The Fourth Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (hereinafter referred to as “the Organization”), having considered the recommendations of the Rice Meeting held in Baguio, Philippines, in March 1948, as approved in principle by the Council of the Organization at its meeting in April 1948, approved the establishment of an International Rice Commission (hereinafter referred to as “the Commission”) in accordance with the provisions of the Draft Constitution drawn up at the Rice Meeting at Baguio.
Article I. Object
The object of the Commission, which is established within the framework of the Organization, shall be to promote national and international action with respect to production, conservation, distribution and consumption of rice, except matters relating to international trade.
Article II. Membership
Members of the Commission shall be such Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization, as may accept this Constitution in accordance with the provisions of Article VIII hereof. As regards Associate Members, the Constitution of the Commission shall in accordance with the provision of Article XIV-5 of the Constitution of the Organization and Rule XXI-3 of the General Rules of the Organization be submitted by the Organization to the authority having responsibility for the international relations of such Associate Members.
Article III. Seat
The seat of the Commission shall be the same place as the seat of the headquarters of the Organization's Regional Office for Asia and the Far East.
Article IV. Functions
The Commission shall have the functions of:
a. keeping under review the scientific, technical and economic problems that bear upon the object of the Commission as stated in Article I;
b. encouraging and co-ordinating research on the above-mentioned problems and promoting its practical application;
c. undertaking, where necessary and appropriate, co-operative projects directed to the solution of the above-mentioned problems;
d. recommending to Members of the Commission, through the Director-General of the Organization, such national and international action as may appear to the Commission to be necessary or desirable for the solution of the above-mentioned problems;
e. recommending to the Director-General of the Organization the provision of technical assistance to Members of the Commission in measures directed to that end;
f. assembling, collating and disseminating, through the publications of the Organization or otherwise, information relating to the problems and activities pertinent to the functions of the Commission; and
g. transmitting at appropriate intervals to the Director-General a report embodying its views, recommendations and decisions, and making such other reports to the Director-General of the Organization on matters relating to the production, conservation, distribution and consumption of rice, as the Commission itself may consider expedient or the Director-General or the Conference of the Organization may request. Reports of the committees and working parties of the Commission established under Article VI shall be formally transmitted to the Director-General through the Commission.
Article V. Organization
1 Each Member of the Commission as defined in Article II hereof shall have the right to be represented at sessions of the Commission by one delegate, who may be accompanied by an alternate and advisers. Alternates and advisers shall be entitled to take part in the proceedings of the Commission but not to vote, except in the case of an alternate who is duly authorized to act for a delegate.
2 Each Member shall have one vote. The presence of delegates representing a majority of the Members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. Except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or Rules of Procedure of the Commission, all decisions in a plenary meeting shall be taken by a majority of the votes cast.
3 The Commission shall elect, at the beginning of each regular session, a Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen from amongst the delegates who shall serve until the beginning of the next regular session, without prejudice to the right of re-election.
4 The Commission may, by a vote of two-thirds majority of the votes cast, provided that such a majority is more than one half of all Members of the Commission, adopt and amend its own Rules of Procedure, which shall be consistent with the General Rules of the Organization. The Rules of the Commission and any amendments thereto shall come into force as from the date of approval by the Director-General of the Organization, subject to confirmation by the Council.
5 The Director-General of the Organization after consultation with the Chairman, shall convene a regular session of the Commission at least once every four years, unless otherwise directed by a majority of the Members. The site and date of all sessions shall be determined by the Director-General of the Organization in consultation with the Chairman.
6 Any Member of the Commission shall have the right, with the concurrence of the Director-General of the Organization, to call for a special session of the Commission, and such a session shall be convened if at least one-third of the Members so request.
Article VI. Committees and Working Parties
Article VII. Expenses
2 The expenses of experts invited, with the concurrence of the Director-General, to attend meetings of the Commission, committees or working parties in their individual capacity shall be borne by the budget of the Organization.
3 The expenses of the Secretariat of the Commission, and any expenses incurred by the Chairman of the Commission in performing duties connected with its work in intervals between sessions of the Commission, shall be determined and paid by the Organization within the limits of the budget of the Organization prepared and approved by the Conference of the Organization in accordance with the General Rules and Financial Regulations of the Organization for the time being in force.
4 Expenses for co-operative projects by Members as authorized in Article IV (c), unless they are met by the Organization or from any other source, shall be determined and paid by Members in such manner and proportions as they may mutually agree. Co-operative projects shall be submitted to the Council of the Organization prior to implementation. Contributions for co-operative projects shall be paid into a trust fund to be established by the Organization and administered by the Organization in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Organization.
Article VIII. Acceptance
1 Acceptance of this Constitution by any Member Nation or Associate Member of the Organization shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of acceptance with the Director-General of the Organization and shall take effect on receipt of such instrument by the Director-General, who shall inform all the Member Nations of the Organization of such receipt.
Article IX. Territorial Application
The Members of the Commission shall, when accepting this Constitution, state explicitly to which territories their participation shall extend. In the absence of such a declaration, participation shall be deemed to apply to all the territories for the international relations of which the Member is responsible. Subject to the provisions of Article XII-2 below, the scope of the territorial application may be modified by a subsequent declaration.
Article X. Amendments
1 This Constitution may be amended by the vote of a two-thirds majority of all the Members of the Commission, any amendment becoming effective only after concurrence of the Council of the Organization unless the Council considers it desirable to refer the amendment to the Conference for approval. An amendment shall become effective as from the date of the decision of the Council or Conference as appropriate. However, any amendment involving new obligations for Members shall come into force with respect to each Member only on acceptance of it by that Member. The instruments of acceptance of amendments involving new obligations shall be deposited with the Director-General of the Organization who shall inform all the Members of the Commission as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the receipt of acceptances and the entry into force of such amendments. The rights and obligations of any Member of the Commission that has not accepted an amendment involving additional obligations shall continue to be governed by the provisions of the Constitution as they stood prior to the amendment.
Article XI. Interpretation and Settlement of Disputes
Any dispute regarding the interpretation or application of this Constitution, if not settled by the Commission shall be referred to a committee composed of one member appointed by each of the parties to the dispute, and in addition an independent chairman chosen by the members of the committee. The recommendations of such a committee, while not binding in character, shall become the basis for renewed consideration by the parties concerned of the matter out of which the disagreement arose. If as the result of this procedure the dispute is not settled, it shall be referred to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the Statute of the Court, unless the parties to the dispute agree to another method of settlement.
Article XII. Withdrawal
2 A Member of the Commission may give notice of withdrawal with respect to one or more of the territories for the international relations of which it is responsible. When a Member gives notice of its own withdrawal from the Commission it shall state to which territory or territories the withdrawal is to apply. In the absence of such a declaration, the withdrawal shall be deemed to apply to all the territories for the international relations of which the Member of the Commission is responsible. Any Member of the Commission that gives notice of withdrawal from the Organization shall be deemed to have simultaneously withdrawn from the Commission, and this withdrawal shall be deemed to apply to all the territories for the international relations of which the Member concerned is responsible, except that such withdrawal shall not be deemed to apply to an Associate Member.
Article XIII. Termination
This Constitution shall be considered terminated if and when the number of Members of the Commission drops below ten unless the remaining Members of the Commission unanimously decide otherwise.
Article XIV. Entry into Force
This Constitution shall enter into force as soon as notifications of acceptance have been received by the Director-General of the Organization from at least ten Member Nations of the Organization representing in the aggregate not less than half of the world production of rice in the crop year 1947/1948 as shown by official statistics.