Multilateral Treaties

[Signatories and Ratifications] [text in Spanish]

AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE INTER-AMERICAN INSTITUTE  FOR  GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH

The Parties,

RECOGNIZING that the long-term chemical, biological, and physical processes and cycles of the Earth system are undergoing continuous alteration that is both natural in origin and human-induced, in what is known as global change;

CONCERNED that our scientific knowledge of the earth system and our common understanding of the environmental, economic and social effects on development caused by these changes is incomplete;

AWARE that global change may affect the resources vital to the condition of human beings and other species;

CONSIDERING that policy makers are in need of accurate information and sound analyses concerning the causes and the physical, social, economic and ecological impacts of global change;

CONCERNED that research on global issues requires cooperation among research institutes, among states and among the different parts of the Inter-American region, and with regional and international global change research programs;

CONVINCED that national and global efforts to address these issues must be supplemented by regional cooperation among States; and

RECALLING that, in order to encourage such regional cooperation, the establishment of an Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research was initiated by the scientific community of the Americas at the 1990 White House Conference on Science and Economics Research Related to Global Change;

HAVE AGREED as follows:

 Article I
 Establishment of the Institute

The Parties hereby establish the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, as a regional network of cooperating research entities, hereinafter referred to as the "Institute."  

 Article II
 Objectives

The Institute shall pursue the principles of scientific excellence, international cooperation, and the full and open exchange of scientific information, relevant to global change.  In order to do so, the objectives of the Institute are to:

 a) Promote regional cooperation for interdisciplinary research on aspects of global change related to the sciences of the earth, ocean, atmosphere, and the environment and to social sciences, with particular attention to impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity, socio-economic impacts, and technologies and economic aspects associated with the mitigation of and adaptation to global change;

b) Conduct or select for sponsorship scientific programs and projects on the basis of their regional relevance and scientific merit as determined by scientific review;

c) Pursue on a regional scale that research which cannot be pursued by any individual State or institution and dedicate itself to scientific issues of regional importance;

d) Improve the scientific and technical capabilities and research infrastructure of the States of the region by identifying and promoting the development of facilities for the implementation of data management and by the scientific and technical training of professionals;

e) Foster standardization, collection, analysis and exchange of scientific data relevant to global change;

f) Improve public awareness and provide scientific information to governments for the development of public policy relevant to global change;

g) Promote cooperation among the different research institutions of the region; and

h) Promote cooperation with research institutions in other regions.  

 Article III
 Scientific Agenda

 In pursuit of the above objectives, the Institute shall have an evolving Scientific Agenda, reflecting an appropriate balance among biogeographical areas of scientific importance; an integration of scientific, economic and sociological research; and shall focus on such regional issues as the Conference of the Parties shall determine, in accordance with Articles V, VI, VII and VIII.  The initial Scientific Agenda shall include:

a) The study of tropical ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles;

b) The study of impacts of climate change on biodiversity;

c) The study of El Niņo Southern Oscillation and interannual climate variability;

d) The study of ocean/atmosphere/land interactions in the intertropical Americas;

e) Comparative studies of oceanic, coastal and estuarine processes in temperate zones;

f) Comparative studies of temperate terrestrial ecosystems; and

g) High latitude processes.  

 Article IV
 Organs

The organs of the Institute are:

a) The Conference of the Parties;
b) The Executive Council;
c) The Scientific Advisory Committee; and
d) The Directorate.  

 Article V
 The Conference of the Parties

1. The Conference of the Parties shall be the principal policy-making organ of the Institute.

2. Each Party shall be a member of the Conference of the Parties.

3. The Conference of the Parties shall meet at least once every year.

4. The Conference of the Parties shall: -
 a) consider and adopt measures to establish, review and update the policies and procedures of the Institute, as well as to evaluate its work and the accomplishment of its objectives;

b) review periodically and approve, on the basis of recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee, the Scientific Agenda of the Institute and to consider and approve its long-range plans and annual program and budget, taking into account:

i) The processes or issues that are unique to the region and their significance on a global scale;

ii) The research strengths within the region and how those strengths can be best utilized in order to contribute to the global effort to understand global change; and

iii) The need to integrate research on global issues through cooperation among research institutes, among States and among the different parts of the Inter-American region, and with regional and international global change research programs.

c) Consider and approve the financial policies, the annual budget and the financial records of the Institute submitted by the Director;

d) Elect the Members of the Executive Council and the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Director;

e) Consider and approve the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Council;

f) Decide on the venue for its annual ordinary and extraordinary meetings, which shall be rotated among the Parties;

g) Issue, through the Director, invitations to become Associates of the Institute, as provided in Article XI of this Agreement;

h) Authorize the Director to conclude with an accepting Associate an Agreement of Association;

i) Decide on the development and designation of Institute Research Centers and on their location, as provided in Article IX;

j) Make decisions regarding the location of the Directorate;

k) Establish ad hoc committees as necessary;

l) Approve amendments to this Agreement in accordance with Article XV, Section 3; and

m) Perform other functions as necessary to achieve the objectives of the Institute.  
 Article VI
 The Executive Council

1. The Executive Council shall be the executive organ of the Institute.

2. The Executive Council shall be composed of up to nine members elected by the Conference of the Parties for two-year terms, taking into account the need for balanced geographic representation.

3. The Executive Council shall meet at least twice a year and shall strive to hold its meetings in different locations among the Parties.

4. The Executive Council shall:

a) Develop recommendations on the policies for the Institute, for submission to and approval by the Conference of the Parties;

b) Ensure that the Director implements the policies adopted by the Conference of the Parties;

c) Make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties regarding the long-range plans and annual program and budget;

d) Make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties regarding the financial policies of the Institute proposed by the Director;

e) Appoint an external auditor and review the annual external audit of the financial records submitted annually by the Director to the Conference of the Parties;

f) Make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties regarding amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Council;

g) Propose to the Conference of the Parties the designation of Institute Research Centers; and

h) Perform any other functions entrusted to it by the Conference of the Parties.  

 Article VII
 The Scientific Advisory Committee

1. The Scientific Advisory Committee shall be the principal scientific advisory organ of the Institute.
 2. The Scientific Advisory Committee shall be composed of ten members elected by the Conference of the Parties to serve in their personal capacity for three-year terms and with eligibility for a single additional term.  The Conference of the Parties shall elect six Scientific Advisory Committee members from nominations received from the Parties; three from nominations received from the Scientific Advisory Committee itself; and one from nominations received from the Institute's Associates.  These members shall be scientists recognized internationally for their expertise in areas relevant to the objectives of the Institute, ensuring broad subregional, regional, and worldwide representation, as well as representation from a variety of disciplines relevant to global change research.

3. The Scientific Advisory Committee shall meet as necessary and at least once a year.

4. The Scientific Advisory Committee shall:

a) Make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties regarding the Scientific Agenda, long-range plans and annual program of the Institute;

b) Direct the peer review system of the Institute, ensuring through its rules of procedure that individual Committee members do not participate in the evaluation of proposals which they have themselves submitted;

c) Adopt its own rules of procedure;

d) Establish scientific panels for particular issues;

e) Assess the scientific results obtained by the Institute; and

f) Perform any other functions entrusted to it by the Conference of the Parties.  

 Article VIII
 The Directorate

1. The Directorate shall be the primary administrative organ of the Institute.

2. The Directorate shall be composed of a Director and staff.

3. The Director shall be the highest executive officer of the Institute.

 4. The Director shall be elected by a two-thirds majority of the Conference of the Parties from nominations submitted by the Parties and for a three-year term with eligibility for a single additional term.

5. The Director shall:

a) Prepare and submit to the Conference of the Parties, through the Executive Council, the proposed long-range plan, the proposed financial policies and the annual program and budget of the Institute, including annually adjusted allocations to the Directorate and to the Institute Research Centers;

b) Implement the financial policies and the annual program and budget approved by the Conference of the Parties, maintaining detailed records of all revenue and expenditure of the Institute, and committing authorized resources for the purposes of managing the Institute;

c) Be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program of the Institute and the implementation of the policies approved by the Conference of the Parties in accordance with the direction provided by the Executive Council, and to cooperate with the Executive Council in those regards;

d) Act as Secretariat to the Conference of the Parties, to the Executive Council and to the Scientific Advisory Committee and, as such, participate ex officio in meetings of the organs of the Institute;

e) Promote and represent the Institute;

f) Forward to the Conference of the Parties offers to host Institute Research Centers based on proposals submitted in accordance with Article IX;

g) Issue invitations of Association (i.e., to Associates of the Institute) approved by the Conference of the Parties, and to conclude with each accepting Associate an Agreement of Association;

h) Submit annually audited financial records to the Conference of the Parties, through the Executive Council; and

i) Perform any other functions entrusted to it by the Conference of the Parties or the Executive Council.

 6. The Director shall not be a citizen or permanent resident of the Party hosting the Directorate.  

 Article IX
 Institute Research Centers

1. Institute Research Centers shall be developed and designated by the Conference of the Parties only based upon proposals submitted by Parties interested in hosting such Centers in their own territory.

2. Each Institute Research Center must have a long-term commitment to a program of research within the objectives of the Institute for which the Center shall be responsible to the Institute. Each Research Center shall present its long-range plans and annual program and budget to the Conference of the Parties for its approval, based on advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee and the Institute's needs to integrate the plans and programs of all of the Centers.

3. The Institute Research Centers shall, inter alia:

a) Conduct and support in-house and extramural interdisciplinary global change research;

b) Collect data and promote the full, open and efficient exchange of data and information between the Institute and the Parties;

c) Strengthen capabilities and facilities of existing institutions;

d) Create regional capacity and provide advanced training in fields relevant to global change;

e) Participate ex-officio, through their respective Directors, in the meetings of the Conference of the Parties, the Executive Council and the Scientific Advisory Committee; and

f) Perform any other functions provided in this Agreement for the Institute Research Centers or entrusted to them by the Conference of the Parties.

4. When deciding on the development or designation of an Institute Research Center, the Conference of the Parties shall take into account:

a) The need to achieve broad coverage of all biogeographically defined subregions of the Inter-American region;

 b) The need to consolidate a regional network of research components focussing on the different areas of the Scientific Agenda of the Institute;

c) The ease of access to the site for visiting scientists and technicians;

d) The availability of logistics support including, inter alia, mail, telecommunications and housing;

e) The demonstrable interest of scientists and governments in conducting global change research and in cooperating with other institutions;

f) The existence of a scientific institution or nucleus at the site actively engaged, in whole or in substantive part, in global change research;

g) The likelihood of long-term stability of interest and support for the research objectives of the Institute;

h) The ability to contribute resources to the overall Institute through, interalia, areas of specialty, expertise and location;

i) The conditions offered by the proposing Parties regarding the open and efficient transfer of institute-related funds, of easy entry to and exit from the State for personnel and equipment which are properly accredited as being associated with the work of the Institute; and

j) The possibility of access to aggregate data bases and close proximity to more specialized research capabilities in subjects associated with global change and research training.  

 Article X
 Affiliated Research Institutions

1. An institution which submits a proposal for a specific research project, through the appropriate Party, may be designated by the Conference of the Parties as being affiliated to the Institute for the duration of the project.  The Conference shall base its decision on a review of the proposal, taking into account the views of the Scientific Advisory Committee as to the scientific merit of the proposed project and its relevance to the objectives of the Institute.

2. Affiliated research institutions shall be responsible to the Institute for the portion of its work sponsored by the Institute.  

 Article XI
 Associates of the Institute

1. The Conference of the Parties may invite States outside the region, regional or international intergovernmental organizations, and industries and other nongovermnental and private organizations interested in supporting the Scientific Agenda and programmatic activities of the Institute, to become Associates of the Institute.

2. Associates may participate as observers in the meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

3. Associates shall be entitled collectively to nominate one member of the Scientific Advisory committee, on the basis of a procedure to be agreed among them.

4. Each Associate shall conclude with the Institute, through the Director, an Agreement of Association which shall specify the area or areas of the Scientific Agenda that will be supported by the Associate, and the modalities of such support.  

 Article XII
 National Jurisdiction

Research undertaken, managed or sponsored by the Institute shall be conducted in accordance with the laws of the Parties in their respective areas of national jurisdiction and shall not be conducted against the wishes of a Party in its area of national jurisdiction.

 Article XIII
 Financial Provisions

1. A budget of operational expenses for the Institute, consisting of salaries for the Directorate and basic support for the Directorate, Scientific Advisory Committee, and Executive Council, shall be supported by voluntary contributions pledged annually for a three-year period by the Parties in accordance with the interests of the Parties.  Such pledges shall be in increments of US $5,000.  The adoption of the annual budget shall be by consensus of the Parties.  The Parties recognize that regular contributions to the operational budget are essential to the success of the Institute and that such contributions shall take into account the research resources of the contributing parties.

 2. Major research programs and specific projects, to be sponsored by the Institute, shall be supported from voluntary financial contributions pledged by the Parties and by the Associates of the Institute, or donated by other States outside the region, regional or international intergovernmental organizations, and industries and other nongovernmental and private organizations interested in supporting the Scientific Agenda and programmatic activities of the Institute.

3. The Executive Council, with the assistance of the Director, will propose to the Conference of the Parties, for its approval, the establishment of an endowment fund which would generate income through an interest-bearing arrangement, as well as options to obtain resources through other means.  

 Article XIV
 Privileges, Immunities and Other Provisions

1. A Party in which the Directorate is located shall accord privileges and immunities to the Director and non-national staff of the Directorate, consistent with those privileges and immunities customarily accorded to international governmental organizations, and as appropriate to allow the Director and staff to carry out their functions.

2. The Party in which the Directorate is located shall enter into an appropriate host agreement with the Institute to provide for these privileges and immunities, taking into account international law.

3. Each Party shall facilitate, to the maximum extent possible in accordance with its national laws and regulations, the entry into and exit from its territory of personnel properly accredited as being associated with the work of the Institute, as well as materials, and equipment related to activities conducted under this Agreement.  

 Article XV
 Final Clauses

1. This Agreement shall be open for signature in Uruguay by independent States of the Inter-American region from the 13th of May, 1992 to the 12th of May, 1993.  These States shall be known as Founding Parties.  The Agreement shall then be open for accession with the Depository by other independent States of the Inter-American region.

2. This Agreement shall enter into force sixty days after the date on which six independent States of the Inter-American region have notified the Depository, through diplomatic channels, that they have completed their corresponding domestic legal requirements.
 3. Amendments approved by a two-thirds vote in the Conference of the Parties, shall come into force sixty days after the date on which two-thirds of the Parties have notified the Depository, through diplomatic channels, that they have completed their corresponding domestic legal requirements.

4. Any Party may withdraw from this Agreement by providing written notification through diplomatic channels to the Depository, six months in advance of the effective date of withdrawal, without prejudice to its compliance with the pending obligations to the ongoing projects.

5. The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States shall be the Depository of this Agreement.

6. This Agreement shall be registered by the Depository with the General Secretariat of the United Nations.

Done in Montevideo, Uruguay on the 13th day of May, 1992, in four equally authentic original texts in the English, French, Portuguese and Spanish languages.  

[Signatories and Ratifications]