The Future of Rotary through the eyes of the 2007 COL

Rotary International Council on Legislation

The Future of Rotary Through the Eyes of the 2007 COL:

525 delegates representing 170 nations of the world
333 pieces of legislation

I. Overwhelming majority of delegates voted to continue Polio eradication as the corporate project of Rotary. Those against the statement felt that such a long focus on one subject deflected our attention from other pressing matters.

A. The Council referred 12 other resolutions to the Board of Directors which recommended water, literacy, hunger, malaria and poverty to be the future corporate project.
B. Rotarians should consider if Rotary should take up a specific future corporate project, like polio eradication. Any future project should, like polio eradication, have a fixed point of being finished, like polio eradication.

II. Concern about the honesty of the election for the position of RI President:

A. Nine enactments written to reduce likelihood of improprieties in theselection process. Those that passed are:
1. Have each Zone of RI represented on the nominating committee.
2. Have each candidate interviewed by the committee, with the details forthis interview process to be determined by the RI Board.
3. Have all names of candidates for the RI President made public prior tothe meeting of the Nominating Committee.
4. Have names of all members of the Nominating Committee made publicwithin 30 days of their determination.

B. Imagine the challenges the new rules make for the RI Board:

1. If there are 12-15 candidates per year for RI President and eachcommittee member is to have intimate knowledge of their qualifications,the logistics of dealing with a committee of 34, perhaps 15% of whichneed interpreters will be extremely complex and very expensive.

2. If all candidates are to be interviewed, should each of the 10-20candidates be brought to Evanston and be housed in isolation until theyare called by the committee, or does the committee use teleconferencingfrom all parts of the world for each candidate? Is it possible to becompletely fair to all candidates, no matter the interview process?

3. Some candidates have allowed their names to be considered manytimes by the Nominating Committee. Will it be embarrassing for themto have their names public, even though they are urged by others tohave their names considered?4. Should the names of the Nominating Committee be kept secret untilthey announce the candidate to reduce the likelihood of being lobbied.

III. Democratic, equal representation, on the Board of Directors by all Rotarians in theworld

A. The Board proposed an increase of one RI Director to be placed in that part ofthe world where there is an increase of growth in membership; with consideration for the cultural diversity of the geographical region, activity in giving and using of Rotary Foundation Grants and Scholarships.

1. Criticism of the proposal was based on: decreased effectiveness of a Board of greater than 17 members, wisdom of having an even number of RI Directors giving tie votes and paralysis, and of a fair distribution of a "floating director", would it become a political football?

2. When the present system was put into place of 34 Zones in the world, it was agreed that every eight years these zones would be re-organized based on numbers of Rotarians per zone. Since the original enactment, some zones in the far east and Eastern Europe have grown dramatically and zones in the Western hemisphere and parts of Europe have lost significant membership. No one wants to lose directors, so their answer is the floating director, which, at best, will give irregular representation to the fastest growing areas of Rotary

IV. Some areas of the Rotary world are concerned about honesty of Rotarians and asked the Council for rules to deal with dishonesty. No resolution or enactment was passed to provide the desired help.

V. Some areas in Rotary were concerned about the declining exclusivity of Rotarians while others felt that the Rotarian profile must be changed to provide greater access to Rotary for a more diverse membership, especially in areas of declining members as private entrepreneurs.

VI. The Enactment to establish a Standing Committee for Population Concerns, supported by D7170 and many other districts, failed.

A. The RI Board of Directors made the point that if there was a Standing Committee for Population Concerns, there would be a flood for other Standing Committees for Hunger, Literacy, Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Poverty. They also feel that the Rotarian Action Groups now available to these specific interest groups allows them continuity in their programs of action so a standingcommittee is not necessary.

B. Delegates from Latin America argued that Rotary needs programs to assist in the reduction adolescent, out of wedlock, pregnancies. African delegates argued that mothers need to have education for, and access to, methods to allow them to space their pregnancies if they have HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia, malariaand anemia from parasitism which increases the likelihood of death duringpregnancy and increased mortality of the newborn. Indians argued that parentsmust be provided education and access to child-spacing techniques to allowthem to have only that number of children they can feed, clothe and educate.

C. American delegates argued against providing such assistance through Rotarybecause it is controversial, against the religions of some Rotarians and somenations in the world are not producing enough children to reproducethemselves, therefore child-spacing education and access should not beprovided to the poorest of the poor.

D. It was of interest that the citizens of the richest nation in the world,whose citizens had taken full advantage of child-spacing techniques to managethe size of their families, would be the most outspoken in denying this tool tothe women in the poorest nations on earth to lift themselves out of poverty.

The argument has nothing to do with religion; COL delegates representednearly every religion in the word and all delegates utilized child spacingtechniques to provide wealth and education for their own families.

Likewise, child-spacing is truly not political; Rotary delegates represented nearly every political system in the world from their 170 represented nations and not one ofthem would expect their wife, daughter or grand-daughter to become pregnantif they were not healthy enough to complete the pregnancy.

This simply was a fascinating difference in the moral sensibilities andrecognized needs between the haves and the have nots within Rotary.

thanks to PRID Dr. William BP Cadwallader who shared his perspective

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world.
There are 1.2 million Rotary members in 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas,

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