Bylaw of the World Lebanese Cultural Union
Which is Legalized in the Ninth International Conference
Held in Sao Paolo – Brazil between October 19 – 22, 1985
Article 1: World Lebanese Cultural Union is a civil independent foundation nonpolitical nonracist nonreligious nonprofit acknowledged as a representative for the Lebanese Diaspora in the world, and it is of unlimited period, submitting to the regulations of the present Bylaw and it is preferable to bear the name of the country where it is situated next to its name (i.e.: Brazilian-Lebanese Cultural Union or Nigerian-Lebanese Cultural…..)
Article 2: The Union is formed from the branches, clubs, associations and unions formed from Lebanese, or from Lebanese origin, whatever their nationalities.
Article 3: The main registered office of the Union is located in Beirut- Lebanon.
Article 4: The Union is aiming to fulfill the following targets:
- Enhance the friendly relations & strengthen the cultural, social, economical, touristic, media and sportive between countries of immigrants and Lebanon, and initiate common foundations in medicine, engineering, law & other sciences.
- Support the existence of Lebanon and highlight the identity of the distinguished Lebanese Diaspora and to organize & effectuate this Diaspora.
- Enhance the collaboration among individuals and emigrant foundations between each other, and between these & Lebanon.
- Safe keep the Lebanese culture and its diffusion in the countries of Diaspora and to spread the culture of these countries in Lebanon.
- Offering the facilities & possible services for the immigrants and their descendents.
Membership- Branches- Associations - Clubs and Unions
Article 5: The Union is constituted from:
- The established branches & those that will be established.
- Clubs, associations and unions that include the Lebanese or descendants of Lebanese origin whatever their nationality might be, and which are committed to the aims and objectives of the Union and are dully affiliated thereto.
Article 6: The Branches
- The branch constitutes /25/ members at least who fulfill the provisions of Article 2 of the present Bylaw.
- The branch is to be created by an initiation of the central body of the Union in the absence of the national board.
- The branch as well is also created by a request from /25/ persons at least and this application is to be presented to the national board in writing which in case of approval will be referred to the local General Secretariat in case of non justifiable rejection of membership application, the creators will resort for arbitration to the central General Secretariat, with the knowledge of the committee of the international administrative board and its intervention and the decision of the General Secretariat will be final. And in case of absence of national committees, the application is to be presented to the Central General Secretariat.
- The branch is considered duly formed, when it is registered in the central general secretariat and when it fulfills the local legal conditions for this creation.
- The branch enjoys the administration & finance independency, supplying his regulations in accordance with the provisions of this Bylaw, especially for the aims and objectives and its membership is to be acceptable in the Union and under the tenure of its central or national regulating committee for its deeds and activities.
- The branch informs the central general Secretariat through the national board its regulations and its address and the names of members and a specimen of the signature of the head of the branch and the secretary and presents to the General Secretariat a yearly report of its activities.
- No more than one branch can be created in one city.
Article 7: Associations and Clubs and Unions
- The associations, clubs and unions formed in its majority from persons who fulfill the terms of Article 2 of the present Bylaw will present a membership application to the National Council Body if it exists, or to the central bodies of the Union, without affecting its legal identity and its administrative or financial independency.
- These associations, which are properly established according to local laws and which accept in their membership application the purposes & aims of the Union, are considered complete member therein of equal rights & obligations of the branch since it is registered in the Central General Secretariat and since it is informed of this registration.
Article 8: The chairman of the branch, or organization or club or union properly elected in accordance to the Bylaw of his foundation or the person appointed by him and who should legally be a member in the same branch and he will represent the foundation before the national council and he is to be considered legally a member in the national council situated in the area of his presence.
Article 9: The membership continues as long as the continuity of the fulfillment of its conditions according to the instructions of the present Bylaw in the foundation member.
In the Structure of Regulations
Article 10: The Union is formed of national councils which in itself forms the international council, without breaching in the provisions of the following article.
Article 11: The national councils in each continent have the right to form a continental committee whose president enjoys the rights of any member in the international council.
In the National Local Sites
(The National Council and its Administrative Body)
Article 12: The Union in each country has one national council that has the decisive authority, and it elects the administrative council formed according to Article 15 of the present Bylaw.
Article 13: The national council of each country is formed of 3 branches at least and from the foundations established properly therein and which is represented by the chairman of each branch or foundation and one chosen member according to its rules.
Article 14: The national council supplies its internal Bylaw and of association, in accordance with the provisions of the present Bylaw and in accordance with the legal provisions applied in its location and to inform its central general secretariat of its regulations and its address and the names of the members of its administrative body and the name of its branches and their addresses and specimen of the signature of the national council chairman and his secretary, and to present an annual report, at least of his activities. And the national council will do as for example but not exclusively the following tasks:
- Elect the administrative body
- Discuss the activities of the body, and the yearly balance sheet and to approve it.
- Approve the programs & projects related to the Union’s local activities.
- Follow up the activities of the branches and to provide them with the national tasks programs.
- Coordinate the cooperation with all the staffs of the Union, to execute the decisions of the international council. And for that purpose it is to be convened at least once per year.
Article 15: The national administrative body is formed of chairman, one vice president or more, national general secretary, treasurer and suitable number of consultants handling specific missions.
The national council elects the members of the administrative body, who in their turn elect the chairman and the rest of the tasks’ responsible. The duration of the chairman is two years, and he may be re-elected for a second period by the absolute majority, and he might be re-elected for a 3rd period after the elapse of 2 years from his previous tenure.
Article 16: The national secretary general will carry out the international decisions and the central general secretary instructions, under the supervision of the chairman, and will prepare meetings and will coordinate the tasks between branches and the administrative affairs and will verify the veracity of the branches presentation in the national council on the spot of the statements issued by the central general secretary.
In the International Impact
(International conference – international council, administrative body and central general secretariat)
Article 17: International bodies of the Union are:
- International Council.
- Administrative council body.
- Central General Secretariat.
- International Convention.
Article 18: International Council
It is the superior executive authority of the Union which takes in charge, through its competent staffs the execution of aims and purposes of the Union and the instructions of the international convention. In addition thereto the council performs on behalf of the international convention, the decisive authority, in all extraordinary & urgent situations outside the sessions of this convention.
Article 19: Formation of the international council
The international council is formed from:
- The permanent members and these are the previous chairmen of the Union and the continental committees’ presidents and the prior national & regional councils who should be present in person and have no right to give proxies.
- Local elected members and these are the national council members.
- Members of the Administrative Councils Body: The chairman, the vice presidents, the treasurer and the central general secretary.
- Chairmen of the continental committees.
Article 20: Competencies of the International Council
- Attain the aims of the Union & its objectives and principles.
- Follow up the application of the law, the Bylaw of the Union, the regulations of the branches and foundations, the members therein and the International convention decisions.
- Attain the homogeneity among the members and activate the staffs of the Union on all levels.
- Decide on the principles of the Union’s movement and its activities.
- Control the central financial and administrative staffs and approve the annual balance sheet proposed to it on behalf of the General Secretary and the Treasurer.
- Review the objections on the acceptance or rejection of memberships, as a final decision.
- Review & resolve all disputes & differences occurring between the members of the Union and its staffs.
- Replace the international convention in all urgent matters entering under its competency and which are occurring outside its ordinary sessions.
Article 21: The International council is to be gathered in an ordinary session once every year upon the convention from its chairman, it may as well convene in extraordinary sessions to review urgent matters.
Article 22: The Chairman
- The chairman is elected in the international convention from among the members of this convention by absolute majority of the attending members.
- The term of the chairman is two years only not subject for renewal.
- The chairman at the end of his tenure remains a permanent member for life in the international council, enjoying the entire membership characteristic except for the right to vote by mandate.
- The Chairman represents the Union, the international council and the administrative body before the Lebanese government, foreign countries, official & private bodies and he signs on their behalf, except in procedural and administrative matters where the central general secretary should sign with him or on his behalf, and in financial matters where the signature, legally & obligatory requires two of three: international chairman with treasurer, or international chairman with central general secretary, or central general secretary with treasurer. The international chairman has the right to mandate whoever he wants and on his responsibility to sign on his behalf in financial matters.
- The authoritiesof the chairman include the following:
- Presiding the sessions of meetings and of the international convention.
- Summon for the meetings and for the international conferences.
- Direct the debates and sign the Minutes of the meetings in common with the general secretary.
- Sign the treaties, protocols and agreements in the name of the Union after the approval of the international council and to sign the contracts and the private deals, in observance of item 5 of this article.
- Represent the Union separately & in common, with the general secretary, before the judicial authorities.
- Check on the general secretary continuously, the treasurer activities, auditing them and the agreements.
Article 23: The Administrative body of the international council
- In addition to the chairman, the administrative staff is formed from:
- First vice president, who handles the authorities of the chairman in his absence.
- Four vice presidents, who convene in case of vacancy in the chairman position and 1st vice president and they appoint from amongst them who will complete the remaining duration of the chairman.
- The vice presidents are elected from the general assembly in the convention or from the international council and each of them represent a continent or a geographic region: Africa–north America (USA & Canada) – Spanish speaking America – Oceania – Brazil.
- The tenure duration of the members of the body is 2 years.
- The international convention elects the member of the administrative body from among its members and that should be by the absolute majority of the attending members.
- Authority of the administrative body
It replaces the international council in all urgent matters under its competency and occurring outside the ordinary meeting sessions and it approves the nomination of the central general secretary, according to paragraph 1 of article 26 of the present Bylaw and supervises its activities.
Article 24: The authorities of the Administrative body
Each of the members of the administrative body has the natural and legal authority pertaining to its competency and each of them takes in charge especially, the following tasks:
- Vice presidents
- Assist the president in his tasks and in whatever he requires from them.
- Execute the special tasks that are mandated by the international council or its administrative body.
- Each of them visits the national councils and the branches existing in his geographic region in coordination with the president, the central general secretary and chairmen of the mentioned councils and that to activate these bodies and view how the business is going therein and inform them about the Union’s activities and programs.
- Managing the Union central finance on his personal responsibility.
- Keeping entries, documents, books, and accounts and holding the justificatory documents for entries in the office of the Central General Secretary.
- Preserve the finance of the central Union
- Place the annual balance sheet in the light of the expected expenditure & income, and organize the annual budget and the financial report, all that is with the participation of the Central president & the general secretary
- Collect the receivables & subscriptions due, and plan for means of income that lead to enhance the financial situation with the approval of the administrative body.
- The treasurer has the right to mandate someone to represent him in doing his tasks during his absence from the Union’s local in Beirut providing that he is not an employee of the General Secretary, providing that the latter provides a detailed report about his tasks. The treasurer is considered responsible of the tasks of his mandated assistant.
Article 25: The Central General Secretary
- It is the executive administrative system of the Union, presided by a central general secretary appointed by the chairman in coordination with the ministry of foreign affairs and the approval of the international council.
- The general secretary is considered a member in the international council and in the administrative body and has no right to vote on the decisions of the council.
- The duration of the general secretary tenure is 2 years, renewable according to the procedures applied in his appointment.
- The system of the general secretary is formed from a central secretary and two assistants and employees according to necessity.
- The authorities of the central general secretary:
- Manage the Central general secretary system and to establish departments and to appoint assistants and other employees dismiss them and determine their salaries according to the financial & administrative Bylaws set by the general secretary and approved by the international convention & he has the right for administrative expenditure and all this within the approved budget of the general secretary in the annual balance sheet, in compliance with the provisions of the article 22.
- Seek help from specialized persons to perform special & circumstantial tasks.
- Signing the Union’s correspondence, certificates and decisions and issue and sign contracts under his autority.
- Reconciling the records of the branches, and register the subscriptions, and notify the subscribers of the acceptance of their membership.
- Media activity, publicities, in conformity with the chairman.
- Signature of the financial transactions with the international chairman or with the treasurer, or with whoever mandates him according to the provisions of the present Bylaw.
- Coordinate with the ministry of foreign affairs through the foreigners’ directorate, in all subjects which concern the Union and the emigrant affair in general.
- Make a schedule, with the participation of the chairman, for the meetings of the international council and the international convention and to notify the members about it with the invitations and providing the necessary information before holding the meetings.
- Verify the identity of the members especially those participating in conventions and meetings and accept them. And when doubting any member the matter is to be presented to the administrative body with his remarks and the justificatory documents, in order that the body can decide about him.
- Attend all meetings and sessions, put the minutes and that by himself or through his mandated person on his responsibility and to sign them with the chairman.
- Inform the decisions, where necessary is and execute them.
- Preset a complete annual functional task program, including projects and details and the way to carry them out and to present it to the chairman to acknowledge it in its final version by the administrative body and lay it out before the international council or the general convention, according to competency.
- The general secretary is exempted spontaneously from his duties at committing significant mistake, or when violating the Union’s Bylaws or the convention decisions or the international council, or causing damage for the Union providing that it is done according to the procedures of appointment.
- If the position of the General Secretary became vacant for any reason, the international chairman mandates one of the assistants to settle the tasks until secretary general is appointed by virtue of the disposition of Article 25 of the present Bylaw. But in case of the absence of the general secretary this later mandates whoever he finds competent among the assistants to carry out the tasks of the Administrative General Secretary.
- The secretary general has a monthly remuneration in return of his work, fixed according to the suggestion of the international chairman and according to administrative body of the international council.
Article 26: The International convention
- It is the legislative deciding superior authority of the Union and to which return the order to issue and to amend orders, Bylaws and decisions that prevail its foundation, movements and activities.
- The international convention has the responsibility of supervision of all executive and procedures systems of the Union and especially the central international council and its administrative body, and the general secretary. These systems are to be questioned before it for all their deeds according to the law.
- The international convention is formed from general assembly duly held, including all the Union’s branches, national councils, continental committees and emigrant foundations that are members, represented for the provisions of the present Bylaw in addition to the members of the international council body.
Article 27: Convocation for the International Convention
- After fixing the meeting date and setting an agenda, by the international chairman and the international council administrative body and the central general secretary, the chairman would send summons through the general secretary by registered mail, for every branch or emigrant foundation three months at least prior to the date of the meeting.
- The international Council, in a decision taken by the absolute majority, summons the international council, according to the invitation procedures due to the chairman, two months ahead, if the chairman neglected sending the same convocation.
- The international council should summon the international convention for an extraordinary session when necessary and that by the majority of two thirds.
- Confirm the central general secretary by public statement showing the name of the member branch, the address to where it was sent and the date it was sent, and this statement will be placed at the disposition of the convention body, to verify the fulfillment of the procedures, quorum & others.
Article 28: Holding the meeting of the international convention
- The international convention is held at least once every two years in an ordinary session, in Lebanon, and could be summoned for extraordinary sessions by virtue of the context of paragraph 3 of the previous article.
- Before the 1st session, every branch confirms its presence by presenting accrediting documents reveling the names of their delegates and this attendance is registered on the general sheet prepared by the Central General Secretary attached to it the accredited documents and the delegates will sign in parallel to the entry pertaining to them in proof of their attendance.
- The convention body is formed from the chairman, his vice-presidents, the treasurer and the General Secretary and this body receives the aforementioned attendance sheet and checks it and resolves any ambiguities related to subscription or attendance.
- The international chairman presides the sessions and declares publicly the number of branches, national councils and continental committees fulfilling the membership stipulations, the invited members, the number of branches summoned and the number of their attendance. And it gives opportunity to register the attendance of any committee or council or branch that was not registered. And after verifying that quorum is complete, the chairman declares the opening of the international convention agenda.
Article 29: Legal quorum
- In order for the session to be considered duly held and for its decisions to be considered as binding the legal quorum should be available.
- The quorum is complete legally, at the level of the international convention, in its first session, by the attendance of its absolute majority of members. And if such number is not available, it is adjourned for the next day, where legal quorum is considered complete with whoever attended.
As on the level of the international council and other bodies, quorum is complete by the attendance of half of the members. And if such number is not available in the 1st session it is to adjourn for the following day where the quorum is achieved by the attendance of one third of members.
- The representatives of each branch or establishment or national council or continental committee are considered as one member in the international convention, even if several of them attended.
Article 30: The Agenda of the periodical international convention must include:
- Report about the achievements of the Union during the last two years prepared by the general secretary under the supervision of the international president.
- Report of the treasurer.
- Report of future agenda.
- Elections to replace the vacant positions or those that may become vacant.
Article 31: Voting on the decisions projects – choosing by ballot
- Decisions, on all levels of the central Union boards, including the international convention and the council in duly formed quorum sessions, are taken by the absolute majority votes of the attendants and members considered present are the duly represented. But whatever concerns amending the Bylaw, decisions are to be taken by the majority of two thirds of the international convention members attending.
- Every member of the international council and of every branch or affiliated foundation, have the benefit of one vote even if this one member has different tasks except for whoever has a legal proxy from another member. And it is forbidden to bear more than one proxy.
- Voting on decisions is taken by hand rising or secret ballot if the convention body decided as such or requested by quarter of the members forming the legal quorum.
- Elections, on all levels of the central Union boards, are done by secret ballot unless half of the members at least request differently.
Article 32: Minutes & documents
- The central general secretary is the safe keeper of all documents, minutes, records, correspondents and registers pertaining to the Union.
- The general secretary organizes and keeps the aforementioned documents precisely and in the best of modern means to make it easy reference and for review of facts and decisions.
- The general secretary organizes the minutes of the international convention, the sessions of the international council and the administrative body and will sign it with the chairman.
- The minutes of the international session and the international convention are notified to all of the members of the international council, national councils, continental committees, branches and affiliated foundations and they are also notified to the ministry of foreign affairs and emigrants.
Article 33: According to the suggestions of the members of the international council and the Lebanese delegations, the international chairman and the general secretary are requested to form a permanent committee from the Lebanese international influential or those of Lebanese origin under the title “board of trustees” according to the following:
- Members of the board of trustees, each in the range of his geographical existence, plays the role of the Lebanese “lobby” in serving the hosting countries and the international society and especially to the benefit of the emigrant and national Lebanese.
- The members of the board of trustees are summoned to the meetings of the international council and the international conventions and they have the right to give recommendations and discuss them without the right to vote.
- The Union grants the members of the board of trustees the Union’s Golden Medal.
- The board of trustees is held presided by the international chairman or the general secretary or their representatives one day before the meeting of the international council or the international convention, and this board is to be summoned for urgent meetings on behalf of the international chairman or the general secretary whenever it is necessary.
Article 34: The Union’s official languages are:
Arabic – Spanish – English – Portuguese – French.
It is permissible to talk in colloquial Lebanese language in debates, conferences, meetings and speeches.
Article 35: The original copy of the present Bylaw was written in Arabic language. And it is referred to this text in explanation and application at the event of any problematic or obscurity or ambiguity in the translated texts.
Article 36: In case of major force, any regular body did not meet including the international convention and council at their specified dates in the present Bylaw, the same body will continue in its tasks and validity until it convenes in the nearest possible opportunity.
Article 37: It is forbidden under penalty of action, for every member in a branch or emigrant foundation and for every branch or affiliating foundation to any association or Union or other foundations, whose regulations of their Bylaws oppose the aims and the purposes of the Lebanese Cultural Union in the world or pretends to represent the Lebanese Diaspora.
Article 38: In a general & comprehensive way, any dispute or conflict about interpreting or applying this Bylaw and any disagreement of members and cadres, or staff or others, especially in relative to competencies and authorities, all this is to be solved by absolute arbitration on behalf of a committee formed from the chairman of the Union and the general secretary and the Lebanese emigrants and Diaspora director and the committee decisions are considered final and binding for the disputing parties. And if any member of the committee is one of the disputing parties then the rest of members joined to them the general secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs and emigrants will settle it.
Article 39: It is allowed for every branch or national council to bear the name of the hosting country in addition to the name Lebanon.
Article 40: This Bylaw becomes in force as soon as the international convention approves it. Then the Bylaw in force is to be considered annulled absolutely in all its terms, articles & stipulations.
Article 41: In the Agreements
- The Union, through its international council, represented by its chairman, should place a collaboration agreement with the Lebanese state, through the ministry of foreign affairs and emigrants in the person of the Lebanese emigrants director to coordinate the common performance in the field of emigrant affairs, between the Unions boards, the central administration, the diplomatic and consulate delegations, especially about providing the main location for the Union, the annual financial contribution of the state, the administrative facilities and the ministry’s aid for the Union in choosing the central general secretary and any other subjects that incorporate the fundamental & functional national integration in the field of Lebanese Diaspora in the world.
- The Union, by a decision from its international council, has the right to contract with any association or emigrants club’s unions none affiliated, that fulfill membership stipulations and grant them accordingly complete rights pertaining to this membership in the Union and its international conventions.
- The Union, by a decision from its international council, has the right for cultural or artistic or social or economical or athletic contracts with any national or international body, or international foundation and that are within its purposes and aims in accordance with the stipulations of the present Bylaw and the ministry of foreign affairs and emigrants.
- The national councils, continental committees, branches and emigrants foundations that are members have the right to set out collaboration agreements between each other and with the foundations, clubs and other associations in realizing the Union’s purposes and aims in conformity with the present Bylaw and the central general secretary.
Article 42: Union’s Finance
- The Lebanese state will aid the Union through the ministry of foreign affairs & emigrants.
- The national councils, branches and bodies affiliated to the Union provides the treasurer with all its financial needs to carry out and execute the decisions of the conventions and the international councils and the tasks of the central general secretary and that is occurring in accordance to the decision and plans placed by the council in which specifies the means of raising funds and aids on condition that the laws of the countries of Lebanese Diaspora are observed.
- Donations & aids from bodies and individuals which the Union accepted according to it’s in force Bylaws.
Youth International Committee
Article 43: From the national council emanates an International Committee for youth formed according to the following:
- In every national council a committee for youth emerges attached to the council, adhering to the Bylaw of the Union.
- The branch committees for youth emerging from the national council forms the international committee for youth that set its internal Bylaw which should obtain a prior approval from the international council.
Article 44: Only the international convention and no other, has the right to amend the present Bylaw by the majority of two thirds of those attending:
- The amendment is suggested by the international council, by a decision taken by the majority of one third of its members.
- Every branch that is a member of the Union has the right to suggest an amendment to this Bylaw through the national council that it belongs to, providing that this suggestion is applied to the central general secretary in Beirut four months from the date of the International convention to be held.
The Bylaw for the World Lebanese Cultural Union signed on 1971 was annulled in its entire stipulations, articles and provisions, and the present Bylaw which is confirmed in the 9th international convention held in Sao Paolo–Brazil between October 19 and 20 is to be in force starting from 1/6/1986