Thank you, Mr. Chair. Good morning, everyone.
I feel sometimes that I'm here way too often, but I appreciate all the good work you're doing on this. I'm pleased to be back in respect to a matter arising from the NATO Parliamentary Association meeting that was held on October 30.
In responding to your board's request on this matter arising out of your last meeting, the JIC met yesterday afternoon at a public meeting. It considered potential responses and, frankly, resolutions to the concerns that were raised here. With the help of our clerks—Colette and her team—we were able to put forward and ultimately agree to a resolution that we hope will meet that test. We'll circulate it in a moment.
Essentially, it does two things.
First, it addresses the issue of a motion having been put forward by the association that involves non-confidence in the chair of the association. There would be a neutral chairperson—i.e., one of the two JIC co-chairs would chair that meeting and the deliberations on that particular motion.
Second, it provides a process of appeal. Should a specific number of members feel that there was a contravention of the constitution as it pertained to that particular meeting, within a certain number of days, if they wished to, they could give notice of appeal and have that process taken up by the JIC itself.
If possible, we'll circulate the motion and go through it briefly, and then I'll be happy to take any questions.
While those are being circulated, I should say that the JIC adopted this motion at its meeting yesterday, and it is prepared to follow through with it.
The motion is as follows:
That, notwithstanding any provision in association constitutions or usual practice, effective upon the adoption of this motion, when a matter relating to the confidence in the Chair of an Association arises at an association general meeting, the following procedure shall apply:
a. One of the JIC Co-Chairs shall preside over the meeting during the consideration of the matter;
b. Ten (10) percent of the membership but no less than ten (10) members of the association may appeal a decision of the general assembly relating to the confidence in the Chair to the Joint Interparliamentary Council, by notifying the Clerk of the Council in writing within 10 sitting days following the meeting of the general assembly; and such notice shall cite which provision of the association's constitution has been breached;
(c) The Council shall meet to consider the appeal within 15 sitting days following receipt of this notice;
(d) The general assembly's decision which is the subject of the appeal will take effect unless the JIC co-chairs, upon receipt of the notice of appeal, instruct that it be suspended until the appeal is resolved definitively by the JIC.
That all associations be informed of this new procedure.
That's essentially it, in a nutshell. It achieves the two things.
As a final point, I'll make a brief comment.
There was considerable discussion about the notion of suspending the decision of the general assembly. As a compromise, we were able to come to an agreement that there would be a stopgap provision there. For example, if the decision taken by the general assembly was aggrieved by the given number of members, and if the infractions of the constitution were sufficiently egregious, the co-chairs could effectively suspend that decision. They would take a look at that. The appeal would still go through, one way or the other, but there was considerable discussion on whether a decision taken involving the confidence of a co-chair and subsequently appealed should require that the association's decision be suspended until the appeal had taken place.
I think we resolved that by putting that interim step in place as an option. The JIC chairs would simply review what the appeal was about, look at the substantive aspects of it, and then make a decision as to whether that decision should be suspended or not pending the appeal.