All about the Chairperson

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What is the role of the Chairperson?

The Chairperson:

  • declares the opening and closing of meetings
  • directs the discussions
  • ensures the observance of rules of procedures and accords the right to speak
  • rules on points of order
  • puts questions to the vote and announces decisions
  • has the right to take part in the discussions
  • represents the Board with Member States, the United Nations, the Specialized Agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations and the Director General
  • Is ex officio a member of all organs of the Board.

(Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 13)

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Former Chairpersons

  • Ms Alissandra CUMMINS (Barbados), 2011-2013
  • Ms Eleonora Valentinovna MITROFANOVA (Russian Federation), 2009-2011
  • Mr Olabiyi Babalola Joseph YAÏ (Benin), 2007-2009
  • Mr Xinsheng ZHANG (China), 2005-2007
  • Mr Hans-Heinrich WREDE (Germany), 2003-2005
  • Ms Aziza BENNANI (Morocco), 2001-2003
  • Ms Sonia MENDIETA DE BADAROUX (Honduras), 1999-2001
  • Mr Christopher J. CHETSANGA (Zimbabwe), 1999
  • Mr Pál PATAKI (Hungary), 1997-1999
  • Mr Nouréini TIDJANI-SERPOS (Benin), 1995-1997
  • Ms Attiya INAYATULLAH (Pakistan), 1993-1995
  • Ms Marie BERNARD-MEUNIER (Canada), 1991-1993
  • Mr Yahya ALIYU (Nigeria), 1989-1991
  • Mr José Israel VARGAS (Brazil), 1987-1989
  • Dr Ivo MARGAN (Yugoslavia), 1985-1987
  • Mr Patrick K. SEDDOH (Ghana), 1983-1985
  • Mr Victor MASSUH (Argentina),1980-1983
  • Mr Chams Eldine EL-WAKIL (Egypt), 1978-1980
  • Mr Leonard C.J. MARTIN (United Kingdom), 1976-1978
  • Mr Hector WYNTER (Jamaica), 1974-1976
  • Mr Fûad SARRUF (Lebanon),1972-1974
  • Mr Prem N. KIRPAL (India), 1970-1972
  • Mr Gian Franco POMPEI (Italy), 1968-1970
  • Mr Antilio DELL'ORO MAINI (Argentina), 1966-1968
  • Mr Mohammed EL FASI (Morocco), 1964-1966
  • Mr Rodolfo BARON CASTRO (El Salvador), 1964
  • Mr C. Edward BEEBY (New Zealand), 1962-1964
  • Mr Mohamed AWAD (Egypt), 1960-1962
  • Sir Ben Bowen THOMAS (United Kingdom), 1958-1960
  • Mr Gholam Ali RAADI (Iran), 1958
  • Mr Vittorino VERONESE (Italy), 1956-1958
  • Mr Arcot L. MUDALIAR (India), 1954-1956
  • Sir Ronald ADAM (United Kingdom), 1952-1954
  • Mr Paulo E. de BERRÊDO DE CARNEIRO (Brazil), 1951-1952
  • Count Stefano JACINI (Italy), 1950-1951
  • Sir John MAUD (United Kingdom), 1949-1950
  • Sir Ronald W.WALKER (Australia), 1947-1948
  • Mr Victor DORE (Canada), 1946-1947
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What is the role of the Vice-Chairpersons?

The Vice-Chairs are States Members of the Executive Board, each one representing an electoral group.

In the absence of the Chairperson during a session, his/her functions are exercised in turn by the Vice-Chairpersons.

(Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 15)

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Elections of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairpersons

At the opening of the session following each ordinary session of the General Conference, the Board shall elect, from among the 58 representatives of the Member States elected to the Executive Board, a Chairman. The Board shall also elect six Vice-Chairmen from among its Members. The Chairman shall be elected by secret ballot. If the Chairman finds that there is a lack of consensus regarding the election of the Vice-Chairmen, an election by secret ballot shall then be held.

The Chairman shall not be immediately re-eligible. At the end of the two-year mandate of the outgoing Chairman, a new Chairman shall be elected from among the representatives of the other Members of the Board. (Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 10)

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