Official Structure


The U. N. General Assembly’s Resolution No. 179 (II) of November 21st, 1947

The Vienna’s Convention of April 18th, 1961 on Diplomatic and Consular Relations

Governing Council:
The ULC comprises two main structures:

1) The General Council and the Board of Advisors; and
2) The Secretariat linked by the Executive President, who is also Chairman of the Executive Board.

The General Council

The General Council consists of the representatives of ULC’s Member States. It meets every two years, and is attended by Member States and Associate Members, together with observers for non-Member States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget.

The General Council determines the policies and the main lines of work of the Organization. Its duty is to set the programmes and the budget of ULC. It also elects the Members of the Executive Board and appoints Director General, every four years. The working languages of the General Council is English.

The Executive Board

The Executive Board ensures the overall management of ULC. It prepares the work of the General Council and sees that its decisions are properly carried out. The functions and responsibilities of the Executive Board are derived primarily from the Constitution and from rules or directives laid down by the General Council.

Every two years the General Council assigns specific tasks to the Board. Other functions stem from agreements concluded between ULC, International Organizations, Government Organization, United Nations, the specialized UN agencies and other non-intergovernmental organizations.

The Executive Board’s members are elected by the General Council. The choice of these representatives is largely a matter of the diversity of the cultures they represent, as well as their geographic origin. Skillful negotiations may be needed before a balance is reached among the different regions of the world in a way that will reflect the universality of the Organization. The Executive Board meets twice a year.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat is the Executive Branch of the organisation. It consists of the Director-General and the Staff appointed by him or her. The staff is divided into Professional and General Service categories. The Secretariat is made up of Educationist, Economists, Statisticians, Scientists, Lawyers and other professional and administrative staff who support the work of the committees with research, analysis, data collection and policy recommendations.

The Secretariat, which works in English, includes citizens of ULC Member countries who serve as international civil servants with no national affiliation during their ULC posting. Men and Women with a cross-section of experience and nationalities are recruited for the jobs at the ULC, with no formal quota system.

The Executive President provides the key link between the Member countries and the analytical support, both by chairing the Council and managing the work of the Secretariat.

The ULC is funded by ULC Member countries and their representative organizations. The Council decides on the size of the annual budget as well as the programme of work to be undertaken. National contributions to the annual budget are based on a formula related to the size of each country and its economy. Countries may also make separate voluntary contributions for particular programmes or projects. All countries have an equal voice in the ULC, irrespective of the size of their budget contribution.

The Committees

Committees for particular subject areas, such as Education, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Trade, and Investment are comprised of specialist representatives from member countries. Committee meetings as well as meetings of sub-groups are held regularly, and provide a forum where experts and senior policy advisors from government/non governmental organizations administration’s request, review and contribute to work that will improve policy making. Meetings of these specialized committees are also held occasionally.

Committee discussions which use the research and guidance of the Secretariat are generally confidential so that frank discussion can take place. They regularly seek outside contributions from business (through the Business and Industry Advisory Committee) and labour (through the Trade Union Advisory Committee), as well as through other specialized non-governmental organizations.

Committees usually reach decisions by consensus, and each country’s position is given equal weight.