Fifth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Hondarribia, Spain 1994

Founding Assembly of CPTI

Invitation to the founding assembly

Dear Friends,

I have the pleasure of inviting you to the founding assembly of Conscience and Peace Tax International, which will take place on September 17,1994 at 19 hours at the Juan Sebastian Elkano Youth Hostel in Hondarribia/Fuenterrabia (Spain).


With my best wishes for peace,

Dirk Panhuis.

June 1994

Report November 1992 - April 1994 and questions for the near future.

I. Incorporation

  1. The need seems obvious. It is a condition in order to obtain consultative status at the UN and the Council of Europe, not for the European Union.
  2. Name: we propose: Conscience and Peace Tax International.
  3. Logo: not yet available.
  4. Where: Belgium seems to be the only country providing an easy incorporation for an association consisting mainly of foreigners. However, one member of the Board (of Directors) has to be a Belgian citizen. The association would be an international association without lucrative purpose (i.v.z.w.).
  5. When: The initial plan to hold a founding assembly on paper in March or April did not materialize due to slow communication between the five (appointed in November 1992 in Brussels). Therefore it seems better to hold the founding assembly in Spain on September 17, 1994.
  6. Proposals for statutes in Dutch were sent to the Ministry of Justice in Brussels for preliminary legal control/advice on February 2 and can be expected any moment. An English translation will be sent to all national offices (and some individuals who were going to be the founding members) in May/June.
  7. Founding members: at least a dozen up to some 20 or 30 from a variety of countries. We should consider whether in the statutes or in the orally agreed upon by-laws the board should be obliged or allowed to watch over a just geographical equilibrium and fix e.g. a max. of 3 members/country (for the time being). If this item is not formally in the statutes, the General Assembly should at least give some instruction to the Board. When the list of members changes, a new list has to be deposited at the clerk of the Court of First Instance of the town of our official address.
  8. Members of the Board: they should be able to spend at least some time to CPTI. It does not mean a big involvement because this kind of work goes slowly: one to several years are spent one report (see example below). But one does have to write to other board members and to MPs, MEPs, etc. The major handicap of the present group of five has been that 3 of them were permanently or temporarily taken by too many other things. Candidates from different countries are asked to present themselves for election at the assembly in Spain.
  9. Incorporation will be effective 5 to 6 months after the founding assembly.

II. European Parliament

No consultative status. Contacts must be made with individual MEPs and members of the Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs Committee (CLIA). Most of the work has to be done during the work of the committee long before the plenary assembly of the EP EBCO (Koen Moens) and QCEA (Barbara Forbes) may also be able to provide us with information about what is going on. Should the board members make a division of the 12 or 16 countries and take each responsibility of one group of countries?

Report and resolutions Bindi-Bandrés

Working document of Bindi (Italian Christian-Democrats) (December 10, 1991) contains a paragraph on CO to military spending.

March 31, 1993: VRAK (Dirk Panhuis) wrote to Bindi and Bandrés on this text as well as to L. Van Outrive (Belgian SP). L. Van Outrive replies positively.

September 15, 1993: Draft report Bindi-Bandrés: no mention of CO to military spending.

November 11-, 1993: 50 amendments are given to CLIA: also one strong amendment by Bandrés on CO to military spending and a weaker one by L. Van Outrive. These two amendments surely are the result of our letters.

December 2, 1993: CLIA adopts the weaker version.

January 1994: The Christian-Democrats and conservatives announce that they will not adopt the text on CO, if that resolution is maintained. Bandrés explains his views in the plenary session of the EP and then withdraws the resolution. This does not prevent most Christian-Democrats to vote against the resolutions !!! The resolution is accepted with 184 for and 127 against and 15 abstentions. Total 326 out of 518.

What do we do next ?

Petitions Committee: we should start writing petitions immediately after the June elections. Petitions are referred to in future documents on CO.

III. Council of Europe

Here too the Board members should have a list of their national MPs that are member of the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg and of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights committee (LAHR). CPTI can apply for consultative status as soon as the incorporation is realized. Some simple forms have to filled out. Who takes care of the follow-up ? LAHR report Rodota on CO to military service

September 9, 1992: the Rodota report contains also 3 scattered graphs on CO to military spending and other CO.

April 7, 1993: VRAK letter to Rodota (Italian indep. left)

Greek amendments try to subordinate CO to national security.

October 20, 1993: VRAK letter to LAHR expressing support for the original text.

Late 1993: Rodota not active in politics of LAHR.

Early 1994: LAHR appoints Ule Espersen (Danish soc.-dem.) as rapporteur. (He is a supporter of CO to military service.)


Marian Franz inquired about the procedure for asking consultative status.


Is anything going on in the field of CO to military spending in the UN, Conf.Sec.Coop Europe, OAS, i.e., Conciliar process?

The assembly in Hondarribia

Panhuis: Copies of the constitution proposal will be distributed now Svend.

I'd like to do something first. Together, because one of our company first in the Netherlands who was a cofounder of the movement in the Netherlands, and was very active indeed and was with us at Brussels two years ago, Hans Foreman, has died, and I would like to commemorate him with a few minutes of silence because I'm sure Hans would have found this a very important moment.

So let us start with the work ahead.

Kees: First of all I would like to take us back to that meeting in Brussels. Today I realized that an actual fact if you look back at Tubingen, Vierhouten, Aosta, then Brussels, and now here in Hondarribia, so this is our 5th conference. Ten years of good work. At Brussels we appointed five amongst us to explore ways in which we could set ourselves up as an ... Amongst as Marian Franz on my left Dirk Panhuis on my right, my name for those who haven't met me yet is Kees Nieuwerth from the Netherlands, then was Christa Voigt from Germany and Philip Rimer from Britain.

In the past two years since Brussels, we have mainly thrown an exchange of letters and through fax, which is a tedious way to proceed as we have found, but never the less a lot of work was done, and that work is now before us for consideration. And before we do so, I'd like to just make a few points quiet clear.

One is that will always be a difference between this conference at large and the organization which we are about to found, because I'll take the example of this weekend, considering a declaration of Conscientious Objection as a Human Right. That should be a matter that is before the conference at large because this particular group, which we set up and now proposes to get us an NGO status, has one main focus: to set ourselves as an NGO and lobby for the right of Conscientious Objections, sometimes still to the military service, and them afterwards to pay taxes for military purposes in International Agreements with the UN or the EP or otherwise in supporting in lobbying for national legislation and national bills to be recognized in national Parliaments. That is all. It is not to be some sort of board of this conference because the conference would like to keep it as it has grown in the tradition of this five conference in the past ten years. There is no board amongst us, we have no governing body, we are just a technical instrument in finding ways forward in recognizing the right to conscientious objection to taxation for military porpoises in international bodies and in national governments.

Second we have in this ten years found that there are those amongst us who fervently believe in getting bills through parliament one way or another, and those who take the view that really we should not cooperate with the system or the government and that we should be far more radical about it all and take an attitude of no cooperation and just involve ourselves in war tax resistance and civil disobedience, and not engage trying to legalize the right to conscientious objections to taxation for military purposes. That's precisely why the conference and the technical instrument we are about to set up have to remain different, because we must be able to agree and disagree at some points. Now I'm a Quaker and in Quaker procedures it may sometimes happen that there are those amongst us who are not quiet at ease with the proposal before them for one or another reason, but will stand aside and say: Because I believe that you seriously and honestly want to move this way, I will not stand in your way. I will not hinder you. I'm appealing to all of us before we start this discussions not to mix up again in a very muddled discussion whether it should be war tax in the name of peace tax and weather this or that little detail should be in the laws or by laws because in my opinion laws and by law are just an instrument for us and we put them in a cupboard and should ever be trouble amongst the five or seven we nominate on the board then we need more trouble with the government, then we need the laws and the bylaws. I take a very pragmatic view of this effort. We only have one hour. We can seat here and discuss every detail and not arrive at a conclusion or an acceptance of one or another constitution but then Dirk will be left with nothing in his hands to put forward to the National Gazette in Belgium, where we can be recognized as an international association. For that particular purpose. So I'm appealing to all of us in exercising great care in this discussions and not to loose ourselves in detail also to help one another, and not to hinder one another because there are some amongst us in all this ten years who really are convinced that this is one of the steps to take before legal recognition. Whether in international agreements or national bills.

Now, on page 31 our secretary has drawn up an agenda for this meeting. I'd like to stick to that agenda and first item of the agenda there for is the discussion of the report the general secretary made on the activities on the past two years by what I call the five. So maybe Dirk still can elucidate on the report. Some points in the report however will return in the discussion on the constitution.

Dirk Panhuis: I was wondering if you have questions or elucidation in one of the items (reads the items).

Kees: No questions on the first item?

Q: I was just wondering whether it is possible to circulate a copy of the resolution that was adopted by the civil liberties and internal affairs committee.

A: Later.

Q: The pages are not in order. Could you show the page so we can find it?

A: Like this.

Dirk: Any questions about the Council of Europe. Perhaps I should make a small correction. It seems that after all the Danish representative Asperson will not be the rapporteur of that commission. So we are waiting.

Kees: UN? Marian?

Marian: Yes, immediately after the last conference, when we got this assignment I tried to find out what we would have to do to get NGO or Non Governmental Organization status in the U N and I found that there are two prerequisites to become an NGOwith the UN and I learnt there are two ways we can relate to the UN one is called the Department of Public Information (DPI) and the other is called ECOSOC, ECOnomic and SOcial Council. DPI is simply a public information service and the consultative status on the ECOSOC allows organizations, excuse me we can have membership in both organizations if we want to. The DPI's sole purpose is to help people learn about the UN, so if you already have a newsletter whose sole purpose is to help people about the UN, they would like for you to put in a report to become an NGO and that is obviously not our main purpose, and so we were looking at consultative status on the Economic and Social Council or ECOSOC. The advantages of membership on ECOSOC would be that we can attend meetings and Seminars, that we can propose items for the agenda, that a representative of our group can go to the U N for meetings and or pick up documents which would be available to us as we have the NGO status, then we have several different levels of interactions that we can have with the UN . The information that we have to provide to become members of ECOSOC are the things that kept Dirk busy. We have to be an incorporated organization, have an audited budget, make a constitution and all those kinds of things. We can become members of ECOSOC only once every three years, and our next opportunity is 1995. We found out that we can incorporate in any country but we would do best if it were Belgium or the Netherlands and so that explains why we took the direction we took.

Kees: Any questions on this so far? You heard it if we waste the opportunity this time we have to wait another three years. With our biannual conference it doesn't mix quite well, does it?

Dirk: The fifth is a question on my part. If any of you is aware of things going on other international bodies I may add that recently in Belgium an NGO was founded to support the work in human right area in conference on Security Corporation in Europe. I don't know if such an NGO exists in other countries, but it would be nice to do so for instance our Flemish peace tax movement become member of that NGO. It just recently started but I want to mention it to you to be aware to what's going on in your on country in the area of NGOs and that conference on security corporation in Europe. That includes the US and Canada, doesn't it?.

Kees: No further items then we should discharge the general secretary. I think he has done a nice job, very nice. At times he despaired and that's why I'd like to tell him a little parabola and that is the parabola of the gardener.

You have to types of gardeners and I hope we will be one type. The one type will take time sometimes to lean on the shovel and look over the corners of the garden that already have been dealt with are so beautiful, and not just not think of all the manure and the down that still has to be dug and all the weed that have to be dealt with in the corners and are not dealt with. So Dirk, there are a lot of corners in the garden that we haven't dealt with yet, I'm looking at those you and in a small way we have dealt already, and they are beautiful.(claps).

So we move to the second item and that is the constitution. The ideas that is drawn up so as to also fit certain demands form the Belgium Government sight. So certain should be in it and should be worded in a certain fashion because otherwise it's not acceptable for the Belgium department that deals with this, so maybe you could still give some general information about the constitution Dirk and the we'll consider it.

Dirk: First of all I would like to point out that only the Dutch version has legal force in Belgium. The original is drafted in Dutch and I made a translation for you but it is not a certified translation but is a very faithful one, you can trust on that. I have a few more copies of the text in Dutch if Dutch speaking people want to have a copy they can get one here.

I made a draft of those articles of association, then sent them to the ministry of justice for legal advice I went there and went over all the articles and they made some suggestions to me which I then incorporated in the Dutch and afterwards in the English version.

Early august I sent the English version to all the offices and some people so they could comment on it and discuss it among themselves. I received some comments from Gerald Drewett who consulted a lawyer and some of the changes that he recommended are now incorporated in the version that you have. I had to dismissed other that were not compatible with the Belgium system. So in principle now this is open to discussion. We should keep in mind that 3/4 of this is already described by law or by Belgium legal tradition. We mean articles which are completely free, articles about the objects, that's articles 3 to 8. Of course in other things you might change something but I think there is no point in changing all this things because we can debate this for ever and ever. This document is a balance between you should do this and this to avoid problems in the future. You can not put every thing in here, because you cannot foresee what will turn up. Just an example, you might want to put in a four or a nine board members. I put it pretty board because you could also put in you want six board members, but you can not put that cause if next year you want seven you are stuck. Today we could decide to have fifteen members and we could say we want between 4 and 20 members.

Q: Am I the only person in this room who has never seen this before? I don't doubt that these are terrific and in the spirit of standing aside from what we believe has been thoughtfully put together, I'm planning to do that but my approval of a set of by laws that I've seen for the first time in a master approving of fifteen minutes can't have any serious meaning, because the only other time I've been involved in deliberation over by-laws it's been on course of four to five meetings each of which lasted what seemed like three and a half hours. So I'm not quiet sure of the meaning except of courtesy and respect which I'm happy to pay of approving these by laws now.

A: That is why I made a preliminary remark and that is why I said you have set up a small group that was to explore forward. This is the way forward we have drawn up as requested. A constitution there are all sorts of demands from the Belgium government. You are quiet right in saying you can't just consider it in five minutes but I have indicated that maybe we should just take a very pragmatic view and say: You have at least taken steps, we like them we encourage you to go forward. So this is one way to look at it and this is why I made a preliminary remark.

I should add that a copy of this has been sent to NWTRCC, to all national offices I knew.

Q: I'm Alberto L'Abate from Italy. We had received your text, had translated it into Italian, had discussed it and discussed it in the political committee. We have a general agreement on the document, on the participation, but we have a comment on the article 7 which says: The association coordinates the activities, this seems like almost like a Central Coordination. It seems estrange that and illegal organization like ours is coordinated by a legal organization.

A: I think we do coordinate if you want to go to the Council of Europe with proposals from Belgium alone or from Italy alone you can't do anything because the member you have to see, perhaps, is a Danish member of that Human Rights Committee. So who will do the work of putting everything together and coordinating the thing. It has nothing to do with hierarchy it just will be able to execute what ever the general assembly, you, asks us to do.

I also in my preliminary remark said not a governing body of the conference at large, but it coordinates our joint efforts to lobby to widen agreements and to get peace tax laws adopted. That's the coordination that is meant here. Is that an acceptable answer?

Q: I too had concerns about the word coordinate because to me it also suggests a top down approach and I think we can solve this quiet easily by perhaps changing to the association facilitates coordination of activities it makes it sound more cooperative.

A: It seems acceptable.

Q: My other point is relating to article 17, the number of people needed for the assembly to be valuably constituted. As it stands at least one half of the members of the general assembly which we elect today will have to be present or represented. That means in two years time at least one half of the people who decided to be part of the General assembly, need to be at the conference or have a range representation. It seems a little high to me one half, perhaps one third would be better. And finally article 20. We weren't happy with the authority of concius of peace tax campaign here with the face that the board may be reelected indefinitely. We are happy that can be reelected but not necessarily for ever and ever and we were unclear whether to say equitable representation according to sex, country, and ideological background what that meant and whether it my involve us in long discussions about what ideological background is. I think we would simply stick to the idea should be representative, but it's much harder to define what is representative and we suggest it should just say at the elections equitable representation should be sought

A: The second point is seventeen. that's open to discussion. One might seem the higher the quorum the more democratic you are, but we are free to change to one third or 30% or what ever. It's possible. You can put any figure you want. On the other point suppose there are 25 founding members today. If 9 are present and each of them has two proxies, it represents 27 votes so you can legally meet.

So what do we do 1/3rd or 1/2? 40%?

Q: I think on this point is also important the number of people that are going to be part of this general assembly. The more people are part of the general assembly now the more people will have to come to the next conferences and the next will be a problem and the ones after that. It depends on how many people we want on this general assembly as well if we want a very high number of people in the general assembly to start of with, then I think we have every, we better take a low percentage because we have to think in six years time.

A: If I respond quickly to this. Then it is something to write down 1/3 now an consider at the next general assembly whether this constitution has worked or not or to evaluate it at some time.

Q: The second point is this are the statutes. Any thing else we can agree on we can rule in. We can even agree on an internal ruling that won't recognize any decision any decision of the general assembly that doesn't have half of the members or what ever. But the thing is this should be a minimum. I would advice we take a minimum approach to this and that all other things we can still add afterwards. I f we put too high a quorum now, we possibly have a problems later.

I think its better lower.

A: That points in the direction of lower also, so shall we write 1/3?


The other thing was article 20.

In my first draft which I took to the ministry of justice, I wrote They maybe reelected. Then the lady said either to choose reelected once, or twice, or thrice, or indefinitely, but you have to say it.

He proposes two times. Yes, that means that after 12 years I'm out and you have to find out another Belgian to replace me, because you need a Belgian in the board. I think the more we tie up our selves the more trouble we run into.

What is the opinion of the assembly?

Q: Do we have to put a period of time?

A: Yes. but could be re- elected with out limitation sounds better

Q: Article 3 line 2. I would like to propose some alternative wording to include the words war conduct through taxes To limit to those words we have there... There is an awful lot of conductive war that some would say is not at all covered.

A: Is that acceptable? to add word conduct? Yes.

We didn't answer Monica's objection on article 20. She proposed that at the elections equitable representation should be sought for. Do you agree to leave out sex, country, and ideological background I must also warn you that this is the only phrase that is no legally binding, it's recommendation.

A funny secretary we have. I hope he means leaving out sex in the constitution only.

Accepted? yes.

Q: This is back to the basic object of this body which I'm still a bit unclear about. It says in article three that the aim is to obtain recognition of the right. Am I to understand that that means that this is a legislative lobbying organization and not an organization that would supporting people that are exercising that right whether or not it has been recognized through legal channels.

A: The answer to that question is Yes to the first part and No to the second part We are not the body that takes such a supportive action because I have drawn out the Conference being one body and the movement at large and that is in a country the same. For support you would turn to the movement but you might have a legislative committee. You might consider this the legislative committee of the International Movement. See article # 4 says David.

Q: My second question is: How would the general assemblies of this body relate to the conferences such as the one we are in right now. Would they be coordinated so they would happen immediately before or after this conference as part of this conference or completely separate from this conference.

The answer is in the Constitution we have included that there should be a meeting every two years. That is possible in the Belgian law which indicates already that it is our intention to have these meetings coincide with the conference as we have done now.

And also in practice even if there is only 3 members of the general assembly and you want to speak you are welcome.

Q: Can I clarify what I said before? I think we all have an idea of what sort of equitable representation we want. It means we want a balance of different views on different matters, of different types of people, but if you try to define that in terms of sex, country and ideological back ground, the danger is either you omit something or you end up with a long, long face about religion and sexual orientation and all of that, and my suggestion indicates that we want this fairness without having to pin it down and I think it does mean something.

Do we just leave at the elections equitable representation should be sought? Yes.

I think than balance seems a better word in English. I don't really know what equitable means.

I'd be quiet happy to do so if the rest agree. Now, we are about to have dinner, another important point is on the agenda. We do appoint people to carry on this work.

Now there are two more who have asked to give their opinions on the constitution.

I'm focused on two of the articles. Article 4 and 7. The part of article 7 that is confusing to me is what it is to be coordinated and it seems to me that the jest of what has been said before is not that it coordinates the activities of national movements, but that it coordinates the activities of national movements as it relates to lobbying as mentioned in article 5.

That could be solved if you put similar in another places.

I tried to rewrite let me read it and if it doesn't make sense I'll just let it go: The association may also support the struggle for conscientious objection and for the recognition of other conscientious objections and the humans rights generally well I'm trying to get at is that we support the struggle for conscientious objections, not just the recognition.

Yes that's all right.

Article 27. Maybe delegated to the chair-person or a third party. Is there any danger for us in the expression party or not? thank you.

I think this text came straight from the ministry of justice, let me check. It opens of course, generally the possibility that you charge someone outside the board members with a certain task.

Could someone as a third party who doesn't sympathize with us in some manner?

Then we won't delegate.

In the objects I'd also like to include the function of spreading of information. I have no specific wording but I'd like to include spreading of relevant information.


Where ever. In the objects.

I seriously would like to draw to a close this discussion for now. Any objections.

Please omit ‘Fuenterrabia’ from the last page because it doesn't exist any more. It's Hondarribia either in Spanish or in Basque language. And I'd like Basque country to appear here as well.

The election of the board. First to say this quiet briefly, some amongst us are indeed willing to be reelected and are available. Mary Ann has indicated she's still available, Christa indicated she is available, Dirk is available and me too, but Phil Rimmer isn't. The matter before us is, of course we have to fill up this vacancy, but also should we not enlarge this group to have more people, because we've experience it is quiet difficult. So what we are asking since we can have from 5 to 9 is to move from five to 7 for example. Some have made know that are available for election and of course the floor is open for others but we would like to have a nice geographical spread as we had last time. That is US, and a number of European countries, we are thinking on Spain and Italy for example.

And I received a letter from Georgina Mogigliano who at my request indicated she would be willing to serve as a member from the board.

Let me take stock.

Me too. Pedro.


Conscience and the Peace Tax Campaign from UK would like to be on the board and Carie Smith who is a member but not able to be here because she's just had a baby said she would be delighted to be a member of the board.

Any other candidates. We have seven. Can we then just ask you to appoint this people and live the repartition of the tasks amongst the board members or must we also speak out on that issue?

If we were available for the same offices we are now would that be agreeable and have you accepted the additional members?

Then I here-by declare the association in existence. And we go to have food.

There are something late.

The board proposes a maximum of three persons per country. Each country decides who will sign. Legally constituted entities like National Campaign for Peace Tax Fund etc. can sign as an organization. I contact with this people. Then the others should sign personally, I have a list and you should come and see me and put your name on the list for those who want to be founding members. I need your last name or maiden name in the case of women first name, profession, personal address and nationality. I'll type it out and you have to sign three copies on six pages.

During meal time you can put your name on the list. Let's go for supper.

Final Report

Conscience and Peace Tax International

International non-profit organization

Bruineveld 11, 3010 Leuven, Belgium

Report of the founding assembly, held at Hondarribia (Basque Country), Spain, on September 17,1994 at 19 hours.

Present: Bassett David, Birk Jan, De Baecke Bob, Drewett Gerald, Grewe-Voigt Christa, Henriksen Svend, Moens Koen, Nieuwerth Kees (chairperson), Otaduy Pedro, Panhuis Dirk (secretary), Poloniato Giovanna, Rishmawi Elias, Windsor Arthur;

Ms. Momigliano Giorgina, represented by Panhuis Dirk;

the legal entities: Beweging Weigering Defensiebelasting, represented by Maartens Hendrik Jan, Conscience Canada Inc., represented by Powell-Newall Joy, Conscience-The Peace Tax Campaign, represented by Frisch Monica; National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, represented by Claassen-Franz Marian, Servei d'informació d'objecciò, represented by Moya Mena José María, Skattebetalare för Fred, represented by Parell Eva, Stichting Vredesfonds, represented by van Houten Ger Anjo.

(Addresses will be publicized at the end of the articles of association in the Bijlagen tot het Belgisch Staatsblad.)



    The meeting has no questions about the report and the chairperson thanks the secretary for the work done.


    After discussion and amendments the text of the articles of association has been adopted (see below).


    The founding assembly elects the following persons as board members for a period of four years and these name among each other: Chair: Kees Nieuwerth, Vice-chair: Marian ClaassenFranz, Secretary and delegated administrator Dirk Panhuis, Treasurer: Kiri Smith; Members: Christa Grewe-Voigt, Giorgina Momigliano, Pedro Otaduy.


    The Belgian member and secretary, Dirk Panhuis, is asked to apply for recognition at the Belgian ministry of Justice and to publish the Dutch version of the articles of association as soon as possible in the Bijlagen tot het Belgisch Staatsblad.


    For the time being the budget will be zero and the costs will be carried by the national movements. Dirk Panhuis will open a Belgian post check account with two signatures (his own and Kiri Smith's), one signature being sufficient.


    Kees Nieuwerth will revise the letter heading. Board members will be included as well as a list of countries with movements active at this moment.

Kees Nieuwerth, Chair. Dirk Panhuis, Secretary



International non-profit organization


The undersigned have agreed amongst themselves and with all those who will adhere later, to constitute a non-profit-making international association in accordance with the Belgian law of October 25,1919 modified by the law of December 6, 1954 and under the following conditions.


Name and headquarters

Article 1.

Conscience and Peace Tax International, hereafter referred to as the association, has been constituted and incorporated as an International non-profit Association in accordance with the Belgian law of October 25, 1919 modified by the law of December 6. 1954.The abbreviation CPTI may also be used.

Article 2.

The association has its head office m Belgium, currently at 3010 Leuven, Bruineveld 11. It may be transferred to any other location in Belgium by simple decision of the Board published within the month in the Bijlagen tot het Belgisch Staatsblad.


Article 3.

The association has no lucrative purpose and its aim is to obtain recognition of the right to conscientious objection to paying for armaments, war preparation, and war conduct through taxes.

Article 4.

The association may also support the struggle of conscientious objectors and the struggle for the recognition of other conscientious objections and of human rights generally.

Article 5.

In furtherance of these objects the association lobbies international organizations in order to obtain and/or improve legal and other instrument . The instruments can be national and international legislation, conventions, resolutions, directives, declarations, etc.

Article 6.

The association shall publicise efforts to obtain recognition of the aforesaid right and shall spread information about this right.

Article 7.

The association facilitates coordination of similar activities of national movements at the international level.

Article 8.

The association may also, as a secondary activity, pursue certain economic activities, provided the proceeds are employed exclusively for the objects of the association.


Article 9.

The association is open to members of all nationalities. The members are physical persons or legal entities, legally constituted in accordance with the laws and customs of their country of origin. The first members are the undersigned founders.

Article 10.

New members should subscribe to the objects of the association. The admittance of new members is subject to the approval of the Board.

Article 11.

A member may always resign by notifying the Board in writing.

Article 12.

Exclusion of a member can only be effected by decision of the General Assembly with a two third majority of the members present or represented, and after the member concerned has been given the opportunity to defend himself. Due reasons for exclusion must be given.

Article 13.

Any member who, through resignation or exclusion, ceases to belong to the association, shall forfeit any right to any part of the assets of the association. The same applies to their heirs.

General Assembly

Article 14.

The General Assembly is composed of all members and is responsible for the general policy of the association.

Article 15.

The General Assembly meets at least once every two years at the invitation of the Board at an address, date and hour to be mentioned in the invitation. The Board also has to call for an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly, if one fifth of the members ask for it.

Article 16.

The invitation, accompanied by the agenda, shall be sent by regular mail at least six weeks before the ordinary or extraordinary General Assembly.

Article 17.

Any member may be represented at the General Assembly by another member holding a proxy. No member shall hold more than two proxies. The General Assembly is validly constituted if at least one third of the members are present or represented.

Article 18.

The General Assembly has the exclusive authority over the following matters:

  1. approval of the budget and the accounts,
  2. nomination and dismissal of the members of the Board,
  3. amendments to the articles of association,
  4. exclusion of members,
  5. dissolution of the association.
Article 19.

Without prejudice to article 32 the decisions of the General Assembly are taken with simple majority of the members present or represented. The decisions of the General Assembly shall be entered m a minute-book, signed by the chairperson and held by the secretary at the disposal of all members.


Article 20.

The association is administered by a board of at least four and no more than nine members, elected for four years by the General Assembly. They may be reelected without limit. At the elections balanced representation should be sought.

Article 21.

At least one member of the Board must be of Belgian nationality.

Article 22.

Members whose term expires remain responsible and in office till they have been replaced.

Article 23.

The board itself decides upon the allocation of tasks.

Article 24.

The board is authorized to run the association. Anything not reserved explicitly by these articles or the law for the General Assembly, falls under the authority of the Board.

Article 25.

A member of the Board can be represented by another Board member who shall however not hold more than two proxies.

Article 26.

Decisions are taken by a simple majority of the members present or represented. In the event of a tie the chairperson has a casting vote. The decisions shall be entered in a minute-book signed by the chairperson and kept by the secretary at the disposal of the members of the Association

Article 27.

The day-to-day management may be delegated to the chairperson, a board member or a third party. In addition the Board on its own responsibility may entrust well-defined tasks to one or more third parties.

Article 28.

Except as otherwise decided, all acts which bind the association shall be signed by two board members who need not give evidence of their powers.

Article 29.

All juridical action, either as plaintiff or defendant, will be handled by the Board represented by its chairperson or by a board member designated to this effect.

Budget and accounts

Article 30.

The financial year opens on January I and closes on December 31.

Article 31.

The Board submits the accounts of the previous years and the budgets for the coming years for the approval of the General Assembly.

Changes of the statutes and dissolution

Article 32.

Without prejudice to article 5 of the law of October 25, 1919, the present articles may be amended at any time by an Extraordinary General Assembly of members convened on the initiative of the Board or at the request of at least one fifth of the members of the association.

The date of the General Assembly which will decide on the proposed amendment(s) must be notified to the members at least three months in advance.

No decision shall be adopted unless it is approved by a majority of at least two thirds of the members of the association present or represented

A change of the objects for which the association was constituted, can only be adopted by unanimity of the members of the General Assembly

However if less than two thirds of the members of the association are present or represented at the General Assembly, a new General Assembly shall be convened in the same conditions as the preceding one, to definitely and validly decide on the proposals in question, irrespective the number of the members present or represented.

Amendments to the articles of association will not take effect until approved by Royal Decree and until they have been published in the Bijlagen van het Belgisch Staatsblad in accordance with article 3 of the law of October 25, 1919.

The General Assembly shall determine the modalities of dissolution and liquidation of the association. The assets of the association shall be given to a purpose that corresponds as much as possible to the aims of the association.

Final disposition

Article 33.

Matters not covered by these articles of association, including publications in the Bijlagen tot het Belgisch Staatsblad, will be governed by the provisions of the law.

Thus accepted by unanimity at the founding assembly held in Hondarribia (Basque Country), Spain, on September 17, 1994.

Three original copies of this document are signed by the founding members named below.

Main Page for Hondarribia