Gulf Cooperation Council
الأراضي القاحلة و التطوير
Constitution of the
The original of the Constitution is in English
1.1. The Network shall bear the name "GCC Network for Drylands Research & Development" with the acronym NDRD and is hereafter referred to as the Network.
1.2. The Network will have a seal and stamp. The seal of the Network is square, with the following inscription: GCC Network for Drylands Research and Development in English and Arabic. The stamp of the Network is rectangular with the following inscription: GCC Network for Drylands Research and Development (NDRD) in English and Arabic, No... Date... Year...
1.3. The registered address of the Network shall be in a GCC member state.
2.1. The GCC Network for Drylands Research & Development (NDRD) is a professional, non-governmental, non-profit organization and will be established in compliance with the GCC objective to prompt scientific and technical progress in the fields of industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources, as well as establishment of scientific research centers.
2.2. The Network is an artificial person and is registered in accordance with the laws of the host country. The Network acts independently in legal dealings with other parties.
3.1. To guarantee the continuous cross-cultural humanitarian ideology of NDRD the three undersigned Founder Presidents representing different cultural backgrounds shall have permanent honorary seats on the Executive Committee.
3.2. The three Founder Presidents as Honorary Members of the Executive Committee shall have the same attributions and powers as the other members of the NDRD Council.
The Network is incorporated for an unspecified period
The working language of NDRD shall be English.
Explanatory Remark: The predominance of English in the global scientific environment such as international conferences, symposia, online forums, is evident and therefore you must improve your competency to a relatively good level of English to be able to be heard and respected. Nevertheless, there seems to be no progress in this respect whatsoever and the knowledge gap in the Arab world is obvious, especially when it comes to written expression. Yet this dialogue is a prerequisite in helping to bridge what could certainly be seen as the widening gap between Islam and some of the West's values and assumptions. Furthermore a greater interaction with other nations, cultures, and regions of the world and the GCC countries is certainly needed, because openness, interaction, absorption, revision, criticism and examination cannot but prompt creative knowledge production in Arab societies.
Addition: Official communication with governmental institutions in the GCC member states shall of course be in Arabic, but with a copy in English.
NDRD prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation and political beliefs.
The principal objectives of NDRD shall be:
In order to further the attainment of these objectives, NDRD shall be
1.1. The membership of the Network is composed of regional and international scientific and professional institutions and individuals active in the field of drylands research.
1.2. The number of members of the Network is unlimited. The minimum is fixed at three. The first members are the undersigned founders.
1.3. The Network has a multi-tier membership structure which shall comprise of the following:
1.4. The admission requirements, rights, responsibilities and fees of membership are regulated by the bylaws of the Network. All members have a right to be informed of all the activities of the Network, and to give suggestions for improving these activities or starting new activities.
1.5. The membership should represent the interdisciplinary mandate of NDRD. In addition, membership should be drawn from a mix of policy, operations, monitoring & evaluation, teaching, etc., since this mix adds to the richness of discussion.
9.1. Full Membership
To be eligible, an applicant must be a national of any of the GCC member states.
9.2. International Affiliate Membership Program (AMP)
The NDRD Affiliate Membership Program (AMP) is created in order to maximize the participation of the international scientific community in the objectives of NDRD and also to disseminate information about its activities to a much wider audience. Affiliates are therefore organizations / institutions and individuals whose objectives are so closely linked to those of NDRD that a formal connection is desirable for both parties. Affiliate members serve to increase the community and the effectiveness of those actively working in drylands research & development under the GCC umbrella.
9.3. Honorary Membership
Persons who have particularly distinguished themselves in the field of drylands research and persons who have contributed to the development or rendered outstanding services to the Network or its purpose may be appointed as honorary members of the Network. There will be no membership dues for Honorary Members.
9.4. Corporate Membership
Only academic establishments or academic individuals can become active members of NDRD. Any organization who is not eligible for our Full Membership or International Affiliate Membership Program, but who is generally interested in drylands research and their sustainable development, has a business interest and / or is willing to contribute to the declared mandate of NDRD is eligible for a non-voting Corporate Membership. Corporate members consequently include i.a. environmental consultancies, international organizations, public sector organizations, government agencies, companies, as well as financial institutions.
Applications should be made online through the appropriate "NDRD Membership Application or Renewal Form" accompanied by an attachment of:
Applications without payments will not be considered.
Applications for membership or renewal of membership shall be submitted to the General Secretary. In the case of any applicant whose character, reputation or conduct might make him an undesirable member, the General Secretary shall refer the application to the Executive Committee for review; which shall decide upon admission by a simple majority of votes. In all other cases, the General Secretary shall have the authority to grant membership.
11.1. Membership Fees
Membership fees for the Full Members, Affiliate Members and Corporate Members, the amount and modalities of payments are proposed by the Council and must be approved by the General Assembly.
11.2. The members shall be deemed to have acquainted themselves with the Network's Statutes, to agree to adhere to the standards of the Network.
11.3. Affiliate Members as highly educated members of their respective societies are expected to show a little comprehension for cross-cultural considerations while working together with NDRD in the Gulf.
11.4. Institutional Members shall appoint a representative for duly called meetings of the General Assembly.
12.1. General Members Rights
Each member who has paid his or her subscription fee shall be entitled:
All members, except Corporate Members, have an equal right to vote each disposing of one vote. An authorized representative may represent him. Depending on the size and amount of installed capacity some institutional members may have more than one vote. The details are defined in the internal statutes.
12.2. Full Members Rights
Members shall be entitled to attend the General Assembly and take part in voting; they are eligible to be elected into the NDRD Council.
12.3. Affiliated Members Rights
Affiliated members shall have all of the rights and privileges of full membership except holding elected office
12.4. Honorary Members Rights
Honorary Members shall have all of the rights and privileges of full membership except holding elected office. However, they shall not be obliged to pay the annual membership fee.
12.5. Corporate Members Rights
Corporate Members shall have all of the rights and privileges of full membership except holding elected office and voting.
Any member may resign at any time by failing to maintain current membership. Other resignations shall be in writing and shall be accepted by the Executive Board
An Individual Member may be removed from the Register of Members by decision of the Board of Directors should he or she fail to pay relevant membership fees after two written reminders. The Individual Member may only be removed on expiration of a period stipulated in the second reminder, and only if the second reminder explicitly states that removal will be the penalty for any continued failure to pay. The Member must be informed of any decision to remove her or him.
If in the opinion of the Board any Individual Member prejudices the interests of NDRD through his or her action or inaction, that Member may be expelled from the Network by decision of the NDRD Council. The decision to exclude the member shall be taken by the Board by a simple majority of votes cast. Before such decision is taken, the Individual Member must be afforded an opportunity by the Board of Directors to reply to the charges either at a hearing or in writing. Thereafter the Board of Directors must send the Individual Member in writing the reasons for its decision.
The Board may at any time suspend an Individual Member with immediate effect, if this is considered necessary to avoid a threat to NDRD or its reputation by his (her) unprofessional or unethical conduct, or for reasons threatening the safety or security of anyone.
The governing bodies of the NDRD shall be:
14.1. The General Assembly
14.2. The NDRD Council (Board of Directors) consisting of the
The composition and function of these bodies are defined in Art. 16 and 17 hereafter.
15.1. The General Assembly, to which the NDRD Council is responsible, is the highest governing body of NDRD and shall determine its general policy. It enjoys full powers with the exception of those expressly attributed to other bodies.
15.2. The General Assembly consists of all the members and representatives of the Institutional members. The number of representatives is specified in the bylaws. The General Assembly has a President, a Vice President and a General Secretary.
15.3. The functions of the General Assembly shall be:
15.4. Decision Making
The General Assembly shall be presided over by the President of NDRD or, in her or his absence, by either the vice President or one of the Founder Presidents.
16.1. The NDRD Council (Board of Directors) composed of the Executive Committee, the Chair of the Scientific Committee and the GCC Member States Representatives (MSRs) will administer the Network. In case of absence of the President, the Vice President or one of the Founder Presidents executes his function.
16.2. The internal bylaws of the network shall determine the procedures for setting up this Council, for choosing its members and for terminating their membership. The renewal of the mandate of the administrators will be in accordance with the internal statutes.
16.3. The functions of the NDRD Council shall be:
16.4. Meeting of the Council
The President, the vice president, the General Secretary and the three Founder Presidents represent and commit the Network towards third parties by the joint signature of any two of the aforementioned.
The work of the NDRD Council shall be conducted with transparency. The minutes shall be available to the members and a report on decisions shall be distributed to them. Closed meetings may be confidential as the Council may decide.
International organizations/ institutions cooperating with the Network may propose to the President observers on the NDRD Council. The observers can participate in the meetings, but they will not have voting rights. The Board can invite third parties in a consultative capacity.
16.8. Secretariat of the Network
The Secretariat assists the General Secretary in administrative, financial and technical activities as needed. The Secretariat is responsible to the Executive Committee through the General Secretary. The personnel of the Secretariat must have the qualifications necessary to undertake their duties, including adequate fluency in written and spoken English. Personnel of the Secretariat are nominated by the General Secretary for approval by the Executive Committee.
17.1. The Committee shall be made up of six members: the President, the Vice President, the General Secretary and the three Founders with their permanent honorary seats.
17.2. Accreditation or Responsibilities
17.3. The functions of the Executive Committee shall be:
17.4. The Executive Committee can delegate to a director the daily management of the Network, together with usage of the signature, linked to this task of management. The director is chosen by the board who will determine his power and mandate and eventually his salary or honorarium.
17.5. The President and Vice President
17.6. The General Secretary
17.7. Vacation of Office
Should the Vice President, or General Secretary or Treasurer vacate their office, volunteers will be solicited to fill the remainder of the term. If there are no volunteers, the President shall appoint someone to fill the term.
17.8. Meetings of the Executive Committee (Board of Directors)
The board meets as often as necessary by initiative of the President or at the written request of at least two members of the Board.
The board may give a ruling only if the majority of its members are present or represented, assuring always that a minimum of three members are present. Its decisions are taken with absolute majority of votes; if there is a parity of votes, the vote of the President or of his replacement is preponderant. The votes are consigned under the form of minutes of the meeting, signed by the President and the General Secretary, or in case of absence of the President by the Vice President. In case of absence of the General Secretary, the signature of one of the Founder Presidents can always replace his signature.
18.1. The Network will have a minimum of 6 representatives one from each of the GCC member states on the NDRD Council.
18.2. The representation will be proportional to the number of national members from the country of the representative. To encourage local initiative, there will be a proportional representation to national membership. For the beginning there will be 1 seat for each 100 national members. Those countries that will have more than one MSR on the NDRD Council will need to introduce a territorial division between the representatives and inform the Executive Committee on these responsibilities.
18.3. The GCC Member States Representatives (MSRs) of the Board shall be elected by the General Assembly from nominations by the Executive Committee for a period of two years. They are only re-eligible once consecutively. They cannot reapply for office before a period of 4 years.
18.4. Each GCC Member States Representatives (MSRs) shall keep himself (herself) informed as to conditions and activities in his country and as to the needs and desires of the members therein in order that he may faithfully and intelligently represent the true interests of these members.
18.5. He (she) shall attend all meetings of the NDRD Council. At least 14 days prior to each biannual meeting of the Board of Directors each GCC Member States Representatives (MSRs) is encouraged to file with the General Secretary a written report in English (see Art. 5) on the status of the affairs of the NDRD in his division, together with a statement of his recommendations as to any actions required for the effective administration of the objectives and affairs of NDRD.
18.6. The GCC Member States Representatives (MSRs) shall serve NDRD without compensation in any form. This shall not preclude the reimbursement, and NDRD shall reimburse the reasonable and necessary traveling expenses of officers and directors from their homes to the place of meeting of the NDRD Council (Board of Directors) and return to their homes. This section shall not be construed to prevent the employment for agreed compensation, of the General Secretary, eventually the Treasurer, the Founder Presidents or any necessary posting by the Network in other capacities.
18.7. Appointed candidates from each GCC member state shall submit their application for nomination to the General Secretary at least three months prior to the date of the General Assembly. They shall attach to their application a curriculum vitae indicating their qualifications and specifying their special commitment to the objectives of NDRD.
18.8. To constitute a valid nomination, the original copy of an official nominating petition form as provided by the General Secretary must name a Full Member of NDRD as a candidate for a Member State Representative (MSRs) and must be accompanied by a statement signed by the candidate attesting to his eligibility, willingness to run, and willingness to assume the office if elected. The General Secretary shall immediately acknowledge the receipt of the nomination to the candidate, and shall forward the nominations to the members.
18.9. Candidates are free and encouraged by these statutes to campaign to all the members of NDRD including the Affiliate Members to increase their chances to be elected.
18.10. The Board should be representative of the various interdisciplinary fields of interest and activities of NDRD: namely soil science, hydrology, climatologists, environmental engineering, development policy, sociology, economics, political science, law, veterinary medicine, etc. Each GCC member state should try to appoint a diversity of candidates from different related fields.
20.1. The NDRD Working Groups shall be groups dedicated to a particular task to meet the objectives of NDRD. They may be a relatively permanent group such as those networks covering the different areas of our "Knowledge Base". Alternatively, a working group may be an adhoc group that comes together to organize a particular activity, workshop or event.
20.2. The President shall designate the chairman of each working group. Working Groups shall report to the General Secretary and submit a written report at least 30 days prior to each regular meeting of the Executive Committee. NDRD Working Groups may originate studies in their fields and may generate recommendations to the Board on their own initiative.
20.3. All working groups are expected to produce a final report, organize a workshop or symposium, or otherwise make a significant contribution to advancing understanding of their topic. Their work is intended to be completed in 4 years or less.
20.4. The establishment of the following Working Groups is recommended:
(1) Administration & Finance
(3) NDRD Conference and General Assembly 2008
(4) Additional Working Groups
21.1. The resources of NDRD will consist of:
21.2. Funds of the Network shall be under the supervision of the General Secretary. The financial records shall be audited annually by either an Audit Committee or the Executive Board and reported to the membership.
21.3. The annual accounts of the Network as per December 31 may be checked by one independent auditor appointed by the General Assembly.
21.4. The Network arranges financial matters through its own bank accounts. Records of all financial activities of the Network are kept in accordance with good accounting practice and according to the laws and regulations of the host country.
22.1. Each member of the NDRD Council as stated in Article 16.3. (13) is responsible for raising sufficient funds for the network. The exact amount needed will be defined by the internal statutes.
23.1. The budget year shall commence on January 1 of each year and shall end on December 31 of each year.
23.2. The Board must submit the budget for the coming financial year to the General Assembly for approval during the Ordinary Meeting of the General Assembly.
23.3. A preliminary budget should be prepared by the Founding General Assembly
24.1. The Executive Committee shall have final responsibility for all publications.
24.2. All NDRD publications shall be either bilingual in Arabic and English or available in both languages.
24.3. The Network holds the copyright on all articles published in its reports, in its journal and on its website.
24.5. The Executive Committee may entrust the publications to a publisher in accordance with a special agreement, stressing particularly the right of the Network to remain at all times the owner of the Journal. Publishing in a Publish on Demand (Print on Demand / Books on Demand (BOD) format to reach large target groups with small-scale printings should be evaluated, as an environmentally sound and cost efficient solution.
24.6. The Executive Committee shall have the right to negotiate changes in, or to terminate, this agreement.
25.1. There shall be an official NDRD website maintained by the Network.
25.2. The General Secretary management of this official NDRD internet web site shall be in the hands of the General Secretary reporting to the Executive Committee.
25.3. The policy of the official NDRD internet web site shall be determined by the NDRD Council.
25.4. The production and maintenance of the official website may be outsourced to a web designer.
26.1. The General Assembly shall have the faculty at any time to decide by an 80% majority of votes on the dissolution of the Network; a quorum of at least 90% of the members entitled to vote shall be required.
26.2. A proposal to wind-up the Network has to be made by the President of the Network and the Chairman of the Executive Committee to the General Assembly and must receive a two-thirds majority of the votes of the members participating in the voting
26.3. A proposal to wind-up the Network must be in written form and has to be presented to all Institutional members, at least six months in advance of the meeting on which it is to be voted. The reasons for the proposal to wind-up are to be stated in this notice. The proposal is to be submitted to a mail ballot. The ballots, together with the reasons for the proposal to wind-up, must be sent to all members at least two months before the deadline for receipt of the ballots
26.4. If the Network is wound-up and all financial obligations are settled, the General Assembly shall donate the remaining assets to an organization having similar aims and purposes.
27.1. In the event of dissolution and unless the General Assembly appoints other liquidators, liquidation shall be performed by the Board.
27.2. After payment of debts, and in accordance with a decision of the General Assembly, any assets shall be assigned to a purpose similar to that pursued by NDRD. Under no circumstances shall assets be distributed among members of the Network.
The first President of the Network shall be nominated by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science or any appropriate institution in the GCC for a term of office of one year.
The first six country representatives shall be nominated by the Founder Presidents for a period of one year.
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