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Constitution of OMEP

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Preamble
The Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Préscolaire (OMEP) is an international, non governmental and non profit-making organisation dedicated to all aspects of early childhood education and care (ECEC). OMEP, founded in 1948 in Prague, was established in order to advance the interests and overall well-being of children in all parts of the world, regardless of race, sex, religion, national or social origin. It is empowered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of November 20, 1989. It is specifically aimed at advancing early childhood education and care in accordance with articles 28-30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
1. Identity of the Organisation

1.1 The name of the organisation is “Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Préscolaire” (World Organisation for Early Childhood Education and Care), or “OMEP”. The abbreviation “OMEP” shall be used in all languages.

1.2 Its legal headquarters are in Paris, France, – 190 rue d’Alesia, 75014 Paris. The temporary headquarters shall be decided by the World Assembly.

1.3 Its term is unlimited.

1.4 Its financial year starts on 1 January and ends 31 December of each calendar year.

1.5 Its official languages are English, French and Spanish. Other languages may nevertheless be used.

2. Aims and Means of Action

2.1 OMEP’s aims and objectives are to defend and promote the rights of the child with special emphasis on the right to education and care worldwide. To this end, OMEP shall help any undertaking which could promote access to quality early childhood education and care.

2.2 The means of action of OMEP are as follows:

(1) collecting and disseminating information and facilitating the understanding of the needs of early childhood worldwide,

(2) promoting study and research related to early childhood education and care,

(3) encouraging family education in connection with early childhood education and care,

(4) encouraging the training of personnel for early childhood education and care,

(5) organising international and regional conferences and symposia,

(6) facilitating direct links and personal contacts between all members by various media,

(7) establishing working relationship with other appropriate world organisations,

(8) encouraging the establishment of National Committees.

3. Members
OMEP consists of the following Members:
3.1 National Committees
3.1.1 National Committees are entities or associations of individuals, whether or not incorporated in their country of origin, whose Membership is recognised by OMEP.

3.1.2 Membership is subject to a written application addressed to the World Executive of OMEP, after an examination by the Region to which the applicant wishes to belong. The World Executive’s approval is ratified by the World Assembly.

After a period as a Preparatory Committee full membership shall be considered by the Region and passed to the World Executive prior to the approval by the World Assembly (6.6.11).

A National Committee shall notify the World Executive in writing of the region to which it wishes to belong for purpose of ratifatication by the World Assembly (6.6.10).

A National Committee may change the Region to which it belongs, provided it submits its intentions in writing at least three (3) months prior to the meeting of a World Assembly.

3.1.3 National Committees contribute to OMEP’s aims and objectives, in particular by:

(1) accepting the aims and objectives of OMEP,

(2) accepting into membership all local organisations and individuals who subscribe to the aims and objectives of OMEP, regardless of race, gender, religion or social origin, being representative of the field of early childhood education and care in their respective country.

3.1.4 National Committees abide by the present Articles of Association, or adopt a constitution being in line with the present Articles of Association.

3.1.5 National Committees are subject to the following obligations:

(1) presenting an annual activity report to the World Assembly,

(2) paying an annual membership fee, the amount of which is set by the World Assembly,

(3) attending the international meetings as often as possible,

(4) submitting to the World Executive the current names and addresses of elected members and contact personnel of the committee,

(5) following the working plan set up by the World Assembly, working together with the other National Committees in their Region,

(6) pursuing and developing their own national activities.

3.1.6 Each National Committee, represented by a President or officially assigned delegate, has a voting right at the World Assembly meetings.

3.1.7 Members of National Committees, whether individuals or local organisations, represented by their President or officially assigned delegate, can attend the World Assembly as observers.

3.2 Preparatory Committees

3.2.1 Preparatory Committees are entities or associations of individuals, whether incorporated or not in their country of origin, whose Membership is not recognised yet by OMEP, but whose application has been accepted by the World Assembly.

3.2.2 Their application for the status of National Committees is examined by the Region to which they wish to belong, then by the World Executive, and is approved by the next World Assembly, as mentioned in clause 3.1.2.

If, at the expiry of a five-year (5-year) period from its application, a Preparatory Committee has not been granted the status of National Committee by the World Assembly, it shall apply again.
3.2.3 They are subject to the same obligations as National Committees.

3.2.4 Preparatory Committees do not have any voting rights at OMEP World Assembly meetings.

3.3 Individual Members 

3.3.1 An Individual Member is an individual who accepts OMEP’s aims and objectives, and who is recognized by the World Assembly as such, in countries where there is neither a National Committee nor a Preparatory Committee. Individual Members may assume responsibility for creating a Preparatory Committee in their countries.

3.3.2 Individual Membership is authorized by the World Executive and approved by the World Assembly upon recommendation from the Region.

3.3.3 Individual Members attend OMEP World Assembly meetings as observers and do not have any voting rights.

3.4 Honorary Members 

3.4.1 Honorary Members are individuals recognized by the World Assembly, who have dedicated their lives and work to the education and the care of young children and deserve special recognition for this.

3.4.2 Honorary Membership is authorized by the Executive Committee and ratified by the World Assembly upon recommendation of the Region.

3.4.3 Honorary Members attend OMEP World Assembly meetings as observers and do not have any voting rights.

4. Membership Fees

4.1 National Committees, Preparatory Committees and Individual Members pay an annual membership fee. Honorary Members are not liable to pay a membership fee.

4.2 The amount of the annual fee is set by the World Assembly.

5. Loss of Membership Status

5.1 In the event of:

(1) resignation,

(2) failure to abide by the obligations referred to in these Articles of Association for a period of three (3) years.

5.2. The explanation of the Member concerned is heard by the World Assembly. The World Assembly decides whether to withdraw OMEP Membership.

6. World Assembly

6.1 The World Assembly is the highest authority of the Organisation. It consists of the National Committees (represented by their respective National president or assigned delegate). Each National Committee has voting rights.

6.2 The World Assembly is held at least once a year, the date and place being set at the previous World Assembly meeting. Extraordinary sessions may also be held at any time upon convening (specifying where the World Assembly meeting is to be held) by the World Executive, the World President or two thirds (2/3) of the National Committees.

6.3 Its agenda is set by the World Executive and addressed to every National Committee at least three (3) months prior to the holding of the World Assembly meeting. National Committees and the World President can request the addition of new resolutions to the agenda of the World Assembly meeting until one (1) month prior to the holding of the World Assembly meeting.

6.4 The World Assembly meeting is chaired by the World President or, should this not be possible, by the Deputy World President or by a member of the World Executive. The chairman appoints scrutinisers and the secretary to draft the minutes.

6.5 Members of the World Executive attend the World Assembly meeting as observers. However, a member of the World Executive can vote at the World Assembly in its capacity as President or delegate of a National Committee, but cannot hold a proxy.

6.6 The World Assembly has sole competence for:

(1) electing and freely dismissing the World President,

(2) electing and freely dismissing Regional Vice Presidents,

(3) electing and freely dismissing the World Treasurer,

(4) defining the policies and the working programme of OMEP,

(5) hearing and approving the World Executive’s management report and the report on the moral and financial situation of OMEP,

(6) appointing, upon the World Executive’s suggestion, an auditor in charge of assisting the World Treasurer in preparing the accounts of OMEP,

(7) hearing the auditor’s report, approving the World Treasurer’s report containing the accounts for the past financial year and approving the accounts for the said financial year, voting to approve the budget for the next accounting year, discussing the agenda,

(8) replacing, should the need arise, the members of the World Executive,

(9) determining the scale of OMEP Membership fees,

(10) defining the Regions,

(11) confirming recommendations by the World Executive in connection with changes affecting members,

(12) approving all changes to these Articles of Association (including any change of registered office) and potential dissolution,

(13) approving the appointment of representatives to the UNICEF, UNESCO and other international/regional organisations and their annual reports.

6.7 Any decision to dismiss the World President, the World Treasurer or any Regional Vice President taken by the World Assembly must be followed immediately by the appointment of a new World President, World Treasurer or Regional Vice President until the end of the current term. A similar decision shall be taken forthwith by the World Assembly in the case of the aforementioned individuals leaving office for any other reason. Should the need arise, the Deputy World President stands in until a new World President is appointed.

6.8 With the exception of decisions taken pursuant to Articles 16 and 17 of this Constitution, resolutions are adopted by the World Assembly by the simple majority of the National Committees presented or represented, but representing at least one quarter (1/4) of the voting National Committees.

6.9 Any National Committee can delegate in writing to another National Committee its voting right to the World Assembly. A National Committee cannot represent more than two other National Committees.

6.10 Minutes of all decisions are taken, and must be signed by the World President, the scrutinisers and the secretary. They are drawn up without blanks or deletions, on numbered pages, and kept at OMEP’s headquarters.

6.11 The annual report and the accounts are sent to all OMEP Members each year.

 

7. World President

7.1 The World President is elected by the World Assembly for a three-year term renewable once.

7.2 Following each election of the World President, the working documents of OMEP are transferred to any place chosen by the World President, located in his/her country of residence. The convening letters to the World Assembly meeting for the election of the World President indicate the addresses chosen by the various candidates for the World Presidency.

7.3 The World President represents OMEP in all civil acts.

7.4 The World President controls expenses.

7.5 In the case of judicial representation, only a specifically empowered representative shall replace the World President.

7.6 The World President must enjoy unimpeded civil rights.

8. World Executive

8.1 The World Executive consists of the World President, the Regional Vice Presidents, the former World President for a period of one year from his/her replacement, the World Treasurer and a restricted number of other individuals elected by the World Assembly by secret voting paper for a three-year (3-year) term.

8.2 Upon each renewal of the Executive Committee, the World Assembly designates a certain number of substitutes in order to replace any Members of the World Executive who may leave office before the end of their mandate.

8.3 Members of the World Executive are re-eligible.

8.4 The World Executive chooses, by secret ballot, a Deputy World President amongst its Members for the duration of its World Executive membership.

9. Functioning of the World Executive

9.1 The World Executive implements the decisions of the World Assembly.

9.2 The World Executive meets at least once a year and every time it is convened by the World President or upon the request of a quarter (1/4) of its Members. It can also take decisions by correspondence, including by way of fax or e-mail. It can also meet by way of teleconference or videoconference.

9.3 Attendance of at least one third (1/3) of the members of the World Executive is necessary for the deliberations to be valid. It takes its decisions by the majority of the members present or represented. In the event of a tie in the voting, the World President’s vote shall prevail. No member of the World Executive can hold more than one proxy.

9.4 Minutes of all decisions are taken, and must be signed by the World President and the Secretary. They are drawn up without blanks or deletions, on numbered pages, and kept at OMEP’s headquarters.

9.5 The World Executive reports in writing, on its work each year, to the World Assembly.

9.6 The World Executive prepares an administrative guide and keeps it up to date.

9.7 The World Assembly can designate individuals within the World Executive, with the exception of the World President, who shall be responsible for special missions for a determined period of time.

9.8 OMEP employees can, should the need arise, be called upon by the World President to attend the World Assembly and the World Executive for consultation purposes.

9.9 Members of the World Executive cannot be remunerated for the tasks they are entrusted with. Expenses incurred as part of their missions are reimbursed, subject to an express decision of the World Executive. Justification must be produced and will be checked.

10. Regions
10.1 OMEP institutes Regions, each being chaired by a Regional Vice President appointed by the World Assembly for a three-year (3-year) period renewable once only.

10.2 Each National Committee belongs to a Region of OMEP.

10.3 Regional Assemblies, comprising Members of the National Committees of the Region concerned, are held at least once a year upon convening by the Regional Vice President or by a decision of two thirds (2/3) at least of the National Committees belonging to the Region concerned.

10.4 The venue, date and agenda of a Regional Assembly are sent in writing to the Members of the Region prior to the meeting.

10.5 Regional Assembly meetings are aimed at :

(1) determining the programmes and projects of the Region in accordance with the programme set by the World Assembly,

(2) reviewing the work of the regions and determining future activities,

(3) appointing when necessary a candidate for the Regional Vice Presidency.

11. Commissions and Working Groups

11.1 Commissions and Working Groups can be set up by the World Assembly when necessary. Each Commission or Working Group must comprise at least one member of the World Executive.

11.2 Commissions and Working Groups deliver reports to the World President, who submits them to the World Assembly for ratification.

12. Supervision and Regulations

12.1 The World Assembly establishes and modifies OMEP regulations.
12.2 The World Assembly looks into any violation of the Articles of Association and OMEP regulations.

13. Representation within International Organisations
13.1 The Representative of OMEP at the headquarters of UNESCO, UNICEF and other international or regional organisations are designated by the World Executive, and their appointment is approved by the World Assembly.

13.2 These Representatives must submit an annual report and inform the World President and their Regional Vice President of forthcoming events.

13.3 Membership fees resulting from this duty may be refunded by OMEP upon production of the receipts.

14. Income
The annual income of OMEP consists of:

14.1 Membership fees;

14.2 Subsidies received from any state, federal or federated state, state organisation, town, publicly-owned company (établissement public), non governmental organisation, international organisation, and more generally any person, entity or association, whether public or private, that is vested with public prerogatives (prérogatives de puissance publique);

14.3 Funding from donations and sponsoring;

14.4 Income from sales and services rendered, including international seminars and publications.

15. Accountancy

15.1 The World Treasurer is elected by the World Assembly for a three-year (3-year) period renewable once only.
The World Treasurer is in charge of keeping accounts and producing annual accounts comprising a balance sheet, a profit and loss account and an annex.15.2 The World Treasurer has to present an annual report of finances including the state of accounts. She/he presents the draft budget for the year to come to the World Assembly.

15.3 The businsess year of the organisation runs from 1st January to the 31st of December. The auditor must be an officially recognized professional approved by the World Executive.

15.4 The World Executive draws up the previous year’s accounts within three (3) months prior to the holding of the World Assembly meeting and submits it to the World Assembly.

15.5 Each National Committee must keep its own accounts, which form a distinct part of OMEP’s global accounts.

15.6 The expenses of the World President are covered by a specific budget.

15.7 By no means shall profits made by the Organisation be distributed or refunded to its Members. Any surplus that is not necessary for the running of OMEP shall be carried forward to the following year.

15.8 Deliberations of the World Executive relating to any acquisitions, exchanges and alienations of buildings which are necessary for the purposes of OMEP, mortgages on the said buildings, leases exceeding nine years, alienations of goods comprised within provisions and borrowings must be approved by the World Assembly.

16. Changes to the Articles of Association

16.1 These Articles of Association can be amended by the World Assembly at the request of the World Executive, by a majority of two thirds (2/3) of the voting National Committees.

16.2 Requests for amendment are included in the next World Assembly agenda, and must be sent to the World President at least four (4) months, and to the National Committees at least two (2) months, prior to the holding of a World Assembly meeting. The World Assembly must be composed of at least a quarter (1/4) of the voting National Committees. If this proportion is not achieved, the World Assembly shall be convened again (by way of a convening letter addressed to all OMEP Members) after a fortnight, and can deliberate, whatever the number of National Committees present or represented.

17. Dissolution

17.1 The World Assembly deliberating on the dissolution of OMEP, especially convened for this purpose in the conditions set out in the above clause, must comprise at least half of the National Committees. If this proportion is not achieved, the World Assembly shall be convened again (by way of a convening letter addressed to all OMEP Members) after a fortnight, and can deliberate, whatever the number of National Committees present or represented.

17.2 In any case, the dissolution can be passed only with a majority of two thirds (2/3) of the National Committees present or represented.

17.3 In the event of dissolution, the World Assembly shall appoint one or several liquidators in charge of winding up OMEP’s assets. It shall allocate the net assets to one or several associations or international/regional organisations with similar purposes.

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