IAG Statutes adopted by the IAG Council
at the XXVIII IUGG General Assembly in Berlin, Germany, July 2023
1. Definition of Terms
(a) Geodesy is the discipline that deals with the measurement and representation (geometry, physics, and temporal variations) of the Earth and other celestial bodies.
(b) IUGG is an acronym for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics.
(c) IAG or Association is an acronym for the International Association of Geodesy.
(d) Adhering Body and Council have the same meaning as in the Statutes of the IUGG.
(e) IAG General Assembly refers to an assembly for scientific and/or administrative purposes of:
- scientists from geodesy and other Earth science disciplines;
- the Council Delegates (or Alternative Delegates) appointed by the Adhering Bodies; and
- Individual members as defined by Statute 6(b).
(f) IAG Scientific Assembly means an assembly for primarily scientific purposes and therefore it does not normally require the presence of the delegates appointed by the Adhering Bodies.
(g) Council Delegate means the person appointed by the Adhering Body to be a member of the Council for one period (see 1(h)). Adhering Bodies may appoint an Alternative Delegate to an IAG Council meeting if the Council Delegate cannot attend the meeting.
(h) Period means the interval of time between the closures of two successive IAG General Assemblies.
2. International Association of Geodesy
(a) The International Association of Geodesy (IAG):
- is a constituent Association of the IUGG; and
- is subject to the Statutes and Bylaws of the IUGG.
(b) In the event of the dissolution of the IAG, its assets shall be ceded to the IUGG.
The Mission of the Association is the advancement of geodesy. The IAG implements its mission by furthering geodetic theory through research and teaching, by collecting, analyzing, modelling and interpreting observational data, by stimulating technological development, by promoting refined observations, observing systems and satellite missions, and by providing a consistent representation of the figure, rotation, and gravity field of the Earth and other celestial bodies of the solar system.
The IAG shall pursue the following objectives to achieve its mission:
(a) Study, at the highest possible level of accuracy, all geodetic problems related to Earth observation and global change, including:
- Definition, establishment, and maintenance of global and regional reference systems for interdisciplinary use.
- Rotation of the Earth and other celestial bodies of the solar system.
- Positioning and deformation.
- Gravity field.
- Ocean, ice and sea level.
- Atmosphere and hydrosphere.
- Time and frequency transfer.
(b) Support the maintenance of geodetic reference systems and frames for continuous, long-term observations and archival of results.
(c) Provide observational and processed data, standards, methodologies, and models in a form that ensures the broadest possible range of research and application.
(d) Stimulate development and take advantage of emerging space and other technologies to increase the resolution and accuracy of geodetic data and products in order to advance geodetic and interdisciplinary research.
(e) Initiate, coordinate, and promote international cooperation and knowledge exchange through symposia, workshops, summer schools, training courses, publications, and other means of communication.
(f) Foster the development of geodetic activities and infrastructure in all regions of the world, taking into consideration the specific situation of developing countries.
(g) Collaborate with the international science and engineering community in supporting the application of geodetic theory and techniques and the interpretation of results.
(h) Cooperate with national and international agencies in establishing research goals, missions, and projects.
5. Structure and Administration
(a) The Association's structure shall comprise a small number of components: Commissions, Inter-commission Committees (ICCs), Services, the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS), and the Communication and Outreach Branch (COB).
(b) Subcomponents, such as IAG Projects, Sub-commissions, Commission Projects, and Study and Working Groups, may be established as provided for in the Bylaws.
(c) The administration of the IAG is carried out by the IAG General Assembly, the IAG Council, the IAG Bureau and the IAG Executive Committee. The COB is the office responsible for the promotional activities of the IAG and for communication with its members.
The membership of the IAG shall comprise:
(a) Adhering Bodies; and
(b) Individual members in accordance with the Bylaws.
7. IAG Council
(a) The IAG Council is responsible for governance, strategic policy and direction.
(b) The membership of the IAG Council consists of Delegates appointed by the Adhering Bodies.
(c) Each Adhering Body may appoint one Delegate subject to the conditions in (d) and (e) below.
(d) A Delegate may only represent one Adhering Body.
(e) The IAG President, Vice President and Secretary General may not serve as Delegates.
8. IAG Bureau
(a) The Bureau of the Association consists of the IAG President, the Vice President and the Secretary General.
(b) The duties of the IAG Bureau shall be to administer the affairs of the Association in accordance with these Statutes and Bylaws and with the decisions of the IAG Council and the IAG Executive Committee.
9. IAG President
(a) The IAG President shall be elected by the IAG Council.
(b) The IAG President shall provide general leadership for the Association.
(c) The IAG President presides over the meetings of the IAG General Assembly, the IAG Scientific Assembly, the IAG Council, the IAG Executive Committee, and the IAG Bureau. In the IAG Council meetings the President has no vote, except in the case of a tie as provided in 14(g).
(d) The IAG President, on completion of their term of office of one period, shall serve for the next period in the position of Immediate Past President.
10. IAG Vice President
(a) The IAG Vice President shall be elected by the IAG Council.
(b) The IAG Vice President shall perform such tasks as may be assigned by the IAG President, the IAG Executive Committee or the IAG Council.
(c) The IAG Vice President assumes the functions, duties and powers of the President when the latter is absent or otherwise unable to assume office.
11. IAG Secretary General
(a) The IAG Secretary General shall be elected by the IAG Council.
(b) The IAG Secretary General shall serve as secretary of the IAG General Assembly, the IAG Scientific Assembly, the IAG Council, the IAG Executive Committee, and the IAG Bureau and arrange for meetings of these bodies in accordance with the Bylaws.
(c) The IAG Secretary General, on completion of their term of office, shall serve for the next period in the position of Immediate Past Secretary General.
12. IAG Executive Committee
(a) The IAG Executive Committee shall consist of the following voting members: each member of the IAG Bureau, the immediate Past President, the immediate Past Secretary General, the Presidents of the Commissions, the Presidents of the Inter-commission Committees, the President of GGOS, the President of the COB, three representatives of the Services, and two Members-at-Large.
(b) The Chairs of the IAG Projects and the Assistant Secretaries shall attend any meeting of the IAG Executive Committee, with voice but without vote. The Past Presidents and past Secretaries General may attend any meeting of the IAG Executive Committee, with voice but without vote (except for the immediate Past President and the immediate Past Secretary General, who do have a vote in accordance with Statute 12(a) for one 4-year period).
(c) The election of IAG Executive Committee members shall be in accordance with the Bylaws.
(d) The responsibilities of the IAG Executive Committee shall be to further the objectives of the Association through effective coordination and through the formulation of general policies.
(e) Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be taken by a simple majority. If a tie should occur in an Executive Committee vote, the IAG President shall cast the decisive vote.
13. Council Meetings
(a) The IAG Council shall meet at the time of an IAG General Assembly.
(b) The IAG Council may hold extraordinary meetings, either in person or electronically, at times other than an IAG General Assembly. Such meetings must be proposed by the IAG Executive Committee
(c) The members of the IAG Executive Committee may attend meetings of the IAG Council, with voice but without vote, except for those who are also Delegates.
14. Voting in the Council
Voting in the IAG Council shall follow the following rules:
(a) An Adhering Body which is not represented at an IAG Council meeting may vote electronically or by correspondence on any specific question, provided that the matter has been clearly defined on the final agenda distributed in advance, and that the discussion thereon has not produced any significant new considerations or change in its substance, and that the said vote has been received by the IAG President prior to the voting. In such a case the vote will be cast in accordance with 14(d)).
(b) Quorum in IAG Council meetings is achieved when the number of Council Delegates (or Alternative Delegates) in attendance is at least one third of the delegates from countries eligible to vote.
(c) On questions not involving matters of finance, each delegate from an Adhering Body, with its IUGG subscriptions paid up to the end of the calendar year preceding the voting, shall have one vote.
(d) On questions involving finance, each delegate from an Adhering Body, which has paid its IUGG subscriptions up to the end of the calendar year preceding the voting, shall have the right to vote. The number of votes allotted to each delegate of an Adhering Body shall then be in accordance with its category of membership, as defined by the IUGG.
(e) Prior to any vote in an IAG Council meeting, the IAG President shall decide whether or not the matter under consideration is financial in character and whether the procedure of voting by correspondence applies.
(f) The IAG Council may also deliberate and decide matters at other times by electronic voting, email ballot and/or correspondence, provided that the issues have been communicated to IAG Council members at least one month in advance of the voting date.
(g) Decisions of the IAG Council shall be taken by a simple majority, except as otherwise specified in these Statutes. If a tie should occur in an IAG Council vote, the IAG President shall cast the decisive vote. This procedure also applies if the vote is taken electronically. Simple and two-thirds majorities are determined by the proportion of affirmative votes to the sum of all votes (affirmative, negative and abstention). Blank and invalid ballots and votes not cast by delegates present are counted as abstentions.
(h) Elections for all members of the IAG Executive Committee shall be by electronic voting. For each post, the winner must receive an outright majority (number of votes being greater than the total combined votes of the other candidates). If there are three or more candidates for a position and no candidate has an outright majority after the first voting round, then the top two ranked candidates will be retained and a second round of votes conducted to elect the winner. Ties will be broken by a coin toss, drawing of lots, or equivalent random selection.
(i) Except as otherwise provided in the Statutes or Bylaws, meetings of the IAG Council, as well as those of other IAG administrative bodies, shall be conducted according to the edition of Robert's Rules of Order currently recommended by the IUGG.
15. Decisions of the Council
(a) Decisions of the IAG Council shall be reported to the individual membership in a meeting at the IAG General Assembly.
(b) If the majority of those present at this meeting disagrees with the decisions of the IAG Council, the IAG Council shall reconsider the question, and make a decision, which shall be final.
16. Changes to Statutes and Bylaws
Changes in the Statutes and Bylaws shall be made as follows:
(a) If deemed necessary, the Association may review the Statutes and Bylaws in each period, to ensure an up-to-date structure of its scientific and administrative organization. A Review Committee, known as the Cassinis Committee, will be appointed by the IAG Executive Committee to achieve this goal. Proposals for a substantive change of any article of these Statutes and Bylaws must reach the Secretary General at least two months before the announced date of the IAG Council meeting at which it is to be considered. The Secretary General shall notify all Adhering Bodies of any proposed changes at least one month before the announced date of the IAG Council meeting.
(b) The Statutes may not be modified except by a two-thirds majority of votes cast at an IAG Council meeting, and changes shall come into force at the close of that meeting.
(c) The IAG Council shall have the power to adopt Bylaws within the framework of the Statutes.
(d) The Bylaws may be modified by a simple majority of votes cast at an IAG Council meeting, and changes shall come into force at the close of the meeting.