ICUCH Statutes

Statute of the International Scientific Committee ICOMOS – ICUCH, International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage

(1) This Statute may be referred to as the Statute of the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

2. Establishment

(1) The International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage was established by resolution of the executive of ICOMOS in November 1991.

(2) These statutes replace the “Rules of Procedure ICOMOS International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage Incorporated”, lodged with the Commissioner on 22 May, 1992 by Graeme John Henderson. They have been adopted in accordance with Article 14 of the Statutes of ICOMOS and the Eger-Xi’an Principles for the International Scientific Committees of ICOMOS.

3. Definitions

(1) In this Statute:

“2001 Convention” means the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage adopted by the 31st session of the General Conference of UNESCO on 2 November 2001.

“Bureau” means the Bureau of ICOMOS – ICUCH, elected under Articles 12 and 13.

“Charter” means the ICOMOS Charter on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage, adopted by the 11th General Assembly of ICOMOS at Sofia, Bulgaria, on 9 October 1996.

“Committee” means ICOMOS – ICUCH established according to Article 2.

“Eger-Xi’an Principles” mean the Eger-Xi’an Principles for the International Scientific Committees of ICOMOS adopted by the 15th General Assembly of ICOMOS at Xi’an in October, 2005 as finalized by the Scientific Council, July 2008.

“ICUCH” means the International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

“Member” means an ICOMOS member that has been accepted as a member of ICUCH according to Article 6.

“Statutes of ICOMOS” means the Statutes adopted by the 6th General Assembly of ICOMOS at Moscow on 22 May 1978.

“Underwater Cultural Heritage” (UCH) means traces of human existence having a cultural, historical or archaeological character which are partially or totally under water, periodically or continuously.

4. Aim and  Activities

(1) The aim of the Committee is to further the protection and preservation of underwater cultural heritage.

(2) To achieve this the Committee will:

(a) promote sound ethical management of UCH where in situ preservation is the first option;

(b) support scientific research, including both disturbance and non-disturbance activities;

(c) encourage public presentation of UCH and public participation in UCH;

(d) promote the 1996 Charter and the 2001 UNESCO Convention’s Annex as best practice guidance regarding UCH;

(e) assist all stakeholders in the field of maritime archaeology to manage, protect, carry out sound study, and share knowledge on UCH;

(f) raise the profile and increase public awareness of the existence and value of the world’s UCH;

(g) promote ethical activities on and with UCH through facilitating development of national and regional cooperation, programs and legislation;

(h) encourage an inclusive approach to UCH;

(i) support, initiate and/or assist in education and training initiatives in respect of the management and protection of UCH;

(j) provide a forum for discussion and for the exchange of information, regionally and internationally, on matters of principle and of technical, legal and administrative practice affecting UCH; and

(k) provide information for governments, the general public and political organizations about the preservation of UCH.

(3) The aim and activities of the Committee are pursued in the context of ICOMOS and in conjunction with other stakeholders, and are embodied in the Mission, Vision and Strategy of the Committee (see Appendix A).

5. Triennial Program

(1) The Committee must develop and carry out a triennial programme of activities in accordance with its Strategy (see Appendix A), and the statutes, rules of procedure and budgets of ICOMOS. This programme will be reviewed at least every three years.

6.   Membership

(1) Nominations for membership may be made by either National Committees or by ICUCH members.

(2) Qualification for membership will be based on relevant professional experience as well as public and recognized adherence to the 1996 Charter and the Principles of the 2001 Convention. All ICUCH members are expected to be ICOMOS members.

(3) Decisions on membership are made by the Bureau. In preparation of decisions the Bureau may establish a Committee evaluating credentials of nominees. Decisions on acceptance will be made within a reasonable time, not normally exceeding 6 months.

(4) The Committee admits the following categories of members:

(a) Expert Members, as defined in Article IVB of the Eger-Xi’an Principles;

(b) Associate Members as defined in Article IV C;

(c) Honorary Members as defined in Article IV F.

(5) Should a member cease to meet the criteria set out in Article 6 (2) above, the Bureau may decide to withdraw membership.

(6) Should a member without due cause fail to participate in any of the activities in the work program of the Committee for a period of one full year, the Bureau may decide to withdraw membership.

(7) When it is in the interest of the Committee it may enter into a short- or long term, bi- or multilateral partnership with any institution or agency whose work, mission and/or resources may help advance the work of the Committee.

(8) These provisions qualify Article IV A 1 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles.

7. Finances

(1) The Committee may seek and accept:

(a) grants from national, regional and international organisations;

(b) grants and other contributions from ICOMOS National Committees;

(c) gifts and bequests; or

(d) other grants, forms of income and in-kind support, approved by the Bureau.

(2) All financial support must be compatible with the principles of the Charter and the independent judgment of the Committee;

(3) For the purposes of Article II B 6 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles, the Bureau must draw up a budget and financial plan as appropriate and maintain an appropriate record of all activities and financial transactions. Each year it may arrange for an audit statement of those transactions.

Administration

8. Committee Meetings

(1) The Committee may meet as often as is necessary to conduct its business but will meet at least once annually.

(2) If the Committee meets more than once in any year, it must designate one of those meetings as its Annual General Meeting.

(3) The Annual General Meeting of the Committee is the highest authority of the Committee.

(4) At the Annual General Meeting the Committee must:

(a) review its program of activities;

(b) adopt the annual report; and

(c) when necessary under Article 12, conduct elections for the Officers of the Committee, according to Article II B 5 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles.

(5) The quorum for an Annual General Meeting is 13 members.

(6) If no quorum is present at the Annual General Meeting, the Committee must defer a decision on any questions and hold a postal or electronic vote on those questions amongst all expert members, which will be decided by a simple majority of votes cast.

9. Annual Report 

(1) The Committee must draw up an annual report in accordance with Article II B 8 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles.

(2) Members of the Committee must submit a short annual report on their individual activities.

10. Triennial Report

(1) In the year of the ICOMOS General Assembly, the Committee must draw up a triennial program of activities which includes:

(a) clear and precise objectives;

(b) a strategy; and

(c) an indicative plan of activities.

(2) The triennial program must be forwarded to the Executive Committee of ICOMOS not less than three months before the date of the General Assembly.

11. Voting at Committee Meetings

(1) Questions arising at any meeting of the Committee shall be decided by a majority of votes of the expert members present or represented by proxy. A voting member may not hold or exercise the proxy of more than two absent expert members.

(2) Where a quorum of the expert members is present at a meeting, the Committee must, at the request of an expert member present at the meeting, defer a decision on a question and hold a postal vote on that question amongst all expert members. The President will formulate a question to which an affirmative or negative answer can be given and announce a time limit for a postal vote to be registered.

(3) A postal vote may be conducted electronically and votes accepted from expert members who have beforehand registered a verifiable electronic address with the Bureau. A vote transmitted by telefax must be signed by the voter.

12. Officers of the Committee

(1) The Committee must choose from amongst its expert members nine officers from nine different countries who will form the Bureau of the Committee.

(2) The Bureau should have representation from different key regions and should include at least one member from each of the five UNESCO regions.

(3) The Bureau will comprise:

(a) a President;

(b) a Vice President;

(c) a Secretary; and

(d) six other members.

(4) Articles II B 5 a-c, 6 and 7 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles apply to the officers.

(5) The working languages of the Bureau is English.

(6) The Bureau has the functions set out in Article II B 6 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles and, in particular, is responsible for:

(a) coordination of the Committee’s activities;

(b) drafting of the Committee’s strategy and program of activities;

(c) implementation of the Committee’s decisions;

(d) preparations for the Committee’s meetings;

(e) preparations for Committee elections; and

(f) drafting the annual report required under Article 9.

13. Election of Officers

(1) The Committee chooses the members of the Bureau by election.

(2) Voting for the Bureau is according to the principle of one expert member vote per country and, in line with Article IV B 4 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles, only an expert member designated by a National Committee of ICOMOS as its representative on the Committee may vote.

(3) The officers are elected for a term of three years.

(4) For reasons of continuity, three officers will be elected each year.

(5) Elections will be held at least three months prior to the Annual General Meeting, by postal or electronic vote, subject to Article II B 7 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles.

(6) The elections will be supervised by two expert members of the Committee appointed by the Bureau.

(7) Subject to Article II B 7 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles, the Committee may conduct the vote in electronic form. Where a vote is to be conducted electronically, votes will be accepted from expert members who have beforehand registered a verifiable electronic address with the Bureau. A vote transmitted by telefax must be signed by the voter.

14. Meetings of the Bureau 

(1) Between meetings of the Committee, the Bureau acts on behalf of the Committee, and, in particular, is responsible for:

(a) the coordination of day to day operations of the Committee;

(b) the development of the Committee’s strategy;

(c) preparation, execution, and reporting on, the Committee’s program of activities;

(d) the recruitment of members, notably from underrepresented regions.

(2) In accordance with the strategy and program of activities, and subject to Articles II B 5 of the Eger-Xi’an Principles the officers in the Bureau divide the tasks and portfolios and elect a president, a vice-president, a secretary-general and other named officers such as a membership officer, a regional officer or education officer as appropriate from their ranks.

(3) The Bureau communicates as often as is necessary to conduct its business, and meets at least once in any year.

(4) The quorum for a meeting of the Bureau is five of its members.

(5) Questions arising at the Bureau shall be decided by a simple majority in a vote of members present or represented by proxy, or by postal vote. A vote may also be by postal vote or electronically and votes will be accepted from expert members who have beforehand registered a verifiable electronic address with the Bureau. A vote transmitted by telefax must be signed by the voter.

(6) Where the vote on any question is tied, the President has a casting vote or may refer the question to a meeting of the Committee.

15. Duties of the President

  (1) The President of the Committee:

(a) must convene, and draw up the agenda, for meetings of the Committee and of the Bureau;

(b) presides over meetings of the Committee and of the Bureau, at which the President is present; and

(c) represents the Committee vis-a-vis third parties.

16. Duties of the Vice President

(1) The Vice President of the Committee will, in the absence of the President, carry out the duties listed under 15(1) above.

17. Duties of the Secretary

(1) The duties of the Secretary shall include but not be limited to:

(a) maintaining the archival record and institutional memory of the Committee;

(b) serving the Bureau and ensuring the dissemination of information to all members of the Committee;

(c) being in charge of, or making provision for the maintenance, development and expansion of the Committee’s website (http://icuch.icomos.org) and listserv.

18. Working Groups and Sub-Committees

(1) The Committee or the Bureau may appoint one or more sub-committees of members of the Committee.

(2) The Committee or Bureau may assign questions of a technical, scientific or professional nature to the relevant sub-committee.

(3) A sub-committee is subject to the directions of the Bureau.

(4) A sub-committee must submit an annual report of its activities to the Committee.

19. Amendments

(1) The Committee may amend this Statute by a resolution for which at least 75% of its expert members vote in a postal or electronic ballot.

(2) Voting on amendments to this Statute is according to the principle of one vote per country, and only an expert member designated by a National Committee of ICOMOS as its representative on the Scientific Committee may vote.

(3) An amendment is subject to ratification by the Executive Committee of ICOMOS.

20.   Dissolution

(1) If the Executive Committee of ICOMOS dissolves the Committee, the Executive Committee of ICOMOS shall within a period of six months transfer the assets of the Committee to an appropriate cultural organization.

17 September 2014