iEARN Constitution

Constitution of The International Education and Resource Network (hereafter iEARN)

Originally signed at the meeting of the iEARN management team, Puerto Madryn, Argentina, July 12, 1994. Revised: February 2003

Chapter I: Goals and Principles
Chapter II: Membership
Chapter III: Organs
Chapter IV: The iEARN Assembly
Chapter V: The Executive Council


The vision and purpose of iEARN is to enable young people to undertake projects designed to make a meaningful contribution to the health and welfare of the planet and its people.



Article 1
The Goals of iEARN are:
  1. To develop friendly relations among youth of all nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples;
  2. To encourage youth from all countries to learn and work co-operatively and collaboratively using telecommunications and other technology, to strengthen universal peace, to identify and take active part in resolving global problems facing the world;
  3. To promote and encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, culture, or religion;
  4. To facilitate identification and sharing the different but complementary experiences of educational, academic and other national organizations with enduring educational infrastructures, and traditions throughout the world;
  5. To share high-quality educational and other resources available in individual Member centres;
  6. To provide a global infrastructure for a conceptual and action-based educational network that is open to all;
  7. To share and transfer telecommunications technology, teaching methods and other resources with youth organizations, schools or individuals wishing to achieve the iEARN purpose and goals;
  8. To assist in establishing training and support programs in each Centre;
  9. To expand the network of financially and operationally sustainable iEARN Centres throughout the globe;
  10. To work with umbrella organizations, academic bodies, universities, non-government organizations, and governments to establish a global community of concerned organizations and citizens with the express purpose of supporting the youth of the world in developing and implementing educational and humanitarian projects, especially projects of change and healing for the health and welfare of the planet;
  11. To develop and maintain high-quality educational innovation;
  12. To raise funds through local and global funding agreements to support these programs and goals.

Article 2

iEARN and its Members, in pursuit of the Goals stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

  1. iEARN is based on the principle of the global solidarity and equality of all its Members.
  2. In order to ensure to all Members the rights and benefits resulting from Membership, each Member shall fulfill in good faith the obligations stated in the present Constitution.
  3. All Members shall settle any disputes in the spirit of mutual respect in such a manner that the basic purpose and goals of iEARN are not endangered.
  4. In accordance with the goals stated in Article 1, no infrastructure or facilities of iEARN can be used for hate or bias or to disseminate or encourage racial, national, cultural, or religious prejudice.
  5. iEARN will only intervene in matters within domestic jurisdiction when invited by individuals or sites within that centre or country.




Article 3

The founding Members of iEARN are the Copen Family Fund and the iEARN Centres which existed at the time of the iEARN Meeting at Puerto Madryn, Argentina in July 1994 and signed this Constitution. iEARN recognizes iEARN Centres as described in article 4.1 and iEARN Representatives as described in article 4.5.

Article 4
  1. An iEARN Centre is a consortium of sites or affinity of special interest groups, and can include individuals, with a management infrastructure to support training, development, and research; which shares the vision and purpose, and supports goals and principles of iEARN as stated in the Preamble and the Constitution, and meets other requirements that will be instituted by a decision of the iEARN Assembly.
  2. There would generally be one Centre in a country unless there is a legitimate and sensible reason for more than one. The other Centre(s) must have a specific aim and agenda that does not conflict or contradict the operations of the existing Centre. All Centres cooperate in the vision of iEARN.
  3. New applicants for Centre Membership should conform to Article 4.1, and, in the judgment of iEARN be able and willing to carry out these obligations. An admission to Centre Membership will be effected by a decision of the iEARN Assembly upon the recommendation of the Executive Council.
  4. If an existing iEARN centre has concerns that an applicant for Centre Membership is unable to execute the responsibilities as stated in the Constitution or may endanger its essential interests, a review process will be automatically implemented which will require the institution of a review panel consisting of the Executive Council and the conflicting parties. The decision of the review panel to accept the applicant must be unanimous.
  5. A consortium of sites or special interest groups which have not applied for Centre Membership and are based in the country where there is no iEARN centre can be accredited by the Assembly as an iEARN Representative provided the Assembly is satisfied that the Representative is able and willing to promote iEARN activities and meets the goals and purposes of iEARN.
  6. The procedure of Article 4.1 will also apply in the case of adoption of new sites into existing centres.

Article 5

An iEARN Centre or Representative which/who has violated the Principles contained in this Constitution may be expelled from iEARN by the Assembly upon the recommendation of the Executive Council. Any Centre or Representative which/who has been recommended for expulsion by the Executive Council will be accorded principles of fairness and natural justice, including the ability to put their case before the Assembly and answer any allegations. At least one month must elapse between recommendation of expulsion and vote by Assembly on the expulsion.




Article 6
  1. The principal organs of iEARN are the iEARN Assembly and the Executive Council.
  2. Such subsidiary organs as may be found necessary may be established in accordance with the Constitution.



Article 7

The iEARN Assembly shall consist of all the Member Centres of iEARN.

Functions and Powers
Article 8

The iEARN Assembly, subject to this constitution, sets policy and determines organization matters. The Assembly will be the supreme decision making body of iEARN

Article 9
  1. The iEARN Assembly may call the attention of the Executive Council to situations which are likely to endanger mutual trust and cooperation.
  2. The powers of the iEARN Assembly set forth in this Article shall not limit the general scope of Article 8.

Article 10
  1. The iEARN Assembly makes decisions for iEARN.
  2. The decisions of the iEARN Assembly are taken during its annual face-to-face meetings either by physical or virtual presence and online at any time.
  3. Between face-to-face meetings, the Assembly gives the Executive Council power to make recommendations for decisions. Such recommendations will be placed online and via e-mail before Assembly members. If, after twenty days, no member has posted a request for an Assembly vote on the recommendation, that recommendation will become an Assembly decision.
  4. If at least one member requests an Assembly vote on the Executive Council recommendation, discussion and vote will proceed.
  5. Any member of the Assembly may place a proposal before the Assembly for discussion and vote during and between annual meetings.

Article 11

The iEARN Assembly shall receive and consider reports from other organs of iEARN.

Article 12

The Assembly shall, if it considers it in the interest of iEARN internationally, register as an NGO in any country it decides.

Article 13
  1. The iEARN Assembly shall consider and approve the iEARN budget proposed by the Executive Council.
  2. iEARN expenses shall be borne equitably by the Members as apportioned by the iEARN Assembly.

Article 14
  1. Each Member of the iEARN Assembly shall have one vote.
  2. The iEARN Assembly shall convene annually.
  3. A face-to-face meeting of the iEARN Assembly requires a quorum of two-thirds of all Members. Members not able to attend in person may state their availability to participate online and be included as present when determining a quorum. Any Member not present but willing to cast its vote online can do so.
  4. Any decision changing or amending the Constitution shall be made at the annual iEARN Assembly meeting. Such decisions will require a two-thirds majority of all Members. If for reasons beyond the control of iEARN no face-to-face annual meeting is held within 18 months of the last meeting, an on-line decision-making process will be invoked. Such decisions will require a two-thirds majority of all Members. If the amendment suggested affects Articles 4.4, 4.6, and/or 14.4, a decision in order to take effect must be a unanimous one by all Members.
  5. Decisions of the Assembly will be made by a simple majority of votes cast, including such important questions like the acceptance of new Members, expulsion of Members, budgetary questions, and entering into agreements with other organizations.

Article 15

The iEARN Assembly and/or the Executive Council shall meet in such special sessions as circumstances may require. Special sessions shall be convoked at the request of the Executive Council or of a majority of the Members. The iEARN Assembly will function continuously.

Article 16

The iEARN Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure. It shall elect its Facilitator for each meeting.

Article 17

The iEARN Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.




Article 18
  1. The Executive Council shall consist of three persons from three different iEARN Centres, with due regard being specially paid to global solidarity and equity.
  2. The Members of the Executive Council shall be elected for a term of two years. One or two Members will be elected each year. No one can be elected to the Executive Council for more than two consecutive terms.

Functions and Powers
Article 19
  1. In order to ensure prompt and effective action by iEARN, its Members confer on the Executive Council primary responsibility for the day-to-day decisions on behalf of the Assembly, subject to article 8 and 10.
  2. In discharging these duties the Executive Council shall act in accordance with the Preamble and Constitution of iEARN and whatever other decisions are made under the present Constitution by the iEARN Assembly.

Article 20

The Executive Council shall submit an annual report to the Assembly and any special reports requested by it.

Article 21
  1. Each Member of the Executive Council shall have one vote.
  2. Decisions of the Executive Council shall be made by an affirmative vote of two Members.

Article 22

The Executive Council shall be so organized as to be able to function continuously.

Article 23

The Executive Council may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.

Article 24

The Executive Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure and operation, including the method of selecting its Officers and hiring staff.

Article 25

Any Member of iEARN who is not a Member of the Executive Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Executive Council whenever the Member considers that its interests are specially affected or that she/he has something to contribute.

Article 26

A non-Member of iEARN, if it is a party to a dispute under consideration by the Executive Council, shall be invited to participate, without vote, in the discussion relating to the dispute. The Executive Council shall lay down such conditions as it deems just for the participation of a non-Member of iEARN.


Signed at the city of Puerto Madryn, Argentina, the twelfth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and ninety four. Amended: February 2003

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