IPPNO CONSTITUTION

Last revised and ratified by the membership on August 15, 1994.

  1. The purpose of this association (IPPNO) shall be to contribute as philosophers and concerned educators in a worldwide effort:
    1. to prevent and eliminate nuclear and other threats to global existence,
    2. to create an enduring world peace, and
    3. to develop a just social, economic, and political basis for peace and human well-being. In summary terms, IPPNO—formerly called International Philosophers for the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide—shall be an international organization of philosophers and other concerned individuals working for peace and an end to nuclear and other threats to global existence.
  2. Membership in IPPNO shall be open to all those who wish to pursue the above aims. Only active members, i.e. dues-paying members, have the right to vote, to hold office in IPPNO, and to receive IPPNO publications and services.
  3. IPPNO shall consist of a central section, IPPNO International, together with national / regional sections. (Both of these latter will generally be called national in the sequel.) IPPNO International shall fulfill the purpose of IPPNO by
    1. setting specific goals and plans of action for IPPNO as the times may require,
    2. publicly and actively advocating these goals,
    3. providing for the study and discussion of issues which may develop within IPPNO’s field of concerns,
    4. publishing information and disseminating ideas in the furtherance of its goals,
    5. transmitting material to IPPNO’s national sections and assuring that these sections carry out IPPNO’s purpose and goals,
    6. convening international meetings and conferences,
    7. facilitating contact and cooperation between like-minded organizations, and
    8. expanding IPPNO’s worldwide membership and influence.
    1. There will be an International President and an International Executive Secretary, both to be elected by a simple majority of the vote received in a ballot sent to all active members. In the event of a tie, the current Chair of the Advisory Board will cast the deciding vote. The above officers, subject to conditions stated in (ii) below, will serve for two and four years, respectively. They shall have all powers customarily assigned to such officers including the power to determine specific goals and to execute whatever actions they consider appropriate to fulfill IPPNO’s goals and purposes. They may also appoint other officers and establish additional boards whenever necessary.
      1. If 20% of the active members inform the Advisory Board Chairperson, for which see below, of their desire to remove any officer(s), either elected or appointed, the Chair or the Vice Chair shall request a vote of confidence from all active members in respect to the said officer(s). If at least 2/3 of the votes received in this vote are negative, the officer(s) shall be removed from office.
      2. If an elected officer is so removed (or otherwise incapacitated) the remaining elected officer will hold a special election to replace him or her for the unexpired term of office. If both are removed the Advisory Board Chairperson will act as Temporary Executive and speedily arrange a special election. In his/her absence the last living past elected Executive Secretary or President (in that order) will be asked to act as Temporary Executive.
  4. Any group or organization within a country or region is eligible for membership as a national section of IPPNO provided it wishes to:
    1. further IPPNO’s goals,
    2. provide for the critical study and discussion of peace and peace-related issues,
    3. communicate and publish the results of its studies,
    4. host regional or national meetings and host or assist with international conferences, and
    5. establish a national constitution, consonant with this one. It is envisaged that each section will serve as a node in an interactive network of sections, with IPPNO International acting in this respect as a center to facilitate communication between all sections.
    1. There shall be an International Advisory Board consisting of the two immediate past elected officers of IPPNO, together with IPPNO members and specially designated friends of IPPNO, each of whom shall serve for five years. The Board shall have a minimum of six members. Before the end of the five year terms at least two future Board members shall be designated jointly by the then current International President and the Executive Secretary, and an equal number shall be chosen by the members of the Board. In-term vacancies shall be filled in a similar fashion for the unexpired term, the Advisory Board Chairperson and the elected IPPNO officers alternating in the selection process in such cases.
    2. The advice of individual Board members is to be solicited informally by the President and/or Secretary in important matters. But the formal consent of the Board must be obtained before any serious action is implemented. For example, a radical change in IPPNO’s goals or general policies would require formal consent.
    3. The Chairperson of the Advisory Board and a Vice-Chair shall be elected by the Board members and shall have all customary powers. But the Chair may vote only to break a tie.
    4. The size of the Board may be increased modestly, where desirable, subject to provision (i) above.
  5. This Constitution may be amended, provided the change is approved (a) by 2/3 of the votes returned in an amendment ballot sent to all active members and (b) a majority of members respond. The Executive Secretary shall have the power to interpret this Constitution, after consultation with Board members and past elected officers.
  6. Additional provisions:
    1. IPPNO shall be a non-profit organization in the sense of par. 501 (c)(3) of the IRS code. For this purpose, the Chairperson of the Board of Advisors, together with two others chosen by the Board, will constitute a Board of Directors, who will meet at least once a year, to appoint the elected officials, and to advise and endorse the choice of specific goals for the year.
    2. This Constitution shall go into effect directly upon ratification: i.e. when it has been approved by a majority of those returning a ballot sent to each active member.
    3. Election ballots for the International President and/or Executive Secretary shall be sent by the current Executive Secretary in even-numbered years beginning with 1994. To be valid, any membership-wide ballot must be signed and received back, generally, no more than 45 days following the date of its original mailing by IPPNO. Generally, terms of office start September 1 of the given year.
  7. The following clarifications are relevant and appended as such:
      1. Up to three members of the IPPNO boards listed on its stationery at the time of the transfer of the Presidency to Paul Allen may, if they so signify, be automatically appointed members of the Advisory Board. (If more than three ex-Board members signify their interest, the two elected officers will choose three from among them.) The two elected officers will choose an equal number from IPPNO members and friends of IPPNO for the new Board. In all cases the two living most immediate past elected officers will be ex-officio members of the Advisory Board. If fewer than two ex-board members are interested, the two elected officers will act to compose a six to eight person Board. In all cases there should be some breadth of representation from developing countries and from diverse regions, but until there is efficient interactive communication, regrettably, more Board members will have to come from the US and Canada.
      2. The Board will choose a Chairperson and Vice Chair. The elected officials shall have the responsibility to assure that this selection is performed expeditiously.
      3. If at any time the Advisory Board Chairperson cannot perform his or her role, the Vice Chair will act so instead. If the Chair’s incapacity seems to be permanent, the Vice Chair will become Chairperson and arrange for the selection of a new Vice Chair.
    1. It is intended that the President and the Executive Secretary share jointly the responsibilities, labors, and powers of running IPPNO and that the details of this are to be worked out in practice by each pair of officers.
    2. IPPNO in North America has inherited from its earlier stage a certain confusion in structure and/or role. Whether or not North American IPPNO, as distinct from IPPNO International, should continue is a matter which the regional membership should discuss and decide.
    3. The fee structure should impose no undue hardship upon anyone, but it shall be adequate to cover IPPNO’s costs.