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Save the Date for 2020 general Council Meeting on line

More details to follow

General Council Meeting in challenging times

The General Council Meeting for 2020 was to be held during IDEA2020 Congress in Beijing in July. The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has prevented that from happening. IDEA must find alternative ways of holding the General Council Meeting. The General Meeting Committee, led by Lillian Galvan, has been working with the Elected officers to propose new approaches to IDEA General Council Meetings.

What is proposed?

Since a physical General Council Meeting is not possible under pandemic conditions, the 2020 General Council Meeting will be held via the ZOOM platform. 


3 digital meetings on the IDEA ZOOM account

Each formal meeting is 3 hours

Dates for 2020 meeting

Friday 23 October 2020

Saturday 7 November 2020

Saturday 5 December 2020

Meetings are spaced to provide time for discussion and consultation

Meetings are held on different days to help with scheduling

Meeting times

To allow for different time zones, the meetings will be scheduled in two different time zones

Focused use of time

Each formal meeting will be focused and speakers are asked to speak succinctly and on topic.

Before the first meeting, the following pre-agenda items will be provided for delegates


Voting delegates will pre-register with the General Meeting Committee before the General Council Meeting. Where polls or votes are necessary, there will be a system of recording votes and announcing decisions

Who can attend

The General Council Meetings will be open to all IDEA members. 

The President/Chair of the General Meeting Committee will manage speaking rights for voting and other members during these sessions.


Members and delegates will be provided with specific secure code for accessing the meeting.

Elections and Voting

All Elected officers positions are declared vacant.

The General Meeting Committee will call for nominations and they must be received by the start of the second meeting 7 November.

Voting for elections will take place on a secure online voting system that opens five days before the start of the third meeting 5 December and closes 1 hour after the start of this meeting.

Results announced during third meeting by independent vote counters with access to system

What are the reasons for this proposal?

  1. It is essential for IDEA to hold a General Council Meeting.
  2. Technology is a way for IDEA members and community to access important information particularly when international travel is impossible; this format also allows access for delegates who may not have the capacity to fund travel.
  3. A three formal meeting format with time between each allows for discussion and consultation and  helps manage the workload of the General Council Meeting.
  4. Each meeting is limited to 3 hours because the digital meeting format is difficult and tiring.
  5. The time between meetings is provided to encourage discussion and consultation. Reports, proposals and other matters can be discussed.
  6. Members and others in the IDEA community are encouraged to meet informally between the 3 formal meetings. This will also provide opportunities for new members to introduce themselves and to learn about the ways that IDEA works. 
  7. Speakers at the formal General Council Meeting sessions need to be focused and succinct.
  8. Reports and documents will be provided before the meeting to enable consultation.  These will include: Reports  (President/Treasurer required; other reports as provided by Directors); Revised Constitution Operational Manual Revisions Next Congress Proposal
  9. Elections and voting are important. They must be seen to be open, fair and honest. 
  10. 10.Using a secure online voting system (as used in 2019) is essential. The timing of this voting needs to allow for collection and collation by the independent vote counters. The proposal is that the voting opens five days before the third General Council Meeting on 5 December and close one hour after the start of the meeting. This allows time for collation by vote counters and for the results to be announced during the meeting on 5 December.

Importantly, this is new territory for IDEA and there needs to be flexibility and goodwill in the process. 

General Council

The business of IDEA is directed by the General Council which is made up of one appointed delegate from eligible organisational members and any individual members present at the General Council Meeting.

The business of IDEA is directed by the General Council.

General Council Meetings are held during International Congresses and at least once between them. Where there is more than one member from a country, the vote for that country is split proportionally.

The work of the General Council is to: 

  • elect the members of the Executive Committee(EC), the General Meeting Committee(GMC) and the Accountancy Committee(AC);
  • determine the principles of action for IDEA and empower the Executive Committee accordingly;
  • consider the activities report of the President, and the financial report of the Treasurer, as audited and presented by the Accountancy Committee;
  • determine the host countries for the international congresses to be held
  • ratify the nomination of the Congress Director, appointed by the Executive Committee after the organiser of the next congress has been chosen;
  • determine the host country for the IDEA Secretariat;
  • vote on the budget; and
  • fix the amount for membership fees.

The General Meeting Committee (GMC) shall be entrusted with the preparation and guidance of the meetings of the General Council.

The GMC members elected in Évora in July 2017 are:

  • Liliana Galván - President
  • Kristin Runde - Vice President
  • Winnie Nabwami - Secretary

This image was taken at the IDEA General Council Meeting in Lima, Peru at the Teatro La Plaza. (Photo by Wilton Martinez) 

The event was hosted by Liliana Galván, President of IDEA's General Meeting Committee  (

Vote on Revised Constitution PASSES!

As charged by the 2017 GCM in Évora, Portugal, the revised IDEA Constitution and Operational Manual were further revised in Lima, and were presented to the IDEA membership for ratification by the Lima GCM, who voted that the President use his emergency powers to ask the membership to ratify the new documents this month. All IDEA members participated in this historic vote and the revised constitution was passed unanimously! On advisement by our team of pro-bono attorneys in Lisboa, there were a few other language changes made to the constitution to further conform to Portuguese law. The final version of the new constitution is posted here and will be formally endorsed at the Congress in Beijing, in July of 2020.

Link to IDEA Constitution

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