Chapter 1 – The Name and the Seat
Article 1 – Name of the union: World Lebanese Cultural Union.
World Lebanese Cultural Union is a civil institution, independent and non-governmental, non-political, non-ethnical or racial, non-religious, non-profit making. It is recognized as the sole representative of the Lebanese Diaspora in the world. It has an unlimited duration and it is subject to its basic constitutional law and to its internal regulations. Each of its organizations, wherever it may be, is entitled to carry the name of the host country in addition to its own name.
Its Seat: Mexico, Alfredo Atalah Center
The Seat may be temporarily transferred to any country by decision of the presiding world council. The decision of the World Council shall be final.
It is and shall be duly recognized as the sole representative of the Lebanese emigration and the Diaspora of the Lebanese peoples throughout the world.
The WLCU retains a representational office in Lebanon.
Objectives and Measures
The WLCU hereby declares that its formation, existence and operation is as follows:
- (a) To enhance, promote and foster the spirit of allegiance and patriotism among the members of the WLCU throughout the countries in which they live; and to share actively for the benefits of those countries in the fields of education, culture and society of the Lebanese folk lore and history and to promote the WLCU as a cultural and philanthropic institution on a strictly non-profit basis.
- (b) To support, respect and promote the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and to declare that its Mission Statement is consistent with those principles, as appears above and hereafter, and to achieve, by all means possible, the attainment of the objectives of the Charter of the United Nations for all peoples throughout the world through the organization of the WLCU.
- (c) To consolidate the ties of friendship and concord amongst its members and promote the links thus attained to achieve mutual understanding throughout the nations in which members of the WLCU live and work.
- (d) To create and promote the ties of friendship and mutual understanding and respect and to forge and preserve those ties among each and every country with Lebanon, thereby encouraging the cultural, social and economic activities of mutual interest between the citizens of Lebanon and the countries of residence in which Lebanese citizens and their descendants reside and to actively promote the interaction between Lebanon and the citizens of the nations in which the Diaspora are located.
- (e) To promulgate and preserve the Lebanese heritage in the countries of residence of members of the WLCU throughout the world and encourage and promote the recognition and pride in the cultural history of Lebanon and to actively pursue fields of common endeavor with Lebanon and the constituent members of the WLCU throughout the world.
- (f) To acquaint, inform and educate members of the WLCU of Lebanon’s civilization and the integral role it has played throughout the history of the world in the service of humanity and to thereby safeguard and preserve the existence of the Lebanese culture, tradition, folk lore and ethos as a national entity and to support Lebanon to pursue its efforts in the service of world peace and understanding within the Middle East and throughout the world, and to bring harmony to the citizens of Lebanon.
- (g) To foster faith, nurture peace and cultivate understanding among the people of Lebanon and the members of the WLCU, to achieve and attain service between their communities, irrespective of personal or material gain, and to actively promote and achieve a just standard as a moral value in the fields of commerce, public works and private life, as is possible for all Lebanese throughout the world.
- (h) To consolidate the WLCU as a vehicle for promotion and co-operation to attain and achieve the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon as a homeland for all Lebanese, regardless of secular adherence and/or political affiliation, and to responsibly realize the exposition of the distinctive identity of the Lebanese race and its achievement in terms of its immigrant undertakings throughout the world, and in particular the expansion, organization and activity engaged in, collectively, as the Diaspora.
- (i) To grant facilities and services as are available to all Lebanese citizens in need, throughout the world, and to assist their descendants within the means and limits of the WLCU, as it is able to accommodate.
- (j) To enhance confidence, peace and understanding among human beings by encouraging the members of WLCU to serve their communities irrespective of personal or financial gain, and to endeavor to raise the moral levels in the fields of trade, public works, and personal life.
WLCU will also endeavor to accomplish its objectives which aim at:
- (a) To back the existence, sovereignty, and independence of Lebanon as a final homeland to all Lebanese nationals; to manifest the distinguished identity of the Lebanese Diaspora, and to organize such Diaspora and make it more effective.
- (b) To provide all available facilities and services to the Lebanese emigrants and their descendants.
Membership and affiliations
WLCU is composed of those chapters, clubs, societies, confederations, institutions and unions that comprise Lebanese nationals and descendants of Lebanese origin who believe in Lebanon as a final homeland to all its people, and who are not members of establishments that have contradicting objectives to the existence of Lebanon.
WLCU comprises the named members spread in the following geographical regions:
- Spanish America & the Caribbean
- USA & Canada
- Australia & New Zealand
- (a) Representatives of each geographical region share in the elections of the geographical committee in the region to which they belong. Each representative will have a number of votes equivalent to the number of members of the represented chapter, club, society, confederation, institution or union, provided it is licensed in accordance with the rules and provisions of the internal regulations.
- (b) the World Secretary General or his regional delegate will supervise the elections of the Committee of the geographical region. This rule will not apply to regions with one union, e.g. Brazil.
Members of WLCU, in the said regions, will comply with the objectives of WLCU. The basic constitutional law and internal regulations of WLCU become applicable to the members through their mere affiliation to it. The conditions and terms for the affiliation of chapters, clubs, societies, confederations, institutions and unions to WLCU are defined in the internal regulations.
Organizations of WLCU
WLCU comprises twelve organizations:
- The World Conference
- The World Council
- The World Secretariat General
- The Board of Trustees
- The Arbitrary Committee
- The World Council for Youth
- The World Committee for Ladies of Lebanese Descent
- The Commission of International Relations: The NGO/DPI Corporation based in the USA
- The Committee of International Communications
- The Social Affairs Committee
- The Cultural and Heritage Affairs Committee: “Ittihad Al Kouttab”, “Phoenician International Research Center” (PIRC)
- The Business and Economics Committee
The internal regulations define the conditions and procedures of work within each organization and within what belongs to it or is derived from it.
The world President and six Vice Presidents are elected during the World Conference by the representatives of the member organizations, whereas each representative is allowed one vote in accordance with article 7 of this basic constitution. The term of the World President is two years. Five months term flexibility is allowed before or after the two-year term of the President. The World President is not permitted to be re-elected for this seat two consecutive terms. A senior member selected by the General Assembly shall supervise the elections of the World President.
The WLCU World President, represents WLCU officially in Lebanon, in the host countries of the Lebanese Diaspora, and at international official and private organizations, he is represented in each geographical region by the World Vice President of the Region or, in the absence of the Vice President, by the Chairperson of the Geographical Region.
Resources of WLCU:
The financial resources of WLCU comprise the following:
- Subscription fees paid by subscribed members.- Aid contributions made by international organizations
- Aid contributions made by Lebanese societies and clubs in the host countries of the Lebanese Diaspora
- Gifts, donations and contributions.
Upon dissolution and liquidation of WLCU, its funds will become property of the Lebanese Red Cross Society.
The General Assembly is the only conference entitled to amend this basic constitutional law, provided the amendment is made in a general meeting, ordinary or exceptional, and approved by two thirds of the attending members:
- (a)The President shall propose the amendment.
- (b)All members of the electing organizations in the World Conference are entitled to submit their proposals for any amendment to the World Secretariat General. Such proposals should reach the World Secretariat General at least one month before the conclusion of the world conference.
- (c)The World Secretariat General shall propose the amendments.
- (d)The World Council shall propose the amendments by the absolute majority of the attending members during a normal or exceptional meeting with legal quorum.
The internal regulations of WLCU will be attached to this basic constitutional law. They are considered a complementary part of it.
The official languages of WLCU are: Arabic, Spanish, English, Portuguese and French. Use of the Lebanese spoken dialect is permitted in discussions, conferences, meetings and lectures.
The original text of the basic constitutional law was written in Arabic. It is the applicable text in case of conflict regarding the explanation or application of the translated texts.
The current basic constitutional law approved for WLCU during the 14th World Conference held in Sydney, Australia on May 28th 2005, will apply with all its provisions, rules, articles and sentences, with the following amendments which were recommended during the 15th World Conference held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 27th 2007 and were subject to discussion during the World Council meeting held in Mexico City on November 16th, 2007 and adopted during the Extraordinary session of the Sixteenth World Conference held in Mexico City on the 23rd of October 2009.
Stamp and Signature
The World Secretary General
Dr Nicholas N. Kahwaji