Statutes Of The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Filename: 1960-IntergovernmentalOceanographicCommission.EN.txt

Statutes Of The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission


Article 1 -The Commission

1. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, hereafter called the Commission, is established as a body with functional autonomy within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

2. The Commission defines and implements its programme according to its stated purposes and functions and within the framework of the budget adopted by its Assembly and the General Conference of UNESCO.

Article 2 -Purpose

1. The purpose of the Commission is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes in research, services and capacity-building, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, the protection of the marine environment, and the decision-making processes of its Member States.

2. The Commission will collaborate with international organizations concerned with the work of the Commission, and especially with those organizations of the United Nations system which are willing and prepared to contribute to the purpose and functions of the Commission and/ or to seek advice and cooperation

in the field of ocean and coastal area scientific research, related services and capacity-building.

Article 3 -Functions

1. The functions of the Commission shall be to:

(a) recommend, promote, plan and coordinate international ocean and coastal area programmes in research and observations and the dissemination and use of their results;

(b) recommend, promote and coordinate the development of relevant standards, reference materials, guidelines and nomenclature;

(c) respond, as a competent international organization, to the requirements deriving from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and other international instruments relevant to marine scientific research, related services and capacity-building; (d) make recommendations and coordinate programmes in education, training and assistance in marine science, ocean and coastal observations and the transfer of related technology; (e) make recommendations and provide technical guidance to relevant intersectoral activities of UNESCO and undertake mutually agreed duties within the mandate of the Commission;

(f) undertake, as appropriate, any other action compatible with its purpose and functions.

2. The Commission shall prepare regular reports on its activities, which shall be submitted to the General Conference of UNESCO. These reports shall also be addressed to the Member States of the Commission as well as to the organizations within the United Nations system covered by paragraph 2 of Article 2.

3. The Commission shall decide upon the mechanisms and arrangements through which it may obtain advice.

4. The Commission, in carrying out its functions, shall take into account the special needs and interests of developing countries, including in particular the need to further the capabilities of these countries in scientific research and observations of the oceans and coastal areas and related technology.

5. Nothing in these Statutes shall imply the adoption of a position by the Commission regarding the nature or extent of the jurisdiction of coastal States in general or of any coastal State in particular.

Article 4 -Membership

A. Membership

1. Membership of the Commission shall be open to any Member State of any one of the organizations of the United Nations system.

2. States covered by the terms of paragraph 1 above shall acquire membership of the Commission by notifying the Director-General of UNESCO.

3. Any Member State of the Commission can withdraw by giving notice of its intention to do so to the Director-General of UNESCO.

4. The Director-General of UNESCO shall inform the Executive Secretary of the Commission of all notifications received under the present Article. Membership will take effect from the date on which the notification is received by the Executive Secretary, through the Director-General of UNESCO. Notice of withdrawal will take effect one full year after the date on which the notice is received by the Executive Secretary, through the Director-General of UNESCO. The Executive Secretary will inform Member States of the Commission and the Executive Heads of the relevant United Nations organizations of all notifications.

B. Responsibilities of Member States

5. The responsibilities of Member States imply:

(a) compliance with the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

(b) collaboration with and support of the programme of work of the Commission;

(c) specification of the national coordinating body for liaison with the Commission;

(d) support of the Commission at an appropriate level using any or all of the financial mechanisms listed under Article 10.

6. The notification by a Member State requesting membership shall include a statement indicating acceptance of the above responsibilities or its intention to comply at an early date.

Article 5 -Organs

The Commission shall consist of an Assembly, an Executive Council, a Secretariat and such subsidiary bodies as it may establish.

Article 6 -The Assembly

A. Composition

1. The Assembly shall consist of all States members of the Commission.

B. Functions and powers

2. The Assembly is the principal organ of the Commission and shall perform all functions of the Commission unless otherwise regulated by these Statutes or delegated by the Assembly to other organs of the Commission.

3. The Assembly shall determine the Commission's Rules of Procedure.

4. The Assembly shall establish general policy and the main lines of work of the Commission, and shall approve the IOC Biennial Draft Programme and Budget in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 1.

5. During the course of each ordinary session, the Assembly shall elect a Chairperson and, taking into account the principles of geographic distribution, shall elect five Vice-Chairpersons who shall be the officers of the Commission, its Assembly and its Executive Council, and shall also elect a number of Member States to the Executive Council in accordance with Article 7.

6. In electing Member States to the Executive Council, the Assembly shall take into consideration a balanced geographical distribution, as well as the willingness of these States to participate in the work of the Executive Council.

C. Procedure

7. The Assembly shall be convened in ordinary session every two years.

8. Extraordinary sessions may be convened if so decided or if summoned by the Executive Council, or at the request of at least one third of the Member States of the Commission under conditions specified in the Rules of Procedure.

9. Each Member State shall have one vote and may send to sessions of the Assembly such representatives, alternates and advisers as it deems necessary.

10. Subject to provisions in the Rules of Procedure regarding closed meetings, participation in the meetings of the Assembly, of the Executive Council and subsidiary bodies, without the right to vote, is open to:

(a) representatives of Member States of organizations of the United Nations system which are not members of the Commission;

(b) representatives of the organizations of the United Nations system;

(c) representatives of such other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as may be invited subject to conditions specified in the Rules of Procedure. 11. The Assembly may set up such committees or other subsidiary bodies as may be necessary for its purpose, in accordance with conditions specified in the Rules of Procedure.

Article 7 -The Executive Council

A. Composition

1. The Executive Council shall consist of up to 40 Member States, including those Member States represented by the Chairperson and the five Vice-Chairpersons.

2. The mandate of the members of the Executive Council shall commence at the end of the session of the Assembly during which they have been elected and expire at the end of the next session of the Assembly.

3. In selecting representatives to the Executive Council, Member States elected to the Executive Council shall Endeavour to appoint persons experienced in matters related to the Commission.

4. In the event of the withdrawal from the Commission of a Member State that is a member of the Executive Council, its mandate shall be terminated on the date the withdrawal becomes effective.

5. Members of the Executive Council are eligible for re-election.

B. Functions and powers 6. The Executive Council shall exercise the responsibilities delegated to it by the Assembly and act on its behalf in the implementation of decisions of the Assembly.

7. The Executive Council may set up such committees or other subsidiary bodies as may be necessary for its purpose, in accordance with conditions specified in the Rules of Procedure.

C. Procedure

8. The Executive Council shall hold ordinary and extraordinary sessions as specified in the Rules of Procedure.

9. At its meetings, each Member State of the Executive Council shall have one vote.

10. The agenda of the Executive Council should be organized as specified in the Rules of Procedure.

11. The Executive Council shall make recommendations on future actions by the Assembly.

Article 8 -The Secretariat

1. With due regard to the applicable Staff Regulations and Staff Rules of UNESCO, the Secretariat of the Commission shall consist of the Executive Secretary and such other staff as may be necessary, provided by UNESCO, as well as such personnel as may be provided, at their expense, by other organizations, the United Nations system, and by Member States of the Commission.

2. The Executive Secretary of the Commission, at the level of Assistant Director-General, shall be appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO following consultation with the Executive Council of the Commission.

Article 9 -Committees and other subsidiary bodies

1. The Commission may create, for the examination and execution of specific activities, subsidiary bodies composed of Member States or individual experts, after consultation with the Member States concerned.

2. To further the cooperation referred to in Article 11, other subsidiary bodies composed of Member States or individuals may also be established or convened by the Commission jointly with other organizations. The inclusion of individuals in such subsidiary bodies shall be subject to consultations with the Member States concerned.

Article 10 -Financial and other resources

1. The financial resources of the Commission shall consist of:

(a) funds appropriated for this purpose by the General Conference of UNESCO;

(b) contributions by Member States of the Commission that are not Member States of UNESCO;

(c) such additional resources as may be made available by Member States of the Commission, appropriate organizations of the United Nations system and from other sources.

2. The programmes or activities sponsored and coordinated by the Commission and recommended to its Member States for their concerted action shall be carried out with the aid of the resources of the participating Member States in such programmes or activities, in accordance with the obligations that each State is willing to assume.

3. Voluntary contributions may be accepted and established as trust funds in accordance with the financial regulations of the Special Account of IOC, as adopted by the Assembly and UNESCO. Such contributions shall be allocated by the Commission for its programme of activities.

4. The Commission may establish, promote or coordinate, as appropriate, additional financial arrangements to ensure the implementation of an effective and continuing programme at global and/ or regional levels.

Article 11 -Relations with other organizations

1. The Commission may cooperate with Specialized Agencies of the United Nations and other international organizations whose interests and activities are related to its purpose, including signing memoranda of understanding with regard to cooperation.

2. The Commission shall give due attention to supporting the objectives of international organizations with which it collaborates. On the other hand, the Commission shall request these organizations to take its requirements into account in planning and executing their own programmes.

3. The Commission may act also as a joint specialized mechanism of the organizations of the United Nations system that have agreed to use the Commission for discharging certain of their responsibilities in the fields of marine sciences and ocean services, and have agreed accordingly to sustain the work of the Commission.

Article 12 -Amendments

The General Conference of UNESCO may amend these Statutes following a recommendation of, or after consultation with, the Assembly of the Commission. Unless otherwise provided by the General Conference, an amendment of these Statutes shall enter into force on the date of its adoption by the General Conference.