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Resolution Guidelines


Resolutions should address astronomical matters of significant international impact or matters of policy of significant importance for the international astronomical community as a whole.

Proposals for Resolutions may be submitted by a National Member, by the Executive Committee, a Division, a Commission or a Working Group. They should address specific issues of the nature described above, define the objectives to be achieved, and describe the action(s) to be taken by the Officers, Executive Committee, or Divisions to achieve these objectives.

Resolutions with implications for the budget of the Union must be submitted to the General Secretary at least nine months before the General Assembly in order to be taken into account in the budget for the impending triennium. All other Resolutions must be submitted to the General Secretary six months before the beginning of the General Assembly. The Executive Committee may decide to accept late proposals in exceptional circumstances.

In broad terms the format comprises:

  • A preamble in the form of “considering” and/or “recognising” or “noting” past events or decisions relevant to the proposed Resolution,
  • Either “recommends” action by the Executive Committee or some other body within the IAU, or
  • “resolves” that some specific action or decision follows.

No two Resolutions are identical and this format can be varied to meet specific needs.  Resolutions may be submitted in either English or French and will be discussed and voted upon in the original language. Upon submission each proposed Resolution is posted on the Union web site. When the approved Resolutions are published, a translation to the other language will be provided.

Before being submitted to the vote of the General Assembly, proposed Resolutions will be examined by the Executive Committee, Division Presidents, and by a Resolutions Committee, which is nominated by the Executive Committee. The Resolutions Committee may refer a Resolution back to the proposers for revision or withdrawal if it perceives significant problems with the text, but can neither withdraw nor modify its substance on its own initiative.

The Executive Committee will examine all proposed Resolutions. The Resolutions Committee will present the proposals during a plenary session of the General Assembly with its own recommendations, and those of the Executive Committee, if any, for their approval or rejection. A representative of the body proposing the Resolution will be given the opportunity to defend the Resolution in front of the General Assembly, after which a general discussion and voting shall take place in accordance with the Statutes (Sect. VII.15) the Executive Committee may decide that voting on specific Resolutions will be open for electronic voting for not more than 31 days counting from the close of the General Assembly at which the Resolution was proposed.

The Executive Committee will give Members not less than 3 months’ notice before the opening of the General Assembly of the intention to open Resolutions to electronic voting after the General Assembly.