Statutes of the International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Revision of original 2005 statutes formally adopted at the World General Assembly of IUSTI held in Vancouver 2019 and at the World General Assembly held virtually by Zoom in 2021.
- Article 1: General Provisions
- Article 2: Objects
- Article 3: Governing Bodies and Officers
- Article 4: Membership
- Article 5: Extraordinary Members
- Article 6: List of Members
- Article 7: General Assembly
- Article 8: Voting
- Article 9: Executive Committee
- Article 10: The President
- Article 11: The Immediate Past President
- Article 12: The Secretary-General
- Article 13: The Membership Secretary
- Article 14: The Treasurer
- Article 15: Application of the Income and Property
- Article 16: Disqualification and removal of Trustees (members of the Executive Committee)
- Article 17: Annual Report and Return and Accounts
- Article 18: Registered particulars
- Article 19: Regional Officers/Branches
- Article 20: Amendments to the Statutes
- Article 21: Dissolution of the Union
Article 1: General Provisions
The International Union against Sexually Transmitted Infections (hereafter referred to as the Union or IUSTI) is a voluntary body of unlimited duration, without political, religious or social ties. It is a Charity, subject to the laws of England and Wales.
Article 2: Objects
- To advance public health so far as it is affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and to promote and encourage the study of the public health aspects of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, the endemic treponematoses and other sexual health problems.
- To promote, encourage and improve the study and practice of the art and science of diagnosing treating and preventing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, the endemic treponematoses and other sexual health problems.
The objects of the Union may be pursued through the following activities:
- Organisation and sponsorship of regional and/or international meetings and congresses for information exchange.
- Representation at relevant national, regional and international meetings.
- Encouragement of the membership to contribute to public health programmes for the control of STIs.
- Co-operation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNAIDS and other appropriate organisations.
- Nomination of consultants for special assignments or missions e.g. to the WHO
- Support for the development of regional branches and national societies and encouragement of their creation in those countries where such societies do not exist.
- Issue of bulletins and newsletters and maintenance of a website.
- Organisation of training courses and provision of assistance.
- Production of regional, national and international management guidelines.
- Activities designed to increase public awareness of STIs/HIV infection, particularly among members of high-risk groups and to promote appropriate preventative measures.
Article 3: Governing Bodies and Officers
The Governing Bodies of the Union are the General Assembly, which all members are entitled to attend, and the Executive Committee.
The Union’s policy is determined by the Governing Bodies. It is administered by the elected officers who are the trustees of the Union.
The officers are:
- the President
- the President Elect
- the Treasurer
- the Secretary General
- the Membership Secretary
- the Immediate Past President
Article 4: Membership
Membership of the Union is open to:
- individuals interested in the study, prevention and control of STIs including HIV/AIDS and the endemic treponematoses.
- national and international voluntary groups, associations, societies and organisations concerned with STI problems; national health administrations may also be members of the Union.
Full membership confers full voting rights at the General Assembly and Regional meetings, and discount on conference fees.
Payment for Full Membership
An annual membership fee will be collected by the Membership Secretary
Misuse of Membership
It is not permitted to use membership of the IUSTI for the purposes of advertising.
Membership is lost on non-payment of membership fee (when the individual will become an Associate Member), resignation, non-adherence to the Constitution or on the death of an individual.
Article 5: Extraordinary Members
Associate membership of the Union is open to individuals who would like to maintain a corresponding link with it. Associate membership will not be linked to the payment of any membership dues. Potential associate members will be required to submit an application on line for associate membership to the membership secretariat; associate membership will be granted by the membership secretary for a maximum of 6 years.
Associate members may participate in meetings of the Union without voting rights. Membership is lost on resignation, non-adherence to the Constitution or upon the death of an individual.
A General Assembly may confer honorary membership on individuals, associations or organisations which have rendered important services to the Union, or to the field. Honorary members may participate in the meetings of the Union without voting rights.
The Executive Committee may confer corresponding membership on individuals who act as liaison officers between national, regional or international organisations and the Union.
The Executive Committee may nominate as patrons, individuals, associations or organisations which wish to support the work of the Union by contributions to its general fund or by grants to special projects. Patrons may participate in meetings of the Union without voting rights.
Article 6: List of Members
An updated list of the Union’s full members, associate members, honorary members, corresponding members and patrons, along with their affiliations and contact details shall be kept by the Membership Secretary, and the Treasurer and Secretary General be apprised of the membership details as required.
Article 7: General Assembly
The highest authority in the Union is the General Assembly.
Delegates to the Assembly are members of the Union.
The General Assembly:
- determines the policy of the Union and approves its programme and budget.
- considers the reports on the activities of the Union’s Officers and Executive Committee.
- considers the Constitution of the Union and duly proposed amendments.
- elects the Officers and members of the Executive Committee, and the Regional Directors for appropriate periods, usually on the considered recommendation of the Executive Committee. The President is elected for one term of two years but may, if invited, be elected for a further two-year period. The other officers, as well as the Executive Committee members and the Regional Directors are appointed for a 4-year term and may be re-elected for a further term if continuity of work is desired and accepted.
- decides the place and date of the next General Assembly or may delegate this to the Executive Committee.
General Assemblies shall be held at least every two years.
Article 8: Voting
A proposal to the General Assembly or the Executive Committee must be approved by a majority of full members present at a General Assembly or of members of the Executive Committee, respectively. A quorum of at least 10 full members must be present where a vote is taken.
The vote of the President or his alternate is decisive in cases of a tie. The right to vote is restricted to full members of the Union or of the Executive Committee, respectively.
Article 9: Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is composed of the Officers, the elected members and the Regional Directors and Chairmen, including those acting as Liaison Officers to the WHO, to PAHO and to the International League of Dermatological Societies or to other appropriate societies. The number of members elected by the General Assembly should not exceed fifteen (15) and, when nominations for new elected members are being made, efforts should be made to bear in mind a balance between the regions of the world. Unless progressing to become an Officer of the Union, Executive Committee membership should be limited to two four-year terms.
People wishing to be nominated for a position on the Executive Committee must be full members of IUSTI.
A person nominating someone for a position on the Executive Committee must also be a full member of IUSTI.
If the paid membership of the Executive Committee member lapses they will automatically become an Associate Member of IUSTI meaning they will be ineligible to attend Executive Committee meetings and their position on that committee will be open to replacement.
Ex-Officio members are the President of the International Society for STD Research (ISSTDR) and the Medical Officers in charge of STI activities at the WHO.
Members of the Executive Committee who have a long history, or particularly distinguished service to the Union, may be invited to become Senior Counsellors and are still welcome at meetings. They do not have a vote and their position on the Committee may be open to eventual replacement.
The Chairman of all sessions is the President or in their absence, the Immediate Past-President, or failing that a deputy appointed by the President and approved by the ExCo or General Assembly.
Election of New Officers
Members of the Executive Committee, including the President, are elected by the General Assembly on recommendation of the Executive Committee (see Article 7). A new President should have served as a member of the Executive Committee within the last four (4) years.
The President shall be elected for a two-year period, between consecutive General Assemblies but may, if invited by the Executive Committee and approved by the General Assembly, undertake a second two-year term. The Secretary General, the Membership Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected for periods of four years. During the first year of office, prior to the World Executive Committee, the President should indicate that he/she would be prepared to undertake a second two-year term of office. This would require support from the Executive Committee so a vote would be held at the meeting and would require support from the majority of the voting members of the committee. If supported by the Executive Committee this will be presented to the next General Assembly for approval.
Nominations for Officers and Regional Directors should be sought, through the office of the Secretary General in advance of appropriately timed meetings of the Executive Committee, so that new Officers and Regional Directors can be elected in a timely fashion. To enable this the President will nominate individuals (usually three to five) from the Executive Committee, who do not wish to have their names considered, to form a Nominations Committee. It will consider the proposed names and select those considered suitable to be subjected to a ballot of the Executive Committee members. This may be conducted by post or electronically.
A President Elect should be nominated and elected as the outgoing President retires.
Nominations for Regional Elected Member posts due to become vacant should be sought, through the Secretary General, in advance of the Executive Committee meeting and the General Assembly, so that the newly Elected Members can be approved by the Executive Committee, and the General Assembly, and take up their post following the General Assembly.
The President will nominate up to five individuals from the Executive Committee to join him/her on the Finding Committee. Two of the individuals will be the Regional Director and Regional Chair of the appropriate region. The other individuals will be appointed by the President and can be ex-officio such as Senior Counsellors. The names of people to be considered for selection can be put forward to the Finding Committee by the Region or by the World Executive Committee.
The Finding Committee will consider the proposed names and select those considered suitable based on:
The person Being a paid-up member of IUSTI
Being able to speak English
Being able to get to the World EC meetings
Having a region-wide, and ideally a world-wide, perspective
And the geographical spread of the other Regional members
If more suitable persons than vacant places are selected, a secret ballot will be held of all voting members of the Executive Committee. This will be conducted electronically.’
Duties of the Executive Committee
- To ensure probity in the Unions affairs. It shall not permit the assets of the Union to be overspent and shall seek to ensure that there are no outstanding debts
- It will approve, or not, the loan of seeding grants to those running the Union’s conferences and will seek to ensure that these loans are repaid in addition to any agreed financial surplus from the conference
- To propose a forward working programme for the Union and to implement such programmes as have already been approved by the General Assembly.
- To prepare financial reports and to ensure that any spending plans are within the budget of the Union over a relevant period, for approval by the General Assembly.
- To propose the officers for the periods specified above and counsellors of the Union for a period of four years.
- To propose members to fill vacancies in the Executive Committee.
Proceedings, Delegation, Minutes
- An Executive Committee member may not appoint anyone to act on his/her behalf at meetings.
- The Executive Committee may regulate its proceedings as it thinks fit, subject to the provisions of these statutes and the President shall chair their meetings. His/her powers shall be as laid down in the statutes.
- Minutes shall be kept of all meetings of the Executive Committee including the names of the members present at the meetings, shall detail decisions made at the meetings and, where appropriate, the reasons for the decisions.
- The Executive Committee may delegate any of its powers or functions to an individual or a committee of two or more members, but the terms of any such delegation must be recorded in the Minutes. Conditions may be imposed when delegating, including that the relevant powers are to be exercised exclusively by individuals or the committee to whom they delegate, and no expenditure may be incurred on behalf of the Union, except in accordance with a budget previously agreed with the Executive Committee.
- Executive Committee members must declare any potential conflicts of interest, and this must complete the IUSTI declaration of interest form annually or additionally in particular circumstances as they arise. Specifically, membership of other related societies or boards of trustees, and adviserships and payments from the pharmaceutical and devices industry must be declared.
- Each of the Executive Committee members shall retire in accordance with the Statutes but will be eligible for re-election, apart from the Immediate Past President.
- Executive Committee members shall receive no benefits in money or in kind except as permitted in article 15.
Article 10: The President
The President shall:
- preside over meetings of the Union.
- carry out the general policy of the Union.
- present matters determined by the Executive Committee for discussion and approval by the General Assembly
- make suitable initiatives to present the policies of the Union between Executive Committee meetings.
- represent the Union at national or international meetings or at other events, and at discussions with governmental or international authorities.
- nominate interim acting officers in case of emergency.
- delegate obligations such as chairmanship, where necessary. This will depend on approval of the governing bodies.
- maintain a dialogue with other international organisations or societies of comparable interest.
Article 11: The Immediate Past President
Each President becomes Immediate Past President after termination of a period of office as President and until the next President is succeeded in office. The Immediate Past President shall participate in all meetings of the Union and assist the President in all matters of Union policy.
In the event of the unavailability of the President, through death or inability to attend an Executive Committee meeting, General Assembly or official function of the Union, the Immediate Past President will take the Chair.
Article 12: The Secretary-General
The Secretary General shall:
- take decisions on matters normally within the competence of the Executive Committee or the President when, for urgent reasons, the Executive Committee cannot meet, or the President cannot be consulted.
- submit each decision to the next session of the Executive Committee for ratification, amendment or repeal, the President having been informed as soon as possible.
- keep an up to date list of all of the members of the Executive Committee and ensure that this list is available at each meeting of the Union and on the website, together with the valid version of the Constitution of the Union.
- prepare provisional agendas for meetings of the Executive Committee and of General Assemblies and send them to the members of the Executive Committee two (2) weeks before the related meeting.
- prepare minutes on the discussions and decisions of each Executive Committee meeting and General Assembly which are to be distributed to all members of the Executive Committee and which should also be available on the Union’s website.
- maintain contact with and liaise with regional branches.
- maintain registration with the United Nations (UN) and produce, and maintain, a five-year plan for the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Secretary-General will be appointed by the Executive Committee for a period of four (4) years.
Article 13: The Membership Secretary
The Membership Secretary will share responsibility with the Secretary General for managing the Union’s secretariat. Specific duties will include:
- maintaining an up-to-date register of the Union’s members; the register will reflect the membership categories and the date of membership renewal and collection of membership fees
- correspondence with members and circulation of newsletters, IUSTI documents and invitations to participate in the Union’s initiatives
- organisation of membership renewal
- maintenance, with the Webmaster and the Secretary General, of the Union’s website
The Membership Secretary will be appointed by the Executive Committee for a period of four (4) years.
Article 14: The Treasurer
Day to day management of the Union’s financial affairs is the responsibility of the Treasurer, who in turn is responsible to the trustees. The following general and specific provisions apply:
The sources of income are membership fees, collected on-line or from attendees at conferences through the organisers, contributions or donations from other individuals or organisations, and other sources of income which are acceptable according to the regulations of the Charity Commission of England and wales.
The membership fee is set by the Executive Committee, shall be agreed by a General Assembly and shall be collected by the Membership Secretary, generally by credit card. Fully paid-up members of the Union may be entitled to a reduction in the registration fee at IUSTI meetings.
Expenses are met from income. All expenses, including those for international meetings, must be approved by the Treasurer and the Executive Committee. Seeding grants may be made to the organisers of IUSTI meetings, on the basis that these grants are returnable in addition to a proportion of any agreed financial surplus from the conference if the meeting is financially successful.
The financial report should be examined independently by accountants, approved by the Executive Committee, and the General Assembly, shall contain comprehensive information on the financial situation of the Union and must be submitted each year at the time of a meeting of the Executive Committee.
The Treasurer should seek information from the Regional Branches regarding their financial situations, particularly if financial support has been seeded from central funds to facilitate a regional conference. The expectation should always be that such seed money be returned to the central funds.
The Treasurer will be appointed by the Executive Committee for a period of four (4) years.
Article 15: Application of the Income and Property
- The income and property of the Union shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the Objects.
- A member of the Executive Committee may pay out of, or be reimbursed from, the property of the Union, reasonable expenses properly incurred by him or her when acting on behalf of the Union.
- None of the income or property of the Union may be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise by way of profit to any member of the Union. This does not prevent:
- a member who is not also a member of the Executive Committee from receiving reasonable and proper remuneration for any goods or services supplied to the Union
- a member of the Executive Committee from:
- buying goods or services from the Union upon the same terms as other members of the public
- receiving a benefit from the Union in the capacity of a beneficiary of the Union, provided that the Executive Committee complies with sub clause (6) of this clause, or as a member of the Union and upon the same terms as other members;
- the purchase of indemnity insurance for the Executive Committee against any liability that by virtue of any rule of law would otherwise attach to an Executive Committee member in respect of any negligence, default breach of duty or breach of trust of which he or she may be guilty in relation to the Union but excluding:
- costs of unsuccessfully defending criminal prosecutions for offences arising out of the fraud, dishonesty or wilful or reckless misconduct of the Executive Committee member;
- liabilities to the Union that result from conduct that the Executive Committee member knew or ought to have known was not in the best interests of the Union or in respect of which the person concerned did not care whether that conduct was in the best interests of the Union or not
- No member of the Executive Committee may be paid or receive any other benefit for being a member of the committee.
- A member of the Executive Committee may:
- sell goods, services or any interest in land to the Union;
- be employed by or receive any remuneration from the Union;
- receive any other financial benefit from the Union;
- he or she is not prevented from so doing by sub-clause (4) of this clause; and
- the benefit is permitted by sub-clause (3) of this clause; or
- the benefit is authorised by the Executive Committee in accordance with the conditions in sub-clause (6) of this clause
If it is proposed that a member of the Executive Committee should receive a benefit from the Union that is not already permitted under sub-clause (3) of this clause, he or she must:
- declare his or her interest in the proposal;
- be absent from that part of any meeting at which the proposal is discussed and take no part in any discussion of it;
- not be counted in determining whether the meeting is quorate;
- not vote on the proposal
In cases covered by sub-clause (5) of this clause, those members of the Executive Committee who do not stand to receive the proposed benefit must be satisfied that it is in the interests of the Union to contact with or employ that member rather than with someone who is not a member and they must record their decision in the Minutes. In reaching that decision the Executive Committee must balance the advantage of contracting with or employing an Executive Committee member against the disadvantage of doing so (especially the loss of the Executive Committee member’s services as a result of dealing with the Executive Committee’s conflict of interest).
The Executive Committee may only authorise a transaction falling within paragraphs 5(a) – (c) of this clause if the Committee comprise a majority of members who have not received any such benefit.
If the Executive Committee fails to follow this procedure, the resolution to confer a benefit upon the committee member will be void and the member must repay to the Union the value of any benefit received by the member from the Union.
- An Executive Committee member must absent himself or herself from any discussions of the Committee in which it is possible that a conflict will arise between his or her duty to act solely in the interests of the Union and any personal interest (including but not limited to any personal financial interest) and take no part in voting upon the matter.
- In this Article 4, “Executive Committee member” shall include any person or company connected with the member.
Article 16: Disqualification and removal of Trustees (members of the Executive Committee)
A member may not hold office as a trustee or remain as a member of the Executive Committee if he/she:
- is disqualified from acting as a Trustee by virtue of section 72 of the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that provision);
- ceases to be a full member of the Union;
- becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering his/her own affairs;
- resigns as a member by notice to the Union (but only if at least two members will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect); or
- is absent without the permission of the Executive Committee from all its meetings held within 18 consecutive months and the committee resolves that that his or her office be vacated.
Article 17: Annual Report and Return and Accounts
- The Executive Committee must comply with its obligations as defined by the Charity Commission with regard to:
- the keeping of accounting records for the Union;
- the preparation of annual statements of account for the Union;
- the transmission of the statements of account to the General Assembly;
- the transmission of an annual report and its transmission to the Charity Commission;
- the preparation of an annual return and its transmission to the Charity Commission
- Accounts must be prepared in accordance with the provisions of any Statement of Recommended Practice issued by the Charity Commission, unless the Executive Committee is required to prepare accounts in accordance with the provisions of such a Statement prepared by another body.
- The Executive Committee must comply with its obligations as defined by the Charity Commission with regard to:
Article 18: Registered particulars
The Trustees must notify the Commission of any changes to the Union’s entry on the Central Register of Charities.
Article 19: Regional Officers/Branches
The IUSTI has five Regions:
- North America
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Africa and the Middle East and North Africa
The Regional Branches are headed by Regional Directors, nominated by the Executive Committee and the nomination ratified by a General Assembly. Each Region will elect its own Chairman, from among its members. The Regional Branches shall constitute the link between Officers of the Union, especially the President and the Secretary General and the Directors of the Regional Branches of IUSTI, national organisations not affiliated to regional branches, and Union members in areas not covered by regional branches of the IUSTI. They are financially independent of the Union, which has no responsibility for their financial affairs.
The Regional Directors will:
- promote and support the policies and activities of the Union as outlined by the Governing Bodies, adapted to local requirements.
- maintain and organise meetings of a regional committee, often made up of representatives of each interested country in the region, which will afford an opportunity for exchange of information and experience
- promote membership of the Union and act as a means for collecting information on behalf of the General Secretariat.
- prepare reports on their activities and respective problems encountered in their region to be presented at meetings of the Executive Committee.
Regional Directors are appointed for four (4) years.
National Societies of IUSTI
If requested, national societies of IUSTI can be established to help strengthen national STI efforts if supported by the local Region and the World Executive Committee. The process for this should be:
- Formal written request of recognition of IUSTI.XX society to be sent to the relevant Regional Director and Chair, President and General Secretary asking for the Regional Committee and the World Executive Committee to give approval of the society as an IUSTI-affiliated national society known as IUSTI.XX.
- The written request should provide information on the proposed organisational structure of IUSTI.XX and membership criteria, and the objectives and planned activities.
- The written request should specifically state that the society will be financially independent of World IUSTI and the local Region and that neither of these will have any responsibility for the society’s financial affairs.
- Approval by the Regional Committee and the World Executive Committee will be documented in the minutes. Then a Memorandum of Understanding will be drawn up between the society and the IUSTI Region and World IUSTI, resulting in the recognition of the national society.
Article 20: Amendments to the Statutes
The provisions of the Statutes can be amended by the General Assembly, or by an Extraordinary Assembly, on the proposal of the Executive Committee. Proposed amendments taken to an Assembly shall have the prior endorsement of the Executive Committee, having first been submitted by one or more members in writing, or electronically, at least six (6) weeks before this meeting. Subject to the following provisions of this clause, the Statutes may be amended by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting at a General Assembly.
- The notice of the Assembly must include notice of the resolution setting out the terms of the amendment proposed.
- No amendment may be made to article 2, to the clauses detailing the Executive Committee members’ personal interests, their lack of remuneration, this article or the Committee’s power of investment (and no amendment may be made which would allow the Committee to spend the assets of the Union) without the prior written permission of the Charity Commissioners.
- The Executive Committee must:
- promptly send to the Commissioners a copy of any amendment made; and keep a copy of any such amendment with these Statutes.
ARTICLE 21: DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION
- If members resolve to dissolve the Union, the trustees will remain in office and be responsible for winding up the affairs of the Union in accordance with this article.
- The trustees, supported by the Executive Committee, must collect in all the assets of the Union and must pay or make provision for all the liabilities of the Union.
- The trustees, supported by the Executive Committee, must apply any remaining property or money:
- directly for the Objects;
- by transfer to any charity or charities for purpose the same as or similar to the Union;
- in such other manner as the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales (“the Commission”) may approve in writing in advance.
- The members may pass a resolution before or at the same time as the resolution to dissolve the Union specifying the manner in which the Executive Committee is to apply the remaining property assets of the Union and the Committee must comply with the resolution if it is consistent with paragraphs (a) – (c) inclusive in sub-clause (3) above.
- In no circumstances shall the net assets of the Union be paid to or distributed among the members of the Union (except to a member that is itself a charity).
- The Executive Committee must notify the Commission promptly that the Union has been dissolved. If the Committee is obliged to send the Union’s accounts to the Commission for the accounting period which ended before its dissolution, they must send to the Commission the Union’s final accounts.