ICOM International Statuten
ICOM International Statuten
Approved in Vienna (Austria) August 24, 2007.
The French language version of the ICOM Statutes is the official document from which
translations must emanate. Questions regarding the official position of ICOM on statutory
issue should refer to the French version.
Table of Contents
1. Name, Legal Status, Location,
Duration and Fiscal Year
2. Mission and Purpose
3. Definition of Terms
5. Annual Membership Fee
6. Membership Privileges
7. Voting Rights
8. Components of ICOM
9. Governance Structure
10. General Assembly
11. Executive Council
13. Auditing of Accounts
14. Advisory Committee
15. National Committees
16. National Correspondents
17. International Committees
18. Regional Alliances
19. Affiliated Organisations
20. General Conference
21. Operational Secretariat
22. UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information Centre
23. Income and Disbursements
25. Policies and Rules of Procedure
26. Relations with Other Organisations
27. Validation and Amendment
The Statutes of the International Council of Museums (hereinafter referred to as “ICOM”) is the basic document of the Organisation. The internal Rules of ICOM, and the Code of Ethics define and complete these Statutes
The practices of ICOM must be based on honesty, fairness and mutual respect, as well as service to the international museum community.
The objectives of ICOM are (i) to promote the establishment, development and professional management of museums, (ii) and to advance knowledge and understanding of the nature, function and role of museums.
ICOM establishes ethical standards which must be adopted and respected by museums and museum professionals. It organises co-operation and mutual assistance between museums and between museum professionals. It represents, advances, and disseminates knowledge in museology and other disciplines related to studies in museology and/or the management and activities of museums.
Article 1 – Name, Legal Status, Location, Duration and Fiscal Year
Section 1. Name. The name of the Organisation is the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Use of the name and acronym is restricted to functions authorised by and for the benefit of the Organisation and its members.
Section 2. Legal Status. Established in 1946, ICOM is a non-profit organisation subject to French legislation (the 1901 law on associations) and a non-governmental organisation maintaining formal relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and having a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Section 3. Location. The registered office of ICOM is Maison de l’UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France. The location may be modified by a decision of the Executive Council.
Section 4. Duration of the Mandate. The duration of ICOM shall be indefinite.
Section 5. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year begins on 1st January and ends on 31st December of each year.
Article 2 – Mission and Purpose
Section 1. Mission. ICOM is the international organisation of museums and museum
professionals which is committed to the conservation, continuation and communication
to society of the world's natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and
Section 2. Purpose. ICOM establishes professional and ethical standards for museum
activities, makes recommendations on such issues, promotes training, advances
knowledge and raises public cultural awareness through global networks and co-
Article 3 - Definition of Terms
Whenever used in these Statutes, the following terms, beginning with a capital letter, will
bear the meaning defined in this article, without any distinction when used in the singular
or the plural.
Section 1. Museum. A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of
society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches,
communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its
environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.
Section 2. Institutions recognised by ICOM. The Executive Council, after seeking the
advice of the Advisory Committee, may recognise other institutions as having some or all
of the characteristics of a Museum.
Section 3. Museum Professionals. Museum professionals include all the personnel of
museums, or institutions qualifying as museums in accordance with the definition in Article
3, Section 1 & 2, and training and research institutions which are beneficialto museum
activities, having received specialised training, or possessing an equivalent practical
experience, in any field relevant to the management and activities of a museum, as well
as independent persons respecting the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums and working
for and with museums, but not involved in promoting or dealing with any commercial
products and equipment required for museums and their services.
Section 4. Member in Good Standing. An ICOM member in good standing is a person (or
an institution) whose request for membership to ICOM has been accepted under the
conditions definedin Article 4, Section 2 of these Statues, and has paid the annual
membership fee (dues) at the time and in the amount determined by the Executive
Section 5. State. For the purposes of establishing National Committees, a State is defined
as a self-governing country which is a member of the United Nations or any of its
Specialised Agencies, or is a party to the Statutes of the International Court of Justice.
Article 4 – Membership
Section 1. Members. Membership shall be open to Museums, Institutions recognised by
ICOM and Museum Professionals, and such other persons or institutions considered to be
beneficial for the advancement of the museum community.
All persons eligible for membership shall indicate to ICOM that they wish to become
Members, that they accept and will comply with the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums,
and shall complete the application form to request membership.
Membership in ICOM shall not be available to any person or institution (including its
employees) which trades (buys or sells for profit) cultural property including works of art,
natural and scientific specimens, taking into consideration national legislations and
international conventions. This disqualification applies to persons or institutions engaged
in an activity which could cause a conflict of interest.
Section 2. Approval of Membership. National Committees shall forward the application
form and annual subvention of new members to the ICOM Secretariat as soon as
Only Honorary Members, as defined below in Section 3 of this Article, are exempt from
this review process. Their candidacy is proposed by the Executive Council to the
General Assembly, which decides to accept or reject it, by a simple majority.
Section 3. Categories of Membership.
i. Individual Members – Museum professionals, as defined in Article 3, still working or
retired, or other persons who, because of their experience or professional services
rendered to ICOM, are eligible to become individual members.
ii. Institutional Members — Museums or other institutions complying with the
definition of a museum.
iii. Student Members — Persons enrolled in museum-related academic programmes
may be proposed for admission to this category of membership by a National
iv. Honorary Members — Persons who have rendered exceptional services to the
international museum community or to ICOM.
v. Supporting Members — Persons or institutions providing substantial financial or
other assistance to ICOM because of an interest in museums and international
co-operation between museums.
Section 4. Termination of Membership. Membership of ICOM may be discontinued by
voluntary withdrawal or by a decision of the Executive Council for one of the following
i. Change of professional status;
ii. Breach of professional ethics;
iii. Actions considered to be substantially incompatible with the objectives of ICOM;
iv. Non-payment of fees after formal notice of the payment due.
Article 5 - Annual Membership Fee
Section 1. Amount and Payment of the Membership Fee. Each Individual, Institutional,
Student, and Supporting Member of ICOM shall pay an annual membership fee (dues) at
a rate recommended by the Executive Council and approved by the General Assembly.
Every year, the Executive Council shall announce the amount of the annual membership
fee for the following year. The National Committee shall forward the membership fees to
the Secretariat by June 30th, which will process in the month following receipt.
Section 2. Period Covered by the Membership Fee. The annual membership fee shall
cover the calendar year in question.
Article 6 - Membership Privileges
Section 1. Membership Card. Individual Members in good standing receive a
membership card that grants them special privileges as determined by ICOM.
Section 2. Right to Seek Election. Individual Members in good standing, and
representatives of Institutional Members in good standing, can stand for election (i) to
the Executive Council (see Article 14, Section 5), (ii) as the Chairperson or Vice-
Chairperson of the Advisory Committee (see Article 14, Section 3) or (iii) for the elected
functions of a National Committee, an International Committee or a Regional Alliance.
Section 3. Designated Representatives. Institutional Members can designate three (3)
persons to represent them on National Committees and International Committees, as
well as at the General Conference and General Assembly.
Section 4. Student Participation. Student Members may participate in the activities of
National and International Committees, and may also attend and participate in General
Conferences and General Assemblies, but they may not vote or stand for an office in
Section 5. Special Status. Honorary and Supporting Members are entitled to membership
rights and privileges but may not hold an elected office in ICOM.
Article 7 - Voting Rights
Section 1. Voting Rights. The voting rights of Individual and Institutional Members at the
General Assembly and for the election of the Executive Council are prescribed in the
following sections of this Article, Article 10, Sections 2, 3 and 6, as well as Article 14,
Section 5, in the case of meetings of the Advisory Committee; members present during
voting may not have more than one proxy.
Section 2. Committee Vote. Each National and International Committee has the right to
designate five (5) of its members (individual members or designated representatives of
institutional members) to vote on its behalf on matters coming before the General
Section 3. Affiliated Vote. Each Affiliated Organisation has the right to designate three (3)
of its members (individual members or designated representatives of institutional
members) to vote on its behalf on matters coming before the General Assembly.
Section 4. Non-Voting Members. Student, Supporting and Honorary Members shall not
have the right to vote at the General Assembly of ICOM.
Article 8 - Components of ICOM
ICOM is composed as follows:
i. General Assembly
ii. Executive Council
. Two Vice-Presidents
. At-Large (ordinary) Members
iii. Advisory Committee
iv. National Committees
v. National Correspondents
vi. International Committees
vii. General Conference
viii. Regional Alliances
ix. Affiliated Organisations
x. Operational Secretariat
xi. UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information Centre
Article 9 - Governance Structure
The primary authority of ICOM resides through its Members.
The Executive Council, composed of officers and at-large (ordinary) Members elected
by the General Assembly, is responsible for the managerial aspects of ICOM.
The Advisory Committee, composed of Chairpersons of National and International
Committees and Regional Alliances and Affiliated Organisations, has an advisory role to
represent its membership in the activities of ICOM.
Article 10 - General Assembly
Section 1. Authority: The General Assembly is the legislative body of ICOM.
Section 2. Members: The General Assembly consists of all individual, student, supporting,
and honorary members and the designated representatives of institutional members.
Only individual members and representatives of institutional members who have been
designated as voting delegates by National Committees, International Committee and
Affiliated Organization in accordance with Section1 1, 2, and 3 of Article 7 have the right
to vote at the General Assembly of ICOM.
Section 3. Meetings :Ordinary General Assembly - The General Assembly will hold an
ordinary session at least once a year at the time of the annual meeting of the Advisory
The quorum for an Ordinary General Assembly is a simple majority of the number of
members present, or members with the right to vote represented by a proxy (the number
of proxies per member is indicated in the Rules of Procedure). If this quorum is not
reached, the General Assembly will be convened again in the same location within
twenty-four (24) hours at the latest. Whatever the number of members then present, the
General Assembly has the power to deliberate. The decisions of an Ordinary General
Assembly are taken by a simple majority of the members present.
The Ordinary General Assembly makes decisions on recommendations from the
Executive Council (i) on changes to the conditions on application for membership.
The Ordinary General Assembly elects members of the Executive Council (Article 11,
section 1 and Article 14, section 5)
The Ordinary General Assembly meets at least once a year, within six (6) months after
closure of the fiscal year, to rule on the accounts.
The Ordinary General Assembly will meet in triennial session, on the same dates and in
the same place as the triennial General Conference, as described in Article 20 of this
Extraordinary General Assembly - The Executive Council, on the recommendation of the
President, can convene an Extraordinary General Assembly to adopt amendments to
the Statutes and items of importance proposed by the Executive Council and/or the
Advisory Committee, as well as by National and International Committees and/or
Regional Alliances and Affiliated Organisations. The decisions of the Extraordinary
General Assembly are taken by a two-thirds majority of the members present and
The Extraordinary General Assembly has the authority to amend all aspects of the
List of Participants - An attendance sheet will be signed during every General Assembly
by the members who are present and by representatives having received a proxy. The
Chairperson reviews the attendance sheet and guarantees its accuracy.
Minutes - A report on the deliberations and decisions of each Assembly will be prepared
by the Director General and approved by the President. Copies or extracts are made
available to members in an electronic or printed version.
The Minutes must indicate the date, place and agenda of the meeting, the mode of
convening, the names of the members present and represented, the documents and
reports submitted for discussion, a summary of the debates, and the texts of the
resolutions with the results of the votes.
Section 4. Official invitation to the assemblies
The Executive Council establishes the agenda of the General Assembly and convenes
the Assembly at least thirty (30) days before the date fixed for the meeting. The meetings
of the assemblies will take place at UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France,
or in any other location indicated in the official invitation.
I) An official invitation is sent at least thirty (30) days before the date of the meeting by
the Director General to all the members of ICOM composing the assembly.
II) An announcement is published in ICOM News, or on the Web site of ICOM.
The official invitation includes the date, time and place of the meeting, as well as the
agenda of the assembly.
Section 5. Authority of the President.
The President of ICOM chairs the General Assembly. If the President does not wish to
exercise this function, one of the two Vice-Presidents shall chair the General Assembly.
Section 6. Vote. During the sessions of the General Assembly and notably during the
election of the Executive Council, each National and International Committee has the
right to appoint five (5) of its voting members (individual members or representatives of
institutional members) to vote in its name on questions subjected to a decision of the
General Assembly. Similarly, each Affiliated Organisation has the right to appoint three
(3) of its voting members (individual members or representatives of institutional members
of ICOM), under the same conditions.
Article 11 - Executive Council
Section 1. Organisation. The Executive Council is the decision making body of ICOM. It consists of not less than nine (9) and not more than fifteen (15) elected members, as well
as the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee as an ex-officio member.The members of the Executive Council are elected by the Ordinary General Asembly and serve a three (3)-year term of office. Members of the Executive Council Bureau and At-large (ordinary) members may serve two (2) consecutive terms, if elected. An At-large (ordinary) Member of the Council may subsequently be elected as an officer of the
Council. No person may serve more than four consecutive terms as a member of the Executive Council.
The President chairs the Executive Council. When the Preisdent is unable tu fulfill his or her elected term, the Executive Council will select one of the Vice-Presidents by a simple
majority to act as President until the next election. When a Vice-President is unable to
complete his or her term, the Executive Council will select one of the At-Large (ordinary)
members by a simple majority to act as Vice-President until the next election. The time
spent as Vice-President by an At-large (ordinary) member shall not count against his or
her time as an elected officer. If an at-large (ordinary) member is unable to complete his
or her term, the position shall remain vacant until the next election.
Persons elected to the Executive Council shall not hold additional offices within ICOM unless authorised to do so by the Executive Council.
Section 2. Meetings. The Council shall meet in ordinary session at least twice a year.One of these meetings shall be held on the occasion of the annual Ordinary General
Assembly, at the same time and place.
Section 3. Duties of the Council. The Executive Council ensures the good management of ICOM.
It oversees various resources of ICOM (financial, human,intellectual and technical) and their development.
It safeguards ICOM’s reputation, international esteem and public regard.
It recommends an amount for the membership fees to be approved by the General Asembly.
Section 4. Quorum and Maority. The quorum for a metting of the Executive Council shall be a simple majority of the members.
The Executive Council takes its decisions by a simple majority.
Section 5. Committees. The President, with the approval of the Executive Council, may appoint standing committees, task forces, and working groups, and define their duties.
Unless re-appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Council, membership in committees, task forces, and working groups ceases in the year following
the triennial elections of the Executive Council.
Article 12 – Bureau
The Bureau consists of the following:
. a President
. two Vice-Presidents
. a Treasurer
The President is elected by the triennial General Assembly for a three (3)-year term of
office and can be re-elected for a second term of the same duration. The President sets
the strategic orientations for the activities of ICOM in its capacity as an international
organisation representing museums and museum professionals. The President represents
ICOM in all civil acts. The signature of the President binds ICOM in agreements with third
parties. The President convenes and chairs the meetings of the General Assembly and
the Executive Council.
The two (2) Vice-Presidents are elected by the triennial General Assembly for a three (3)-
year term of office and can be re-elected for a second term of the same duration. The
Vice Presidents carry out the functions and tasks assigned to them by the President, they
provide any assistance required by the latter and, in his/her absence, convene and chair
The Treasurer is elected by the triennial General Assembly for a three (3)-year term of
office and can be re-elected for a second mandate of the same duration. The Treasurer
establishes the guidelines necessary for the financial policy of ICOM, in collaboration with
the Director General, for the approval of the Executive Council, examines the financial
results of ICOM, and reports periodically to the Executive Council and the Advisory
The Bureau of the Executive Council (composed of officers) may address urgent issues
and provide ad hoc solutions. All actions taken by the Bureau will be reported to the full
Executive Council at the earliest opportunity, with an explanation of the emergency and
the subsequent action.
Article 13 - Auditing of Accounts
At its annual meeting, the Executive Council shall appoint a qualified person or
organisation as auditor of ICOM and fix the emoluments.
The person or organisation appointed as auditor will draw up an annual report on the
accounts of ICOM.
Article 14 - Advisory Committee
Section 1. Organisation. The Advisory Committee is the advisory body of ICOM. It consists
of the Chairpersons (or their appointed representatives) of National and International
Committees, Regional Alliances, and Affiliated Organisations.
Section 2. Functions of the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee advises the
Executive Council and the General Assembly on matters concerning the policies,
programmes, procedures and finances of ICOM, and may propose amendments to the
Statutes. It advises on matters and activities in the general interest of ICOM, as recommended by the Executive Council. The activities of the Advisory Committee shall
be reported to the General Assembly for approval at its next meeting.
Section 3. Officers. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons of the Advisory Committee
shall be elected by the membership for a three-year term of office. Advisory Committee
officers may serve two consecutive terms.
The Chairperson of the Advisory Committee shall convene and chair the meetings of the
Committee, and shall serve as an ex officio member of the Executive Council, as the
Elections Officer of ICOM and finally, as an ex officio member of the Board of all Regional
Section 4. Annual Meeting. The Advisory Committee meets at least once a year in
ordinary session, on the same date and at the same location as one of the Executive
Section 5. Candidates for the Executive Council. Candidates for election as officers and
ordinary members of the Executive Council of ICOM may only be nominated by National
or International Committees. Each nomination must be accompanied by a letter signed
by the Chairperson of the National or International Committee and endorsed by another
Board Member on behalf of the nominating committee confirming endorsement of the
Section 6. Voting by proxy. A member of the Advisory Committee (other than the
Chairperson) may be represented by another member of ICOM at a meeting of the
Committee, but no person may hold more than one (1) proxy.
Section 7. Quorum and Majority. The quorum for a meeting of the Advisory Committee
shall be one-half (50%) of the members present and represented by proxy. If this quorum
is not reached, the Advisory Committee shall be convened again at the same place
within twenty-four hours. Whatever the number of members then present, the Advisory
Committee has the power to deliberate. The Advisory Committee decisions are taken by
a simple majority of the members present and represented.
Article 15 - National Committees
A National Committee, composed of all the members of ICOM resident in a State, may
be authorised by the Executive Council to represent the interests of museums and the
museum profession and to organise the activities of ICOM in that State. National
Committee activities will conform to the Rules for National Committees.
Article 16 - National Correspondents
Where no National Committee exists in a State, a member of ICOM may be designated
by the Executive Council to be the National Correspondent of ICOM for that State.
Article 17 - International Committees
An International Committee may be authorised by the Executive Council to implement
programmes and activities, and to serve as a channel of communication between
members of ICOM with similar scientific and professional interests. International
Committees’ activities will conform to the Rules for International Committees.
Article 18 - Regional Alliances
A Regional Alliance may be authorised by the Executive Council to serve as a forum for
the exchange of information and co-operation between National Committees, museums
and museum professionals in the region. The activities of Regional Alliances will conform
to the Rules for Regional Alliances of ICOM National Committees.
Article 19 - Affiliated Organisations
The Executive Council may grant affiliated status to an international organisation
composed of at least two-thirds of museum professionals or museums, as defined in these
Statutes, on condition that one-half of the members of the organisation become
members of ICOM within one year. Affiliated Organisations’ activities will conform to the
Rules for Affiliated Organisations.
Article 20 - General Conference
Section 1. Triennial Meeting. ICOM shall hold a General Conference every three years.
Section 2. Resolutions. The General Conference may propose resolutions arising from its
discussions for consideration by the General Assembly.
Article 21 - Operational Secretariat
Section 1. Role. The Operational Secretariat, consisting of the Director General and other
staff members of ICOM, is the operational centre of ICOM. It evaluates and initiates
programmes, handles membership files, records and manages finances, and protects
and promotes the identity of the Organisation.
Section 2. Operations. The Director General is the Chief Executive Officer employed by
ICOM and is responsible to the Executive Council for the efficient and effective
management of ICOM, the resources required for ICOM’s functioning of the
Organisation and the daily operations of the Secretariat, as well as for the promotion of
the interests of ICOM and communications with its members, committees, task forces
and working groups. In day-to-day matters, the Director General reports directly to the
President of ICOM.
Article 22 - UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information Centre
Section 1. Administration. The UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information Centre is administered
by ICOM. It offers documentation and archival reference services to ICOM members
and UNESCO staff.
Section 2. Staff and Resources. The Director General shall be responsible for the UNESCO-
ICOM Museum Information Centre, and shall provide such staff and resources as the
Executive Council deems necessary for the functioning of the Centre.
Article 23 - Income and Disbursements
Section 1. Income. The financial resources of ICOM consist of the following:
i. subscription fees paid by the Members,
ii. income from ICOM assets and activities,
iii. grants and private donations, received directly, and contributions from the ICOM
iv. payments received within the framework of contractual agreements for services
rendered by ICOM.
Section 2. Disbursements. Expenditure of ICOM funds may be made only in accordance
with the annual budget prepared under the guidelines established by the Treasurer and
approved by the Executive Council.
Article 24 - Languages
Section 1. Official Languages. English, French, and Spanish shall be the official languages
of ICOM, and each may be used at ICOM meetings.
Section 2. Other Languages. The General Assembly may adopt other languages
provided the costs of doing so are met by the Members.
Article 25 - Policies and Rules of Procedure
Section 1. Adoption of Policies. The Executive Council shall adopt, and may amend, such
Policies and Rules as are required to give effect to the provisions of these Statutes.
Section 2. Rules of Procedure. The General Assembly and the Advisory Committee shall
adopt, and may amend, its own Rules of Procedure. The General Conference shall
adopt its own Rules of Procedure.
Article 26 - Relations with Other Organisations
Section 1. UNESCO. ICOM shall maintain consultative relations with UNESCO.
Section 2. ICOM Foundation. ICOM shall maintain a special partnership with the ICOM
Foundation, which supports the work of ICOM.
Section 3. Other Partners. ICOM may establish working relations with such international
organisations as may be deemed appropriate.
Section 4. Participation of Other Organisations. ICOM may invite representatives of
international organisations with which it has established official relations to participate in
its General Conferences and other meetings.
Article 27 - Validation and Amendment
Section 1. Implementation. These Statutes shall become effective immediately upon
adoption by the General Assembly.
Section 2. Official Document. Since ICOM is registered in France as an Association
governed by the 1901 law, the French-language version of these Statutes shall be the
official document on which all future translations are to be based.
In the event of litigation or misunderstanding, the French-language Statutes shall be the
reference for the purposes of clarification.
Section 3. Amendments. The Executive Council, the Advisory Committee, National and
International Committees, Regional Alliances, and Affiliated Organisations may propose
amendments to these Statutes.
Article 28 – Dissolution
Section 1. Authority for Dissolution. Members of ICOM may decide to dissolve the
Organisation through a decision taken at an Extraordinary General Assembly by a three-
fourths (75%) majority of the Members present or represented.
All Members must be duly convened, in compliance with Section 4 of Article 10.
Section 2. Assets of the Organisation. Any assets owned by ICOM at the time of
dissolution shall be transferred, in consultation with UNESCO and in accordance with the
provisions of the French 1901 law relating to associations, to an organisation having
similar aims to those of ICOM.