Viadrina Logo
Jura Logo
Foto Logo

Document Comparison

Convention of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO Convention)


Considering the need for sustainable development, the reduction of loss of life and property caused by natural disasters and other catastrophic events related to weather, climate and water, as well as safeguarding the environment and the global climate for present and future generations of humankind,

Recognizing the importance of an integrated international system for the observation, collection, processing and dissemination of meteorological, hydrological and related data and products,

Reaffirming the vital importance of the mission of the National Meteorological, Hydrometeorological and Hydrological Services in observing and understanding weather and climate and in providing meteorological, hydrological and related services in support of relevant national needs which should include the following areas:

a) Protection of life and property,

b) Safeguarding the environment,

c) Contributing to sustainable development,

d) Promoting long-term observation and collection of meteorological, hydrological and climatological data, including related environmental data,

e) Promotion of endogenous capacity-building,

f) Meeting international commitments,

g) Contributing to international cooperation,

Recognizing also that Members need to work together to coordinate, standardize, improve and encourage efficiencies in the exchange of meteorological, climatological, hydrological and related information between them, in the aid of human activities,

Considering that meteorology is best coordinated at the international level by one responsible international organization,

Considering further the need for close cooperation with other international organizations also working in the areas of hydrology, climate and environment,

The contracting States agree to the present Convention, as follows:

Part I
Establishment

Article 1

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

Part II

Article 2
Purposes

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 as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology, and to promote the establishment and maintenance of centres charged with the provision of meteorological and related services;

b) To promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for the rapid exchange of meteorological and related information;

c) To promote standardization of meteorological and related observations and to ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics;

d) To further the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, agriculture and other human activities;

e) To promote activities in operational hydrology and to further close cooperation between Meteorological and Hydrological Services; and

f) To encourage research and training in meteorology and, as appropriate, in related fields and to assist in coordinating the international aspects of such research and training.

Part III
Membership

Article 3
Members

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 Inter- national Meteorological Organization convened at Washington, D.C., on 22 September 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 22 September 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

Article 4

a) The Organization shall comprise:

1) The World Meteorological Congress (hereinafter called “Congress”);

2) The Executive Council;

3) Regional meteorological associations (hereinafter called “the regional associations”);

4) Technical commissions;

5) The Secretariat.

b) There shall be a President and three Vice-Presidents of the Organization who shall also be President and Vice-Presidents of Congress and of the Executive Council.

Article 5

The activities of the Organization and the conduct of its affairs shall be decided by the Members of the Organization.

a) Such decisions shall normally be taken by Congress in session;

b) However, except on matters reserved in the Convention for decisions by Congress, decisions may also be taken by Members by correspondence, when urgent action is required between sessions of Congress. Such a vote shall be taken upon receipt by the Secretary-General of the request of a majority of the Members of the Organization, or when so decided by the Executive Council.

Such votes shall be conducted in accordance with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention and with the General Regulations (hereinafter referred to as “the Regulations”).

Part V
Officers of the Organization and members of the Executive Council

Article 6

a) Eligibility for election to the offices of President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization, of president and vice-president of the regional associations, and for membership, subject to the provisions of Article 13 (c) (ii) of the Convention, of the Executive Council, shall be confined to persons who are designated as Directors of their Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Services by the Members of the Organization for the purpose of this Convention, as provided for in the Regulations;

b) In the performance of their duties, all officers of the Organization and members of the Executive Council shall act as representatives of the Organization and not as representatives of particular Members thereof.

Part VI
The World Meteorological Congress

Article 7
Composition

a) The Congress is the general assembly of delegates representing Members and as such is the supreme body of the Organization;

b) Each Member shall designate one of its delegates, who should be the Director of its Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Service, as its principal delegate at Congress;

c) With a view to securing the widest possible technical representation, any Director of a Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Service or any other individual may be invited by the President to be present at, and to participate in, the discussions of Congress in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations.

Article 8
Functions

In addition to the functions set out in other Articles of the Convention, the primary duties of Congress shall be:

a) To determine general policies for the fulfilment of the purposes of the Organization as set forth in Article 2;

b) To make recommendations to Members on matters within the purposes of the Organization;

c) To refer to any body of the Organization any matter within the provisions of the Convention upon which such a body is empowered to act;

d) To determine regulations prescribing the procedures of the various bodies of the Organization, in particular the General, Technical, Financial and Staff Regulations;

e) To consider the reports and activities of the Executive Council and to take appropriate action in regard thereto;

f) To establish regional associations in accordance with the provisions of Article 18; to determine their geographical limits, coordinate their activities, and consider their recommendations;

g) 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;

h) To establish any additional bodies it may deem necessary;

i) To determine the location of the Secretariat of the Organization;

j) To elect the President and Vice-Presidents of the Organization and members of the Executive Council other than the presidents of the regional associations.

Congress may also take any other appropriate action on matters affecting the Organization.

Article 9
Execution of Congress decisions

a) All Members shall do their utmost to implement the decisions of 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 10
Sessions

a) Congress shall normally be convened at intervals as near as possible to four years, at a place and on a date to be decided by the Executive Council;

b) An extraordinary Congress may be convened by decision of the Executive Council;

c) On receipt of requests for an extraordinary Congress from one-third of the Members of the Organization the Secretary-General shall conduct a vote by correspondence, and if a simple majority of the Members are in favour an extraordinary Congress shall be convened.

Article 11
Voting

a) In a vote in Congress each Member shall have one vote. However, only Members of the Organization which are States (hereinafter referred to as “Members which are States”) shall be entitled to vote or to take a decision on the following subjects:

1) Amendment or interpretation of the Convention or proposals for a new Convention;

2) Requests for 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 Council other than the presidents of the regional associations;

b) Decisions shall be by a 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, 10 (c), 25, 26 and 28 of the Convention.

Article 12
Quorum

The presence of delegates of a majority of the Members shall be required to constitute a quorum for meetings of Congress. For those meetings of Congress at which decisions are taken on the subjects enumerated in paragraph (a) of Article 11, the presence of delegates of a majority of the Members which are States shall be required to constitute a quorum.

Part VII
The Executive Council

Article 13
Composition

The Executive Council shall consist of:

a) The President and the Vice-Presidents of the Organization;

b) The presidents of regional associations, who can be replaced at sessions by their alternates, as provided for in the Regulations;

c) Twenty-seven Directors of Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Services of Members of the Organization, who can be replaced at sessions by alternates, provided:

i) That these alternates shall be as provided for in the Regulations;

ii) That not more than nine and not less than four members of the Executive Council, comprising the President and Vice- Presidents of the Organization, the presidents of regional associations and the twenty-seven elected Directors, shall come from one Region, this Region being determined in the case of each member in accordance with the Regulations.

Article 14
Functions

The Executive Council is the executive body of the Organization and is responsible to Congress for the coordination of the programmes of the Organization and for the utilization of its budgetary resources in accordance with the decisions of Congress.

In addition to functions set out in other Articles of the Convention, the primary functions of the Executive Council shall be:

a) To implement the decisions taken by the Members of the Organization either in Congress or by means of correspondence and to conduct the activities of the Organization in accordance with the intention of such decisions;

b) To examine the programme and budget estimates for the following financial period prepared by the Secretary-General and to present its observations and its recommendations thereon to Congress;

c) To consider and, where necessary, take action on behalf of the Organization on resolutions and recommendations of regional associations and technical commissions in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Regulations;

d) To provide technical information, counsel and assistance in the fields of activity of the Organization;

e) To study and make recommendations on any matter affecting international meteorology and related activities of the Organization;

f) To prepare the agenda for Congress and to give guidance to the regional associations and technical commissions in the preparation of their work programme;

g) To report on its activities to each session of Congress;

h) To administer the finances of the Organization in accordance with the provisions of Part XI of the Convention.

The Executive Council may also perform such other functions as may be conferred on it by Congress or by Members collectively.

Article 15
Sessions

a) The Executive Council shall normally hold a session at least once a year, at a place and on a date to be determined by the President of the Organization after consultation with other members of the Council;

b) An extraordinary session of the Executive Council shall be convened according to the procedures contained in the Regulations, after receipt by the Secretary-General of requests from a majority of the members of the Executive Council. Such a session may also be convened by agreement between the President and the three Vice-Presidents of the Organization.

Article 16
Voting

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

b) Between sessions the Executive Council may vote by correspondence. Such votes shall be conducted in accordance with Articles 16 (a) and 17 of the Convention.

Article 17
Quorum

The presence of two-thirds of the members shall be required to constitute a quorum for meetings of the Executive Council.

Part VIII
Regional associations

Article 18

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, to take part in the discussions and to present their views upon questions affecting their own Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Services, 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 associations shall be:

i) To promote the execution of the resolutions of Congress and the Executive Council in their respective Regions;

ii) To consider matters brought to their attention by the Executive Council;

iii) To discuss matters of general interest and to coordinate meteorological and related activities in their respective Regions;

iv) To make recommendations to Congress and the Executive Council on matters within the purposes of the Organization;

v) To perform such other functions as may be conferred on them by Congress;

e) Each regional association shall elect its president and vice-president.

Part IX
Technical commissions

Article 19

a) Commissions consisting of technical experts may be established by Congress to study and make recommendations to Congress and the Executive Council on any subject within the purpose 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 Congress and of the Executive Council.

Part X
The Secretariat

Article 20

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

a) The Secretary-General shall be appointed by Congress on such terms as Congress may approve;

b) The staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the Secretary-General with the approval of the Executive Council in accordance with regulations established by Congress.

Article 22

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 not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities to the Organization.

Part XI
Finances

Article 23

a) Congress shall determine the maximum expenditure which may be incurred by the Organization on the basis of the estimates submitted by the Secretary-General after prior examination by, and with the recommendations of, the Executive Council;

b) Congress shall delegate to the Executive Council such authority as may be required to approve the annual expenditures of the Organization within the limitations determined by Congress.

Article 24

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

Part XII
Relations with the United Nations

Article 25

The Organization shall be in relationship to the United Nations pursuant to Article 57 of the Charter of the United Nations. Any agreement concerning such relationship shall require approval by two-thirds of the Members which are States.

Part XIII
Relations with other organizations

Article 26

a) The Organization shall establish effective relations and cooperate closely with such other intergovernmental organizations as may be desirable. Any formal agreement entered into with such organizations shall be made by the Executive Council, subject to approval by two- thirds of the Members which are States, either in Congress or by correspondence;

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 competent authorities of the respective organizations.

Part XIV
Legal status, privileges and immunities

Article 27

a) The Organization shall enjoy in the territory of each Member such legal capacity as may be necessary for the fulfilment 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 fulfilment of its purposes and for the exercise of its functions;

ii) Representatives of Members, officers and officials of the Organization, as well as members of the Executive Council, shall similarly enjoy such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the independent exercise of their functions in connection with the Organization;

c) In the territory of any Member which is a State and which has acceded to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 21 November 1947, such legal capacity, privileges and immunities shall be those defined in the said Convention.

Part XV
Amendments

Article 28

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 Congress;

b) Amendments to the present Convention involving new obligations for Members shall require approval by Congress, in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 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

Article 29

Any question or dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the present Convention which is not settled by negotiation or by 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

Article 30

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

Article 31

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

Part XIX
Ratification and accession

Article 32

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

Subject to the provisions of Article 3 of the present Convention, accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America, which shall notify each Member of the Organization thereof.

Article 34

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

Article 35

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 one hundred and twenty 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.