of the Institute that appears in the Program-Budget of the Organization of American States; 

c)    To submit the annual reports to the Directing Council and transmit them to the Secretary General of the OAS for presentation to the General Assembly; 

d)    To prepare the proposed program-budget of the Institute for the following fiscal period and, after it has been adopted by the Directing Council, to present it to the Secretary General of the OAS, in accordance with the provisions of article 13. d of these Statutes; 

e)    To prepare the agenda for each meeting of the Directing Council, in consultation with the Chairman thereof, and to make it known to the member states not less than sixty days before the meeting; 

f)     To assist the government of the host country in the organization of the meetings of the Pan-American Child Congress; 

g)    To request each member state, through its representative, to present an annual report on the measures taken and programs carried out to improve the welfare of children, the family, and the community in the country, in its various aspects. 

Article 33         The activities of the Institute shall be financed with: 

a)    Items approved by the General Assembly for the Institute in the Program-Budget of the Organization; 

b)    Additional contributions made by the member states for general expenditures or special programs, and donations and bequests made to the Institute, providing the conditions set by the donors are in accordance with its purposes and standards;  

c)    Funds set up out of a bequest or donation for the purposes specified therein, that are held in trust according to the corresponding provisions or deeds; and 

d)    Specific funds set up out of donations or bequests to finance the purposes specified by the donor or testator, providing those purposes are in accordance with those of the Institute and with the standards governing its operations. 

JURIDICAL STATUS, PREROGATIVES, AND IMMUNITIES OF THE INSTITUTE 

Article 34         The legal status of the Institute and the privileges and immunities to which it and its staff are entitled will be determined through an agreement between the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States and the government of the headquarters country, and agreements signed by the Institute and that government. 

Article 35         Administration of property belonging to the IIN and of property belonging to the Organization of American States is established through an Agreement signed between the Institute and the OAS on November 4, 1965.

ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE STATUTES 

Article 36         The present Statutes shall enter into force as soon as they are approved by the Directing Council of the IIN and the Permanent Council of the OAS. 

AMENDMENT OF THE STATUTES 

Article 37         The present Statutes may be amended by a resolution of the Directing Council, at the request of its Chairman or the Director General, supported by not less than four representatives of member states or at the joint request of seven members. The proposed amendments must be approved by the vote of an absolute majority of the member states. 

Article 38         The Inter-American Children's Institute shall inform the Permanent Council duly in advance of any amendment to its Statutes that involves changes in the structure, functions, or financial bases of the Institute, so that the Permanent Council may formulate the observations that it deems appropriate within its sphere of competence.



[1] Amended through Resolution CD/RES. 11 (77-R/02) approved in the framework of the 77th. Regular Meeting of the IIN’s Directing Council, May 13-15, 2002; seen and approved by the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs (CAJP), Organization of American States (OAS), in the session held on August 29th, 2002 and by the Permanent Council (CP), OAS, in the session held on September 25th, 2002.