Revised on the basis of decisions taken at the 28th General Meeting of the Academy (27/11/2018) and the TWAS Management Committee (20/02/2019). Approved by TWAS Council (11/03/2019).
Approved by TWAS Membership (08/04/2019)


Article I.  Establishment

1. The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries* (hereinafter referred to as ‘Academy’), formerly known as TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world and the Third World Academy of Sciences, is an international autonomous science organization established by a group of scientists from developing countries, known as the Founding Fellows, to pursue the objectives set out in Article II below.

2. The Academy has its seat in Trieste, Italy. It may set up regional partners in other countries in cooperation with the academies of sciences in these countries.

3. The administrative and financial operation of the Academy is assured by UNESCO pursuant to an agreement concluded between the two organizations.

4. The Academy shall maintain close and effective cooperation with UNESCO, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics and other organizations or institutions pursuing similar objectives, particularly in respect of programme coordination, exchange of information and staff, the maintenance of common services and the granting of mutual facilities.  


Article II.  Objectives

The objectives of the Academy are: 

1.   To  recognize,  support  and  promote  excellence  in  scientific  research  performed  by scientists working and living in developing countries.

2.  To promote contacts among research workers in developing countries and between them and the world scientific community.

3.  To provide information on, and support for, scientific awareness and understanding in developing  countries.

4.  To encourage research and development on problems of special importance to developing countries.

5.    To provide advice to governments or international organizations on matters of science policy and on the scientific aspects of societal issues.

6.    To bring out publications and statements related to science, technology and development in developing countries.

7.    To strengthen the global position and role of scientific research performed by scientists of developing  countries.

8.    To promote scientific research performed in developing countries on issues of global concern.


Article III.  Membership

1.    The membership of the Academy shall consist of Fellows** elected from amongst scientists whose contributions to their respective field(s) of science meet internationally accepted standards of excellence.

2.    Fellows who work and live in a developed country additionally must have distinguished themselves in efforts to promote science in developing countries. Their number shall not exceed one‐fifth of the total membership.

3.    Institutional Members may be appointed by the TWAS Council, for the period of time that they contribute financially to the Academy.


Article IV.  Elections

1.    The procedure for the election of Fellows shall be as follows:

1.1.     The nomination of a candidate for election into the membership of the Academy shall be submitted by at least two Fellows.

1.2.     For each (group of) discipline(s) the Council shall appoint a membership advisory committee for the purpose of advising the Council on the qualifications of candidates nominated for membership.

1.3.     The Council, after reviewing the comments and recommendations made by the membership advisory committees, shall determine the final list of candidates for election into the membership of the Academy.

1.4.     The candidates on the final list shall be presented by the President to the General Meeting together with information on their qualifications.

2.    The  final  list  as  presented  to  the  General  Meeting  shall  be  sent  to  all  Fellows  for information.


Article V.  Officers and Management Committee

1.    The Officers of the Academy shall be: the President; six Vice‐Presidents; the Secretary General; the Treasurer; and the immediate Past President serving ex officio.

2.    The six Vice‐Presidents shall come from different geographical regions.

3.    The Management Committee of the Academy shall be composed of: the President, the Immediate Past President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer.

4.    The Management Committee should meet at least once a year.


Article VI.  Council

1.    The Council shall consist of the ten Officers of the Academy as defined in Article V, paragraph 1 above, and of six additional members to be designated as Councillors.

2.    Two members of the Council shall be elected from among the Fellows living and working in an advanced country: one as Vice‐President and one as Councillor.

3.    Officers and Councillors shall be elected by the General Meeting from amongst the candidates recommended by a  nominating committee appointed by the Council.  In identifying candidates to  be recommended to the General Meeting, the nominating committee shall seek input from all Fellows of the Academy.

4.    Officers and Councillors shall be elected for a term of four years only and shall not be renewed. If a member of the Council is elected President, the time previously served on the Council shall not count toward the maximum term of four years he/she may serve as President.

5.    The Council may fill any vacancy caused by death, resignation or incapacitation of an Officer or Councillor for the remainder of his/her term. The time served in this temporary capacity shall not count toward total time served under paragraph 3 above.

6.   Subject to overall policy guidelines adopted by the General Meeting, the Council shall be empowered to make decisions on all matters affecting the Academy. In particular, the Council shall perform the following tasks:

6.1.     Coordinate  and  supervise  all  affairs  of  the  Academy  and,  in  particular,  those concerning the programmes and finances of the Academy.

6.2.     Determine, within policies set by the General Meeting, the maximum number of new Fellows to be elected in the following election period.

6.3.     Approve the annual budget of the Academy and authorize the Treasurer to disburse funds in accordance with the budget.

6.4.     Review the reports and accounts referred to in Article VIII, paragraph 2 and Article XI, paragraph 3 below for submission to the General Meeting.

6.5.     Adopt in accordance with Article XIV below bylaws on matters of procedure and regulations on matters of policy.

6.6.     Appoint standing and temporary committees as prescribed by the statutes and the bylaws, as well as such other committees as it deems necessary.

6.7.     Determine the publications policy of the Academy and appoint an editor who shall be in charge of publications.

6.8.     Award medals, prizes and other honours to scientists based on the recommendations of independent expert committees especially constituted for the purpose.

7.    The Council shall meet at least once a year and it may only take formal decisions if there is a quorum of at least six members. The Council shall decide by a majority vote in which at least two‐thirds of those present at the meeting shall participate, abstentions not considered a vote. In case of a tie, the President shall have a second vote. Decisions shall be made by the raising of hands unless the Council decides otherwise. Decisions in relation to a specific person or persons shall always be made by secret ballot.

8.    In the interval between meetings of the Council, the President may authorize a Council decision on a particularly urgent matter to be taken by electronic media. The provisions of Article VI, paragraph 7 above shall apply to all such decisions.


Article VII.  General Meeting

1.    The number, venue and dates of the General Meeting of the Academy shall be determined by the Council, provided that at least one such meeting be held every two years.

2.    The General Meeting shall be convened by written invitation. The invitation with a proposed agenda shall be distributed to Fellows at least three months prior to the Meeting.

3.    The General Meeting shall, in particular, perform the following tasks:

3.1.     Approve the election as Fellows of the Academy of candidates on the final list of Article IV, paragraph 1.4 above.

3.2.     Elect the Officers and Councillors of the Academy.

3.3.     Review and approve the reports and accounts submitted to it.

3.4.     Set from time to time policies of long‐term growth in membership.

3.5      Issue such overall policy guidelines to the Council as it deems appropriate.

4.    The General Meetings may only take formal decisions if there is a quorum of at least 10 percent of the total number of Fellows of the Academy. The General Meeting shall decide by a majority vote, abstentions not considered a vote. Decisions shall be made by the raising of hands unless the General Meeting decides otherwise.

5.    If a particular General Meeting can not take formal decisions due to the absence of a quorum, the Council shall determine which items on the agenda of that Meeting need urgent decision. For those items the Council shall take a decision after having sent a draft of such decision(s) to all Fellows for comment.

6.    Unless the General Meeting decides otherwise, the election of the Officers and Councillors of the Academy, as well as any other decision in relation to a specific person or persons, shall be by secret ballot. If there are two or more candidates for the same position and none obtains a majority, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be removed and the voting continued until one candidate receives a majority of votes, abstentions not considered a vote.


Article VIII.  President

1.    The President shall be the principal officer of the Academy and he/she shall represent the Academy  externally.

2.    The President shall preside over the Council and General Meetings. He/she shall present reports on the Academy’s activities to the Council and the General Meeting.

3.    In the absence of the President, the Council shall designate one of the Vice‐Presidents to act as President.


Article IX.  Vice‐Presidents

1.    At the request of the President of the Academy, a Vice‐President shall represent TWAS in his/her respective region.

2.    Vice‐Presidents shall discharge such responsibilities as may be assigned to them from time to time by the Council.

3.    Vice‐Presidents shall keep the Council informed of matters in their region that are relevant to the objectives of the Academy.


Article X.  Secretary  General

1.    The Secretary General shall be responsible to the Council for the official correspondence of the Academy and of the Council, except that which relates to financial matters.

2.    In the absence of the President and all Vice‐Presidents, the Secretary General shall preside at General Meetings and at meetings of the Council until a chairman is chosen by the Fellows present.


Article XI.  Treasurer

1.    In accordance with directives of the Council, the Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of the Academy.

2.    The Treasurer shall report to the Council annually, and at such times as the Council may determine, on the finances and accounts of the Academy.

3.    The Treasurer shall prepare and present a report to the General Meeting on the audited accounts of the Academy.


Article XII.  Finances

1.    The Academy is authorized to accept and receive contributions such as: grants, donations, gifts, bequests, trust funds or prizes, as well as fees for any service it may render. Acceptance of such contributions shall be effected by the Council.

2.    The accounts of the Academy shall be audited in accordance with the best practices in the field.


Article XIII.  Executive Director

1.    There shall be an Executive Director of the Academy who shall be appointed according to arrangements between the Academy and UNESCO.

2.    The Executive Director shall be charged with the appointment and general conduct of the staff of the secretariat of the Academy and shall be responsible for the administration of the affairs of the Academy, including its finances.

3.    The Executive Director shall work closely with the President and the Council to implement the policies of the Academy, and shall maintain a working relationship with all organizations pursuing similar objectives as the Academy.


Article XIV.  Bylaws and Regulations

1. The Council may adopt such bylaws and regulations as it considers advisable to give effect to the provisions of these statutes. Before formally adopting such bylaws and regulations, the Council shall send them as drafts to the Fellows for comment.


Article XV.  Amendments

1.  Amendments to these statutes may be made by a two‐thirds majority vote of the Fellows present and voting at a General Meeting, abstentions not considered a vote.


*At the 23rd General Meeting of ‘TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world’, held in Tianjin, China, in 2012, Academy members decided to change TWAS’s name to ‘The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries’.

**Based on the decision taken by the Academy at its 24th General Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013, as from 2014 the Academy’s membership shall consist of “Fellows” only; the membership category “Associate Fellow” is to be discontinued.