the net of people deeply affected by political violence
Friday 23 May 2008
Statutes of the International Network for Peace
Approved unanimously by the General Assembly held from January 20th to 29th, 2007
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Mission of the International Network for Peace
"We are a global network of organizations comprised of people who lost loved ones to, or were directly affected by, war, nuclear weapons, terrorism, genocide, organized crime, and political violence. We work together to break the cycles of violence and revenge, and are committed to honoring the memories of the victims and to the dignity of the survivors.
Using our collective experience and skills, we are dedicated to identifying and addressing the root causes of violence, and to promoting non-violence as the most effective strategy for resolving conflict.
We pledge to support and amplify each other’s efforts across diverse communities, recognizing that we derive our strength from our common experience of loss and our common hope for a world free from violence.”
Goals of the International Network for Peace
1. To raise awareness that non-violence is a global movement and a viable response to terrorism, violence, occupation and war.
2. To support each member group in their local initiatives and to be enriched by their insights, experiences and successes.
3. To advocate to governments through unified voices and actions our support of legislation that acknowledges and honors the power of non-violence and opposes the use or threat of deadly violence for political purposes.
4. To build person-to-person ties between countries in conflict
5. To make the voice of the survivor, committed to peace, an accepted, respected and sought-after voice in the media, educational institutions and international forums.
6. To offer support and fellowship to all survivors of terrorism, violence and war across boundaries of geography, race, class, gender and faith, and encourage them to turn their grief into non-violent actions for peace.
Individual membership shall be open to any person who had a family member die as a result of, or was personally affected by, terrorism, violence, occupation or war, and who in word, spirit and action supports the mission statement, goals and activities of the International Network.
Organizational membership shall be open to any group that supports in word, spirit and action the mission statement, goals and activities of the International Network, and which was founded by, or directly representative of, those who had family members die as a result of, or were personally affected by, terrorism, violence, occupation or war.
In order to insure that the members of the network are in agreement about turning their grief into action for peace, and about the use of nonviolence, we shall, individually and as a Network, agree that no one’s pain is more important than another’s, and we shall not selectively reject some acts of violence while condoning or justifying others. In striving for mutual understanding among the affected, we pledge, individually and as a network, to demonstrate respect and to avoid confrontation and insults, especially in public forums.
The network may establish fellowships with groups founded by, or directly representative of, those who had family members die as a result of, or were personally affected by, terrorism, violence, occupation or war, but which, at this time, are not ready or willing to join the network as full members. A fellowship link will allow the group to receive news of the network’s activities, and to be considered for inclusion in certain Network activities deemed appropriate for mutual cooperation.
The Steering Committee holds the responsibility for establishing and developing fellowships. Each network member is entitled to propose to the Steering Committee fellowships with certain groups. Groups also may approach the Network on their own to propose fellowship status.
General Assembly (GA)
The member groups of the Network constitute the General Assembly (GA). Each member group shall have one vote. Each member group shall name one representative, and one alternate representative. The General Assembly shall be the highest governing body of the Network. It shall elect a Steering Committee to implement the decisions of the General Assembly and to manage the overall activities of the Network. The General Assembly will approve all essential decisions of the Network, including any and all projects and activities undertaken by the Network as a whole.
Every member group shall designate one of its own members as General Assembly representative, and another as alternate representative, to act when the first representative is not available. These designations shall be communicated in writing to the Chairperson of the Steering Committee, either by email or mail. The member organization is free to determine the length of term of its representatives. Either or both representatives can attend General Assembly meetings (either virtual or in-person).
Decisions shall be made unanimously whenever possible, as our striving for consensus and compromise is an essential part of putting our principles into action.
If this is not possible, then decisions shall be made in two ways, depending on particular circumstances:
Decisions on amendments to these statutes or on the dissolution of Network shall require the approval of two-thirds of the total General Assembly.
All other decisions of a general nature shall be made by majority vote of the group representatives present in person or voting via the internet. A quorum is 40% of the total group representatives.
The General Assembly can take a dual form, both in-person and virtual, by taking place in the form either of an in-person meeting of all members, a virtual meeting of all members, or an in-person meeting of some of the members together with a virtual meeting of all non-present members. Voting through Internet shall be one of the electoral processes used by the network
The Chairperson, together with the members of the Steering Committee, Chairs the General Assembly.
2GA Ordinary meetings2
The Chair of the Steering Committee shall convene the ordinary meetings of the General Assembly at least every second year to provide information about the activities and the management of the association, and to submit for approval inclusive reports on program activities and finances for the previous two years.
The following items shall be on the agenda of all GA ordinary meetings:
1. Election of Chairperson
2. Report from the outgoing steering committee about activities in the past two years.
3. Report about the financial situation of the network.
4. Future activities.
5. Election of a new Steering Committee.
6. Decision about membership dues.
The Steering Committee determines the place, time and agenda of the General Assembly. Network members can submit proposals for the agenda.
The Chairperson shall first send to every Network group representative the agenda and the resolutions to be put to the vote. In case of electronic voting, each group representative has a period of 14 days from the receipt of the email to vote on the resolutions proposed (for/against/abstention). If a group representative does not respond within 14 days, it will be considered to be an abstention. Any group that does not have access to the Internet shall have an additional period of seven days to have their vote sent and received.
In the case of an in-person GA meeting, the convening details and agenda shall be sent at least 30 days before the meeting.
Amendment proposals must be submitted to the Chairperson of the Steering Committee at least 40 days before the next regular General Assembly. Such proposals shall be communicated to all network members at least 20 days prior to the meeting.
The General Assembly shall elect the Steering Committee, which shall consist of a Chairperson, a deputy Chairperson, and up to nine additional members. The current “interim Steering Committee” shall nominate a list of candidates for the follow-up Steering Committee to be elected. However, any member organization or individual member can also submit names of candidates for the Steering Committee. Each interim Steering Committee member also can be nominated for one follow-up term on the new Steering Committee. Such submission must take place at least 20 days prior to the next General Assembly.
Observers from international and other organizations with which the Network has established fellowships may attend General Assemblies. Such observers shall - with the permission of the meeting - be allowed to speak, but shall not be permitted to vote.
The General Assembly shall determine by vote the location of the central headquarters of the Network. Additional regional offices can be established by vote of the General Assembly.
2GA Extraordinary meetings2
Extraordinary meetings of the General Assembly can be called by the Steering Committee, and must be called if requested by at least 25% of the Network membership.
The Steering Committee implements the decisions of the General Assembly and manages overall activities of the Network which cannot be addressed by the General Assembly at large. The Steering Committee shall serve as the official voice of the Network. Any and all statements on behalf of the Network-at-large must be authorized by the Steering Committee, In urgent matters the Chairperson and his/her deputy shall be entitled to act jointly on behalf of the whole Steering Committee.
The members of the Steering Committee will be in regular contact with each other and with the Chairperson.
Major responsibilities of the Steering Committee include:
• Final approval for all program activity carried out under the name of the Network
• Guidance and support for all approved Network undertakings
• Advise on organizational growth and development
• Advise on outreach to members and supporters
• Selection, hiring and oversight of the Chairperson
• Fiscal responsibility for quarterly review and approval of budgets and actual expenses
• Appointment and oversight of the newsletter editor and website coordinator.
The Steering Committee consists of the Chairperson, his/her deputy, and up to nine additional members as elected by the General Assembly forming an odd number. The Chairperson, his/her deputy, and the additional members can each designate another member of her/his group as an alternate representative with whom they are in close working contact. The alternate representative shall have the right to attend Committee meetings as a voting member if the regular member is unable to do so.
The Steering Committee ideally should reflect a diversity of gender, ethnicity, geographic location, age, relationship to victim, nature of loved one’s death, faith, special skills/profession, or non-traditional family members.
The term of office of the Steering Committee is the time from one regular General Assembly meeting until the next regular meeting, but shall not be less than two years. Each Steering Committee member can be nominated once for re-election.
The Steering Committee may hold in-person and virtual meetings.
The Steering Committee may invite guests to its meetings. Such observers have no vote.
The Steering Committee shall meet at the time of General Assembly meetings and between General Assembly meetings on a schedule to be determined by a decision of the Steering Committee members. The Steering Committee shall decide on applications for membership. It can revoke the membership status of a member or a member organization if such member or organization has acted contrary to the aims of the Network. Any member organization which is at risk of removal will be given at least two weeks’ notice and an opportunity to address and correct any such contradictory actions.
The Steering Committee is in charge of creating the legal framework for its activities according to the laws of the country which hosts the central location of the Network.
The Steering Committee can appoint a volunteer Advisory Board, which can be asked to give advice on Network projects and to assist in raising funds.
Bylaws for the Steering Committee
Vacancies on the Steering Committee may be filled by vote of a majority of the Steering Committee members then in office, and the Steering Committee members so elected shall serve until the expiration of the term they are filling.
Any Steering Committee member may resign from office at any time by delivering a resignation in writing, via email or mail, to the other Steering Committee members.
Any Steering Committee member may be removed for cause by a consensus vote of the entire remaining Steering Committee. Any member who is at risk of removal will be given at least two weeks’ notice and an opportunity to address and correct any failures to meet her/his responsibilities.
Grounds for removal include, but are not limited to, failure to carry out Committee work, especially missing three consecutive scheduled Chairperson calls or Steering Committee meetings.
The Steering Committee and Chairperson shall officially meet in person once a year and by Skype or telephone conference call every two months. In-person meetings will occur only when the Network raises funds to cover costs of travel and lodging. Network will also raise money to reimburse costs of Steering Committee Skype/telephone calls.
Chairperson or Steering Committee members may request additional meetings by Skype or telephone or in person as needed.
When decisions of the Steering Committee are needed between meetings, Chairperson will use due diligence to obtain opinions of all the Steering Committee members by telephone or email.
2Quorum and Decision Making2
At least 3/4 of the members of the Steering Committee must be present in order for there is be a quorum with the authority to make decisions. The Steering Committee will strive to use a consensus model of decision making. It will also take “straw polls,” an informal, non-binding type of voting in which all persons participating in a meeting are asked for their opinions as a way of informing the discussion.
If profound disagreement prevents it from achieving consensus, decisions will be made by a 2/3 supermajority vote of the Steering Committee and the Chairperson.
On personnel issues, the Chairperson’s opinions may be solicited, but his/her vote will not be counted as part of a supermajority should efforts to reach consensus fail.
Accurate records of network membership will be maintained by the Chairperson and made available to members of the Network. These records will be both electronic and on paper. The Chairperson will also work to facilitate discussion among all members of the International Network.
The Chairperson will record all decisions/actions taken at each Steering Committee meeting and in a timely fashion present the report to the Steering Committee for amendment and approval.
Then the Chairperson will be responsible for seeing that the approved report is disseminated to the Network membership.
These records will be kept by the Chairperson in a central location accessible to all Steering Committee members.
2Steering Committee Chairperson Process2
The Chairperson will initiate regular monthly calls to certain Steering Committee members who shall be so designated on rotating basis pre-determined by the Steering Committee as a whole. The scheduling of the monthly calls by the Chairperson shall be flexible enough to accommodate varying time zones and schedules of ST members.
It is the responsibility of the Steering Committee member to attend their designed calls or to find a replacement Steering Committee member. Failure to be on the call or to find a replacement can becomes grounds for removal from the Steering Committee.
These calls with the Chairperson are open to all Steering Committee members should they chose to participate. The Chairperson will send the Steering Committee records of decisions/actions taken on these calls by email in a timely manner.
Chairperson shall prepare and deliver to the SC monthly schedules, reports on monthly activities and projects, and other information pertinent to the duties of the SC. The monthly report is not intended to be nor should be a burden to the Chairperson or the SC.
2Annual Chairperson Evaluations2
A Sub-committee of the Steering Committee will be responsible for conducting annual Chairperson evaluations before the end of each calendar year.
The Steering Committee will have subcommittees including, but not limited to:
• Finance Committee
• Chairperson Evaluation Committee
All expenditures in excess of $50 (fifty US dollars) which do not appear in an approved budget shall require approval in advance by the Finance Committee of the Steering Committee.
Network membership will be considered for all groups that participated in the international conference held at the Garrison Institute in September, 2006; for all groups who were invited and accepted invitations to this conference, including those who were invited but unable to attend due to circumstances beyond their control; and to all and any groups who apply for membership and are approved and accepted as members by the Steering Committee.
For the purposes of fundraising, the Network will be considered a program of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows for the calendar year 2007. This will enable it to receive tax-free contributions from foundations and individuals made to Peaceful Tomorrows’ parent company, the Tides Center, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The Tides Center takes 9% of monies raised in return for providing legal and fiscal services. After this period of time, Peaceful Tomorrows and the Network agree to evaluate the Network’s progress and determine whether this fiscal sponsorship should continue.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows agrees to provide $5,000 in seed money for the creation of a website for the International Network. This money is given on the condition that the Network provide the $50 monthly maintenance fee to keep the website active for at least one year. Jo Berry and Andrea LeBlanc have agreed to provide these maintenance monies for the first year.
There was no consensus on a name for the Network. The Interim Steering Committee recommends that we begin by using “International Network for Peace” and that at a later date we append this name with a second line which captures additional information about the group (survivor status, non-violence, etc.).
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