Convention of the World Meteorological Organization

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Convention of the World Meteorological Organization, October 11, 1947
Authentic text of the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization, adopted by the Washington Conference on 11 October 1947.

Does not include subsequent amended: Resolutions 1 and 2 adopted by the Third Congress in 1959; Resolutions 1 and 2 adopted by the Fourth Congress in 1963; Resolutions 1, 2 and 3 adopted by the Fifth Congress in 1967; Resolution 48 adopted by the Seventh Congress in 1975; Resolution 50 adopted by the Eighth Congress in 1979; Resolutions 41, 42 and 43 adopted by the Ninth Congress in 1983; Resolutions 39 and 41 adopted by the Fourteenth Congress in 2003; and Resolution 44 adopted by the Fifteenth Congress in 2007.

With a view to coordinating, standardizing, and improving world meteorological activities and to encouraging an efficient exchange of meteorological information between countries in the aid of human activities the contracting States agree to the present Convention, as follows:

PART I - ESTABLISHMENT[edit]

ARTICLE 1[edit]

The World Meteorological Organization (hereinafter called the Organization) is hereby established.

PART II[edit]

ARTICLE 2 - PURPOSES[edit]

The purposes of the Organization shall be:

(a) To facilitate worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for the making of meteorological observations or other geophysical observations related to meteorology and to promote the establishment and maintenance of meteorological centers charged with the provision of meteorological services;
(b) To promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for the rapid exchange of weather information;
(c) To promote standardization of meteorological observations and to ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics;
(d) To further the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, agriculture, and other human activities; and
(e) To encourage research and training in meteorology and to assist in coordinating the international aspects of such research and training.

PART III - MEMBERSHIP[edit]

ARTICLE 3 - MEMBERS[edit]

The following may become Members of the Organization by the procedure set forth in the present Convention:

(a) Any State represented at the Conference of Directors of the International Meteorological Organization convened at Washington, D. C., on September 22, 1947, as listed in Annex I attached hereto, and which signs the present Convention and ratifies it in accordance with Article 32, or which accedes thereto in accordance with Article 33;
(b) Any Member of the United Nations having a meteorological service by acceding to the present Convention in accordance with Article 33;
(c) Any State, fully responsible for the conduct of its international relations and having a meteorological service, not listed in Annex I of the present Convention and not a Member of the United Nations, after the submission of a request for membership to the Secretariat of the Organization and after its approval by two-thirds of the Members of the Organization as specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this Article by acceding to the present Convention in accordance with Article 33;
(d) Any territory or group of territories maintaining its own meteorological service and listed in Annex II attached hereto, upon application of the present Convention on its behalf, in accordance with paragraph (a) of Article 34, by the State or States responsible for its international relations and represented at the Conference of Directors of the International Meteorological Organization convened at Washington, D. C., on September 22, 1947, as listed in Annex I of the present Convention.
(e) Any territory or group of territories, not listed in Annex II of the present Convention, maintaining its own meteorological service but not responsible for the conduct of its international relations, on behalf of which the present Convention is applied in accordance with paragraph (b) of Article 34, provided that the request for membership is presented by the Member responsible for its international relations, and secures approval by two-thirds of the Members of the Organization as specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this Article.
(f) Any trust territory or group of trust territories maintaining its own meteorological service and administered by the United Nations to which the United Nations applies the present Convention in accordance with Article 34.

Any request for membership in the Organization shall state in accordance with which paragraph of this Article membership is sought.

PART IV - ORGANIZATION[edit]

ARTICLE 4[edit]

(a) The Organization shall comprise:
(1) The World Meteorological Congress (hereinafter called the Congress);
(2) The Executive Committee;
(3) Regional Meteorological Associations (hereinafter called the Regional Associations);
(4) Technical Commissions;
(5) The Secretariat.
(b) There shall be a President and two Vice-Presidents of the Organization who shall also be President and Vice-Presidents of the Congress and of the Executive Committee.

PART V - ELIGIBILITY[edit]

ARTICLE 5[edit]

(a) Eligibility for election to the offices of President and Vice-President of the Organization, of President and Vice-President of the Regional Associations, and for membership, subject to the provisions of Article 13 (c) of the present Convention, on the Executive Committee should be confined to the Directors of Meteorological Services of Members of the Organization.
(b) In the performance of their duties, the officers of the Organization and the members of the Executive Committee should regard themselves as representatives of the Organization rather than as representatives of particular Members thereof.

PART VI - THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL CONGRESS[edit]

ARTICLE 6 - COMPOSITION[edit]

(a) The Congress is the supreme body of the Organization and shall be composed of delegates representing Members. Each Member shall designate one of its delegates, who should be the director of its meteorological service, as its principal delegate.
(b) With a view to securing the widest possible technical representation, any director of a meteorological service or any other individual may be invited by the President to be present at and participate in the discussions of the Congress.

ARTICLE 7 - FUNCTIONS[edit]

The functions of the Congress shall be:

(a) To determine general regulations, subject to the provisions, of the present Convention, prescribing the constitution and the, functions of the various bodies of the Organization;
(b) To determine its own rules of procedure;
(c) To elect the President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization, and other Members of the Executive Committee, in accordance with the provisions of Article 10 (a) (4) of the present Convention. Presidents and Vice-Presidents of Regional Associations and Technical Commissions shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of Articles 18 (e) and 19 (c), respectively, of the present Convention;
(d) To adopt technical regulations covering meteorological practices and procedures;
(e) To determine general policies for the fulfilment of the purposes of the Organization as set forth in Article 2 of the present Convention;
(f) To make recommendations to members on matters within, the purposes of the Organization;
(g) To refer to any other body of the Organization any matter within the provisions of the present Convention upon which such body is empowered to act;
(h) To consider the reports and activities of the Executive Committee and to take such action in regard thereto as the Congress may determine;
(i) To establish Regional Associations in accordance with the provisions of Article 18; to determine their geographical limits, coordinate their activities, and consider their recommendations;
(j) To establish Technical Commissions in accordance with the provisions of Article 19; to define their terms of reference, coordinate their activities, and consider their recommendations;
(k) To determine the location of the Secretariat of the Organization;
(l) To take any other appropriate action to further the purposes of the Organization.

ARTICLE 8 - EXECUTION OF CONGRESS DECISIONS[edit]

(a) All Members shall do their utmost to implement the decisions of the Congress.
(b) If, however, any Member finds it impracticable to give effect to some requirement in a technical resolution adopted by Congress, such Member shall inform the Secretary General of the Organization whether its inability to give effect to it is provisional or final, and state its reasons therefor.

ARTICLE 9 - MEETINGS[edit]

Meetings of the Congress shall be convened by decision of the Congress or of the Executive Committee at intervals not exceeding four years.

ARTICLE 10 - VOTING[edit]

(a) Each Member shall have one vote in decisions of the Congress, except that only Members of the Organization which are States, as specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of Article 3 of the present Convention, (hereinafter referred to as "Members which are States"), shall be entitled to vote on any of the following subjects:
(1) Amendment or interpretation of the present Convention or proposals for a new Convention;
(2) Membership of the Organization;
(3) Relations with the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations;
(4) Election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization and of the members of the Executive Committee other than the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Regional Associations.
(b) Decisions of the Congress shall be by two-thirds majority of the votes cast for and against, except that elections of individuals to serve in any capacity in the Organization shall be by simple majority of the votes cast. The provisions of this paragraph, however, shall not apply to decisions taken in accordance with Articles 3, 25, 26, and 28 of the present Convention.

ARTICLE 11 - QUORUM[edit]

A majority of the Members shall be required to constitute a quorum for meetings of the Congress. For those meetings of the Congress at which decisions are taken on the subjects enumerated in paragraph (a) of Article 10, a majority of the Members which are States shall be required to constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE 12 - FIRST MEETING OF THE CONGRESS[edit]

The first meeting of the Congress shall be convened by the President of the International Meteorological Committee of the International Meteorological Organization as soon as practicable after the coming into force of the present Convention.

PART VII - THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE[edit]

ARTICLE 13 - COMPOSITION[edit]

The Executive Committee shall consist of:

(a) The President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization;
(b) The Presidents of Regional Associations, or in the event that Presidents cannot attend, alternates as provided for in the general regulations
(c) Directors of Meteorological Services of Members of the Organization or their alternates, equal in number to the number of Regions, provided that not more than one-third of the members of the Executive Committee, including the President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization, shall come from one region.

ARTICLE 14 - FUNCTIONS[edit]

The Executive Committee is the executive body of the Congress and its functions shall be:

(a) To supervise the execution of the resolutions of the Congress;
(b) To adopt resolutions arising out of recommendations of the Technical Commissions on matters of urgency affecting the technical regulations, provided that all Regional Associations concerned are given an opportunity to express their approval or disapproval before adoption by the Executive Committee;
(c) To provide technical information, counsel, and assistance in the field of meteorology;
(d) To study and make recommendations on any matter affecting international meteorology and the operation of meteorological services;
(e) To prepare the agenda for the Congress and to give guidance to the Regional Associations and Technical Commissions in the preparation of their agenda;
(f) To report on its activities to each session of the Congress;
(g) To administer the finances of the Organization in accordance with the provisions of Part XI of the present Convention;
(h) To perform such other functions as may be conferred on it by the Congress or by the present Convention.

ARTICLE 15 - MEETINGS[edit]

The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a year. The time and place of the meeting shall be determined by the President of the Organization, taking account of the views of the other members of the Committee.

ARTICLE 16 - VOTING[edit]

Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be by two-thirds majority of the votes cast for and against. Each member of the Executive Committee shall have only one vote, notwithstanding that he may be a member in more than one capacity.

ARTICLE 17 - QUORUM[edit]

The quorum shall consist of a majority, of the members of the Executive Committee.

PART VIII - REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS[edit]

ARTICLE 18[edit]

(a) Regional Associations shall be composed of the Members of the Organization, the networks of which lie in or extend into the Region.
(b) Members of the Organization shall be entitled to attend the meetings of Regional Associations to which they do not belong, take part in the discussions, present their views upon questions affecting their own Meteorological Service, but shall not have the right to vote.
(c) Regional Associations shall meet as often as necessary. The time and place of the meeting shall be determined by the Presidents of the Regional Associations in agreement with the President of the Organization.
(d) The functions of the Regional Association shall be:
(i) To promote the execution of the resolutions of Congress and the Executive Committee in their respective regions;
(ii) To consider matters brought to their attention by the Executive Committee;
(iii) To discuss matters of general meteorological interest and to coordinate meteorological and associated activities in their respective regions;
(iv) To make recommendations to Congress and the Executive Committee on matters within the purposes of the Organization;
(v) To perform such other functions as may be conferred on them by the Congress.
(e) Each Regional Association shall elect its President and Vice-President.

PART IX - TECHNICAL COMMISSIONS[edit]

ARTICLE 19[edit]

(a) Commissions consisting of technical experts may be established by the Congress to study and make recommendations to the Congress and the Executive Committee on any subject within the purposes of the Organization.
(b) Members of the Organization have the right to be represented on the Technical Commissions.
(c) Each Technical Commission shall elect its President and Vice-President.
(d) Presidents of Technical Commissions may participate without vote in the meetings of the Congress and of the Executive Committee.

PART X - THE SECRETARIAT[edit]

ARTICLE 20[edit]

The permanent Secretariat of the Organization shall be composed of a Secretary General and such technical and clerical staff as may be required for the work of the Organization.

ARTICLE 21[edit]

(a) The Secretary General shall be appointed by the Congress on such terms as the Congress may approve.
(b) The staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the Secretary General with the approval of the Executive Committee in accordance with regulations established by the Congress.

ARTICLE 22[edit]

(a) The Secretary General is responsible to the President of the Organization for the technical and administrative work of the Secretariat.
(b) In the performance of their duties, the Secretary General and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any authority external to the Organization, They shall refrain from any action which might reflect on their position as international officers. Each Member of the Organization on its part shall respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary General and the staff and riot seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities to the Organization.

PART XI - FINANCES[edit]

ARTICLE 23[edit]

(a) The Congress shall determine the maximum expenditures which may be incurred by the Organization on the basis of estimates submitted by the Secretary General and recommended by the Executive Committee.
(b) The Congress shall delegate to the Executive Committee such authority as may be required to approve the annual expenditures of the Organization within the limitations determined by the Congress.

ARTICLE 24[edit]

The expenditures of the Organization shall be apportioned among the Members of the Organization in the proportions determined by the Congress.

PART XII - RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED NATIONS[edit]

ARTICLE 25[edit]

The Organization shall be brought into relationship with the United Nations pursuant to Article 57 of the Charter of the United Nations, subject to the approval of the terms of the agreement by two-thirds of the Members which are States.

PART XIII - RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS[edit]

ARTICLE 26[edit]

(a) The Organization shall establish effective relations and cooperate closely with such other inter-governmental organizations as may be desirable. Any formal agreement entered into with such organizations shall be made by the Executive Committee, subject to approval by two-thirds of the Members which are States.
(b) The Organization may on matters within its purposes make suitable arrangements for consultation and cooperation with non-governmental international organizations and, with the consent of the government concerned, with national organizations, governmental or non-governmental.
(c) Subject to approval by two-thirds of the Members which are States, the Organization may take over from any other international organization or agency, the purpose and activities of which lie within the purposes of the Organization, such functions, resources, and obligations as may be transferred to the Organization by international agreement or by mutually acceptable arrangements entered into between the competent authorities of the respective organizations.

PART XIV - LEGAL STATUS, PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES[edit]

ARTICLE 27[edit]

(a) The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each Member such legal capacity as may be necessary for the fulfillment of its purposes and for the exercise of its functions.
(b) (i) The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each Member to which the present Convention applies such privileges and immunities as may be necessary for the fulfillment of its purposes and for the exercise of its functions.
(b) (ii) Representatives of Members and officials of the Organization shall similarly enjoy such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the independent exercise of their functions in connection with the Organization.
(c) Such legal capacity, privileges, and immunities shall be defined in a separate agreement to be prepared by the Organization in consultation with the Secretary General of the United Nations and concluded between the Members which are States.

PART XV - AMENDMENTS[edit]

ARTICLE 28[edit]

(a) The text of any proposed amendment to the present Convention shall be communicated by the Secretary General to Members of the Organization at least six months in advance of its consideration by the Congress.
(b) Amendments to the present Convention involving new obligations for Members shall require approval by the Congress, in accordance with the provisions of Article 10 of the present Convention, by a two-thirds majority vote, and shall come into force on acceptance by two-thirds of the Members which are States for each such Member accepting the amendment and thereafter for each remaining such Member on acceptance by it. Such amendments shall come into force for any Member not responsible for its own international relations upon the acceptance on behalf of such a Member by the Member responsible for the conduct of its international relations.
(c) Other amendments shall come into force upon approval by two-thirds of the Members which are States.

PART XVI - INTERPRETATION AND DISPUTES[edit]

ARTICLE 29[edit]

Any question or dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the present Convention which is not settled by negotiation or by the Congress shall be referred to an independent arbitrator appointed by the President of the International Court of Justice, unless the parties concerned agree on another mode of settlement.

PART XVII - WITHDRAWAL[edit]

ARTICLE 30[edit]

(a) Any Member may withdraw from the Organization on twelve months' notice in writing given by it to the Secretary General of the Organization, who shall at once inform all the Members of the Organization of such notice of withdrawal.
(b) Any Member of the Organization not responsible for its own international relations may be withdrawn from the Organization on twelve months' notice in writing given by the Member or other authority responsible for its international relations to the Secretary General of the Organization, who shall at once inform all the Members of the Organization of such notice of withdrawal.

PART XVIII - SUSPENSION[edit]

ARTICLE 31[edit]

If any Member fails to meet its financial obligations to the Organization or otherwise fails in its obligations under the present Convention, the Congress may by resolution suspend it from exercising its rights and enjoying privileges as a Member of the Organization until it hag met such financial or other obligations.

PART XIX - RATIFICATION AND ACCESSION[edit]

ARTICLE 32[edit]

The present Convention shall be ratified by the signatory States and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of the United States of America, which will notify each signatory and acceding State of the date of deposit thereof.

ARTICLE 33[edit]

Subject to the provisions of Article 3 of the present Convention, accession shall be effected by the deposit with the Government of the United States of America of an instrument of accession, which shall take effect on the date of its receipt by the Government of the United States of America, which will notify each signatory and acceding State thereof.

ARTICLE 34[edit]

Subject to the provisions of Article 3 of the present Convention,

(a) Any contracting State may declare that its ratification of, or accession to, the present Convention includes any territory or group of territories for the international relations of which it is responsible.
(b) The present Convention may at any time thereafter be applied to any such territory or group of territories upon a notification in writing to the Government of the United States of America and the present Convention shall apply to the territory or group of territories on the date of the receipt of the notification by the Government of the United States of America, which will notify each signatory and acceding State thereof.
(c) The United Nations may apply the present Convention to any trust territory or group of trust territories for which it is the administering authority. The Government of the United States of America will notify all signatory and acceding States of any such application.

PART XX- ENTRY INTO FORCE[edit]

ARTICLE 35[edit]

The present Convention shall come into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification or accession. The present Convention shall come into force for each State ratifying or acceding after that date on the thirtieth day after the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession.

The present Convention shall bear the date on which it is opened for signature and shall remain open for signature for a period of 120 days thereafter.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed the present Convention.

DONE at Washington this eleventh day of October 1947, in the English and French languages, each equally authentic, the original of which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America shall transmit certified copies thereof to all the signatory and acceding States.

[Here follow the signatures of the plenipotentiaries.]

  • * * * * * * * *

ANNEX I[edit]

STATES REPRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE OF DIRECTORS OF THE INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION CONVENED AT WASHINGTON, D. C., ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1947

Argentina Canada
Australia Chile
Belgium China
Brazil Colombia
Burma Cuba
Czechoslovakia Paraguay
Denmark Philippines
Dominican Republic Poland
Ecuador Portugal
Egypt Rumania
Finland Siam
France Sweden
Greece Switzerland
Guatemala Turkey
Hungary Union of South Africa
Iceland Soviet Union
India United Kingdom of Great Britain
Ireland and Northern Ireland
Italy United States of America
Mexico Uruguay
Netherlands Venezuela
New Zealand Yugoslavia
Norway
Pakistan

ANNEX II[edit]

TERRITORIES OR GROUPS OF TERRITORIES WHICH MAINTAIN THEIR OWN METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES AND OF WHICH THE STATES RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ARE REPRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE OF DIRECTORS OF THE INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION CONVENED AT WASHINGTON, D. C., SEPTEMBER 22, 1947.

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan Indo China
Belgian Congo Jamaica
Bermuda Madagascar
British East Africa Malaya
British Guiana Mauritius
British West Africa Morocco (not including the
Cameroons Spanish Zone)
Cape Verde Islands Netherlands Indies
Ceylon New Caledonia
Curacao Palestine
French Equatorial Africa Portuguese East Africa
French Oceanic Colonies Portuguese West Africa
French Somaliland Rhodesia
French Togoland Surinam
French West Africa Tunisia
Hong Kong