Rules of Procedure

THE MICRONESIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE

RULE 1: DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of these Rules, the following definitions apply:

“Agreement” means the Agreement on the Micronesian Association for Sustainable Aquaculture (MASA) adopted on 25 November 2015;

“Association” means the Micronesian Association for Sustainable Aquaculture [established by the Agreement];

“Chairperson” means the Chairperson of the Association;

“Consensus” means the absence of any formal objection made at the time a decision is taken;

“Coordinator” means the Coordinator of the Association who is the executive head of the Secretariat and the legal representative of the Association in accordance with Article 8 paragraph 2 of the Agreement;

“Members” means the Members of the Association;

“Observer” means the representative of any non-member government, Participating territory, organization, association, arrangement, institution or entity invited to participate at meetings and meetings of the Association as observers in accordance with Article 13 of the Agreement and these Rules of procedures;

“Original Members” means the States of the Micronesian sub-region, which initiated the development and adoption of the Agreement, namely the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Nauru and the Republic of Palau;

“Participating territories” means those territories referred to in Article 12 paragraph 1 of the Agreement;

“Subsidiary bodies” means the Technical Advisory committee and subcommittees established under Article 9 of the Agreement;

“Technical Advisory Committee” means the Committee established by Article 9 of the Agreement that is to provide advice and recommendations to the Association on matters within its area of competence.

RULE 2: MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION

  1. The Chairperson shall convene the annual meeting and other meetings of the Association.
  2. The Association may decide to convene other meetings in between the annual meetings as may be necessary to carry out the Association’s functions and the objectives of the Agreement.
  3. The Association shall determine the date of the meetings in consultation with the Chairperson. Before the end of each annual meeting, the Association shall, if possible, decide on the date of commencement and the approximate duration of the next annual meeting.
  4. Annual meetings and other meetings of the Association shall be held at the seat of the Association. The Association, in consultation with the Chairperson and the Government of the member potentially hosting the meeting, may decide to convene the meeting elsewhere.
  5. If a meeting will be held in a place which is not the seat of the Association, the Government of the member hosting the meeting shall assure the Chairperson prior to the convening of the meeting that the Government shall grant to all representatives, experts, advisers, observers and members of the Secretariat and other persons entitled to attend such meeting, the necessary privileges and immunities for the independent exercise of their functions in connection with the meeting.
  6. The Coordinator shall prepare invitations to all meetings of the Association. The Chairperson shall issue the invitations to the annual meeting at least 90 days in advance of the meeting date. The Chairperson shall issue invitations to other meetings at least 30 days in advance of the meeting date, unless the meeting is a special meeting for the purposes of Article 18 of the Agreement, in which case invitations shall be issued at least 60 days in advance of the meeting date.

RULE 3: REPRESENTATION

  1. Each member of the Association shall be represented by designated representatives and each member may also designate alternate representatives and advisers as required by the delegation.
  2. Subject to rule 13 of these rules, observers shall be represented by designated representatives and by such alternate representatives and advisers as may be required.
  3. The names of the designated representatives, alternative representatives and advisers of members, participating territories and observers shall be submitted to the Coordinator no later than twenty-four hours after the opening of the meeting in the standard form established by the Coordinator.
  4. Subject to Article 14 paragraph 3 of the Agreement, the participation of one designated representative of a Member to the annual Meeting of the Association and one designated representative to one meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee per year shall be funded by the regular budget of the Association.

RULE 4: AGENDA

  1. A provisional agenda for the annual meeting of the Association shall be prepared by the Coordinator and following the approval of the Chairperson sent to:
    1. Members;
    2. Participating territories and non-member governments, organizations, associations, arrangements, institutions or entities identified in Articles 13 and 16 of the Agreement; and
    3. observers that attended the previous annual meeting of the Association or have requested to attend the upcoming meeting
      not less than 60 days before the date of the upcoming meeting, together with the reports and documents available in connection with the meeting.
  2. The Coordinator shall send to all participants identified in paragraph 1 of this rule a provisional agenda with comments, including any proposal by members, not less than 30 days before the annual meeting or a special meeting for the purposes of Article 18 of the Agreement and not less than 20 days for other meetings.
  3. The provisional agenda of the annual meeting shall include:
    1. election of the Chairperson and of the Vice-Chairperson;
    2. adoption of the agenda;
    3. reports and recommendations of the technical advisory committee or sub-committees which might be established;
    4. special funds to receive additional resources for the development of programmes and projects, as appropriate;
    5. review and development of policies, standards and guidelines for the management and operation of the Association;
    6. evaluation of the progress of work and activities of the Association including the auditing of accounts;
    7. approval of formal arrangements with governments as well as other associations or institutions;
    8. formulation and adoption of financial and administrative regulations;
    9. reports and recommendations by the Coordinator on the annual accounts of the Association and all the activities of the Secretariat;
    10. consideration of the proposed programme of work and budget of the Association for the ensuing financial period;
    11. items approved at the previous meeting;
    12. proposals for amendments to the Agreement, these rules of procedure and the Financial Regulations of the Association, as appropriate;
    13. applications for membership in accordance with Article 10 of the Agreement;
    14. participation by territories in accordance with Article 12 of the Agreement and these rules or application for observer status, in accordance with Article 13 of the Agreement and these rules; and
    15. items referred to the Association by the Original Members.
  4. The provisional agenda of the annual meeting may also include:
    1. items proposed by the technical advisory committee and other sub-committee; and
    2. items proposed a Member.
  5. The agenda of a special meeting shall consist only of the items relating to the purpose for which the meeting was called.

RULE 5: THE SECRETARIAT

  1. The Coordinator as the executive head of the Association shall act in that capacity in all meetings of the Association and its subsidiary bodies.
  2. The Coordinator shall be responsible for implementing the policies and activities of the Association and shall report thereon to the Association. In the exercise of the Coordinator’s functions, the Coordinator shall have direct relations with all Members of the Association and other participating parties and observers, in accordance with Articles 12 and 13 of the Agreement.
  3. In addition to fulfilling the duties listed in Article 8 paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Agreement, the Coordinator shall also:
    1. communicate the information received from Members;
    2. receive, collect, circulate, draft and present documents, reports, papers and resolutions for the meetings of the Association, the sub-committees, the technical advisory committee and other subsidiary bodies;
    3. maintain records of the proceedings;
    4. facilitate the collection of data necessary to accomplish the objectives of the Association;
    5. administer and report to the Association on the financial and staffing resources of the Association; and
    6. perform of any other duties that the Association may assign.
  4. The Members shall send copies of all communications concerning the affairs of the Association to the Coordinator.
  5. The function of the Secretariat shall include the following:
    Assist the Coordinator in receiving and transmitting the Association’s official communications;
    assist in promoting the activities of the Association; and
    treasury, personnel and other administrative functions and generally perform all other work which the Association may require.
  6. In order to minimize the costs to the members of the Association, the Secretariat shall be cost effective.

RULE 6: ELECTION OF CHAIR PERSON AND VICE-CHAIRPERSON

  1. In accordance with Article 7 paragraph 3 of the Agreement, the Association shall, at the end of its regular meeting in each alternate year or sooner if the Chairperson’s office falls vacant, elect a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson, who shall be of different nationalities.
  2. Nominees must be delegates or alternates attending the meeting. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall not be eligible for re-election for the same position for consecutive terms.
  3. Except at the first regular meeting of the Association, the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall assume office at the end of the meeting at which they were elected.

RULE 7: FUNCTIONS OF THE CHAIRPERSON AND VICE-CHAIRPERSON

  1. The Chairperson shall exercise the functions and uphold the duties stated in the Agreement and shall:
    1. declare the opening and closing of each plenary meeting of the Association;
    2. direct the discussions at such meetings and ensure observance of these rules, accord the right to speak, put questions to the vote and announce decisions;
    3. rule on points of order;
    4. subject to these Rules of Procedures, have and maintain control over the proceedings of the meeting;
    5. promptly respond to any written communication addressed to the Chairperson and circulate such communication to all members of the Association; and
    6. uphold any additional functions and responsibilities entrusted to the Chairperson by the Association.
  2. In the absence of the Chairperson or at the Chairperson’s request, the functions of the Chairperson shall be exercised by the Vice-Chairperson.
  3. The Chairperson, or the Vice-Chairperson acting as Chairperson, has a right to vote if the Chairperson is acting as the sole representative of a member country.

RULE 8: CONDUCT OF MEETINGS AND SESSIONS

  1. The Chairperson may open a meeting of the Association or a session of such meetings and permit the debate to proceed when at least three-fourths of the members are present.
  2. The meetings of the Association and sessions of such meetings shall be open unless the Association or the subsidiary body concerned decides that exceptional circumstances require that a meeting or session of a meeting be a closed meeting or session;
  3. Decisions taken at a closed meeting or closed session shall be announced at an early open meeting or sessions of the Association or its subsidiary body. At the end of a closed meeting of a subsidiary body, the Chairperson may issue a communiqué through the Coordinator.
  4. No representative may address the meeting or sessions Association without the permission of the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall call upon speakers in the order in which they signal their desire to speak, except that the Chairperson of a subsidiary body may be accorded precedence for the purpose of explaining the conclusions arrived at by that body. The Chairperson may call a speaker to order if his or her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion.
  5. The Coordinator or a member of the Secretariat designated by Coordinator, may, at any time with the permission of the Chairperson, make either oral or written statements to the Association concerning any question under consideration by it.
  6. During the discussion of any matter, a member may raise a point of order, and the Chairperson shall immediately decide on the point of order in accordance with these rules. A member may appeal against the Chairperson’s ruling on the point of order. In such a case, the appeal shall be immediately put to the vote, and the Chairperson’s ruling shall stand unless overruled by a majority of the members of the Association present and voting.
  7. A member may at any time make any of the following procedural motions. Such motions shall have precedence in the following order over all other proposals or motions before the meeting:
    1. To suspend the meeting;
    2. To adjourn the meeting;
    3. To adjourn the debate on the item under discussion;
    4. To close the debate on the item under discussion.
  8. Any motion calling for a decision on the competence of the Association to adopt a proposal submitted to it shall be put to the vote before a vote is taken on the proposal in question.
  9. Proposals and amendments (other than original proposals for amendments made pursuant to Article 18 of the Agreement) shall normally be circulated in writing to the Coordinator, who shall circulate copies to the delegations. As a general rule, no proposal shall be discussed or put to the vote at any meeting of the Association unless copies of it have been circulated to all delegations not later than the day preceding the meeting. The Chairperson may, however, permit the discussion and consideration of amendments or of motions as to procedure, even though such amendments and motions have not been circulated or have only been circulated the same day.

RULE 9: VOTING ARRANGEMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS

  1. In accordance with Article 7 paragraph 5 of the Agreement, each Member of the Association shall have one vote.
  2. As a general rule or except as otherwise provided in the Agreement, the Association shall endeavor to reach its decision by consensus without having to resort to voting. If all efforts to reach a decision by consensus have been exhausted, decisions shall be taken by a majority of votes cast. The Chairperson shall determine whether efforts to reach a decision by consensus have been exhausted.
  3. Decisions of the Association on matters described in Article 7 paragraph 8(b) to (c) and Article 18 of the Agreement shall be made in accordance with the terms of those Articles.
  4. Voting in plenary meetings shall be oral or by show of hands, except that a vote by roll call shall be taken if a specified majority is required by the Agreement or these Rules, or if a request for a vote by roll call is made by a Member.
  5. A vote by roll call shall be conducted by calling upon the names of the Members participating in the meeting in alphabetical order beginning with the Member whose name is drawn by lot by the Chairperson.
  6. The Chairperson shall maintain a record of any roll call vote. The record of any roll call vote shall show the votes cast by each Member and any abstention.
  7. Voting and the election of officers of the Association, the Technical Advisory Committee and other subsidiary bodies, shall be by secret ballot. An election in which the number of candidates is lower than the number of vacancies is exempt from the secret ballot requirement and the Association may make that the appointment by clear general consent.
  8. When no nominee for an officer position obtains a majority of the votes following the first ballot, a second ballot confined to the two candidates obtaining the largest number of votes from the first ballot shall be taken. If, on the second ballot, the votes are equally divided, the balloting shall continue until one candidate secures the necessary majorities of the votes cast.
  9. If the Association takes a vote on a proposal on a substantive matter other than an election and there is no majority, a second vote shall be taken at the next meeting. If the Association is then again equally divided, the proposal shall be regarded as rejected.
  10. A member may move that parts of a proposal or of an amendment should be voted on separately. If objection is made to the request for a division, the motion for division shall be voted upon. If the motion for division is carried, those parts of the proposal or of the amendment which are approved shall then be put to the vote as a whole. If all operative parts of the proposal or of the amendment have been rejected, the proposal or the amendment shall be considered to have been rejected as a whole.
  11. When an amendment is moved to a proposal, the amendment shall be voted on first. When two or more amendments are moved to a proposal, the Association shall first vote on the amendment furthest removed in substance from the original proposal and then on to the amendment next furthest removed therefrom and so on until all the amendments have been put to the vote. Where, however, the adoption of one amendment necessarily implies the rejection of another amendment, the latter amendment shall not be put to the vote. If one or more amendments are adopted, the amended proposal shall then be voted upon. A motion is considered an amendment to a proposal if it adds to, deletes from or revises part of the proposal.
  12. If two or more proposals relate to the same question, the Association shall, unless it decides otherwise, vote on the proposals in the order in which they have been submitted. The Association may, after each vote on a proposal, decide whether to vote on the next proposal.
  13. When necessary, a matter may be decided during the period between meetings by voting electronically via the Internet (e.g. email, secure Web site) or other means of communication (intersessional vote). Normally, such means of taking decisions shall be applied to matters of procedure. However, in exceptional circumstances, where an urgent decision is necessary after efforts to reach a decision by consensus have been exhausted or as otherwise decided, such means of taking a decision may be applied to matters of substance.
  14. When it is necessary to decide any matter during the period between meetings, the Chairperson, on his or her initiative, or at the request of a member that has made a proposal, may move adoption without delay of such proposal by inter-sessional vote. The Chairperson, in consultation with the Vice-Chairperson, shall decide on the necessity of considering the proposal inter-sessionally, and the Chairperson shall decide whether the proposal raises a matter of procedure or a matter of substance.
  15. In any case in which the Chairperson determines that it is not necessary to consider a motion proposed by a member inter-sessionally, the Chairperson shall promptly inform that member of such determination and the reasons therefor.
  16. In cases in which the Chairperson has concurred on the necessity of considering a proposal moved by a member inter-sessionally, the Coordinator shall promptly transmit the proposal and both determinations made by the Chairperson under paragraph 14 to members via the National Focal Points provided for in Rule 12, requesting that responses be returned within 30 days.
  17. Members shall promptly acknowledge receipt of any request for an inter-sessional vote. If no acknowledgment is received within 10 days of the date of transmittal, the Coordinator shall retransmit the request and shall use all additional means available to ensure that the request has been received.
  18. Members shall respond within 30 days of the date of transmittal of a proposal, indicating whether they cast an affirmative vote, cast a negative vote, or abstain from voting. If no reply from a member is received within 30 days of transmittal, that member shall be recorded as having abstained.
  19. The result of a decision taken by inter-sessional vote shall be ascertained by the Coordinator at the end of the voting period and promptly announced to all members. If any explanations of votes are received, these shall also be transmitted to all members.
  20. No proposal transmitted by the Coordinator for an inter-sessional vote shall be subject to amendment during the voting period.
  21. A proposal that has been rejected by inter-sessional vote shall not be reconsidered by way of an inter-sessional vote until after the following meeting of the Association, but may be reconsidered at that meeting.
  22. The right to vote of a Member of the Association who is in arrears shall be subject to Article 14 paragraph 3 of the Agreement.

RULE 10: THE TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE

  1. The Technical Advisory Committee shall have the functions and responsibilities described in Article 9 of the Agreement.
  2. The establishment of sub-committees shall be subject to Article 9 paragraph 4 of the Agreement.
  3. The Technical Advisory Committee and, as appropriate the subcommittees, shall elect their own chairperson and vice chairperson.
  4. The procedures of the Technical Advisory Committee and sub-committees shall be governed mutatis mutandis by these Rules of Procedure.

RULE 11: BUDGET AND FINANCE

The Association shall administer its budget and other funds pursuant to these regulations adopted in accordance with Article 5 paragraph 1(p) of the Agreement, taking into account Article 14 of the Agreement.

RULE 12: NATIONAL FOCAL POINTS

  1. Each Member shall designate a National Focal Point who shall facilitate communication between the Members and the Secretariat. The National Focal Point shall be a high level, experienced aquaculture expert or if such individual is not available, a fishery scientist familiar with aquaculture matters or manager who has access to the respective Member’s official aquaculture and fishery information. The National Focal Point shall normally be the Representative of the Member of the Association at the Association meetings or any other person so designated.
  2. Each member shall communicate to the Chairperson and Secretariat, the name of the National Focal Point upon initial designation or following any changes.
  3. The National Focal Point shall perform other duties and responsibilities as may be determined, reviewed and revised from time to time by the Association.

RULE 13: PARTICIPATION BY OBSERVERS AND OTHERS

  1. The following may, subject to agreements made pursuant to under Articles 12 and 13 of the Agreement and these rules, participate as observers in the meetings of the Association and its subsidiary bodies:
    1. Participating territories identified in Article 12 of the Agreement;
    2. a non-member State (government), organization, association, arrangement, institution or entity described in Article 16 paragraph1 of the Agreement;
    3. a non-member State (government), organization, association, arrangement, institution or entity that has entered into a cooperation agreement under Article 16 paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Agreement; and
    4. a non-member State (government), organization, association, arrangement, institution or entity upon request.
  2. Observers may participate subject to the provisions of these rules in the deliberations of the Association and its subsidiary bodies but shall not be entitled to participate in the taking of decisions. Written statements submitted by such observers shall be distributed by the Secretariat to the Members.
  3. Organizations, associations, arrangements, institutions or entities having special competence in the field of activity or objective of the Association may, upon the invitation of the Chairperson, address, comment or provide information on specific matters within their competence during deliberations of the Association and its subsidiary bodies, but shall not be entitled to participate in the taking of decisions in respect of such matters.
  4. A non-governmental organization association, arrangement, institution or entity desiring to participate as an observer in a meeting of the Association or its subsidiary bodies shall submit its request to participate as an observer in such meeting in writing to the Coordinator at least 50 days in advance of the meeting. The Coordinator shall notify the members of the Association of such request at least 45 days prior to the opening of the meeting at which the request is to be considered. Nongovernmental organizations, associations, arrangements, institutions or entities that have made such request to the Coordinator shall be invited to participate in the session as observers unless a majority of the members of the Association object to the request in writing at least 20 days before the opening of the meeting. An observer status so granted shall be subject to conditions as may be determined by the Association and remains in effect for future meetings unless the Association decides otherwise.
  5. Participation of regional economic integration organizations in the work of the Association and the relations between the Association and such organizations shall be governed by the relevant provisions of the Constitution of that regional economic integration organization and the Agreement.
  6. The Association may invite consultants or experts, in their individual capacity, to attend the meetings or participate in the work of the Association and its subsidiary bodies in accordance with the terms and conditions established by the Association.

RULE 14: RECORDS, REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. A written report shall be adopted at the end of each meeting of the Association or its subsidiary bodies. The report shall, in accordance with Article 8 paragraph 5 of the Agreement, embody the Association’s views, recommendations, decisions and as appropriate, the schedule for implementation of decisions and recommendations including, when requested, a statement of minority views.
  2. The Coordinator shall:
    1. circulate the report ,technical papers and other documents as appropriate to the Members and those observers that were represented at the meeting or organizations, associations,
    2. arrangements, institutions or entities that have cooperative arrangements with the Association under Article 16 of the Agreement; and
    3. publish the report as well as such technical papers and other documents as appropriate in accordance with the directions or guidelines issued by the Association.
  3. The Chairperson may request each Member to provide information to the Association on actions it has taken and where such actions are based on or related to the decisions and recommendations of the Association.

RULE 15: AMENDMENTS TO THE AGREEMENT

  1. Proposals for the amendment of the Agreement, as provided by Article 18 of the Agreement, shall be communicated in writing to the Coordinator. Immediately upon receipt of such proposals for amendment, the Coordinator shall transmit them to all Members.
  2. No action on a proposal for the amendment of the Agreement shall be taken by the Association at any meeting, unless it has been included in the provisional agenda of the meeting. Decisions on amendments shall be made in accordance with Article 18 of the Agreement.

RULE 16: AMENDMENT OF RULES

Amendments to these Rules may be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Members of the Association, at any plenary meeting of the Association. The Chairperson shall announce at a plenary meeting and shall distribute copies of the proposal for the amendment to delegations not less than twenty-four hours before the meeting at which action is to be taken.