Charter of ARC•PEACE

International Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility

(Adopted in Brighton 1987, revised in Stockholm 1988, Montreal 1990, Chicago 1993, Stockholm 2000, by email in 2008, in Vienna 2014, and Palma 2017) *


ARC•PEACE’s main mission is to strengthen and support architects, designers and planners in working towards a society characterized by respect for Human Rights and Social Justice, active citizen participation in shaping their built environment, and an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable environment. This includes working in favour of disarmament, elimination of weapons of mass destruction and peaceful conflict resolution.

ARC•PEACE believes that professional education should develop the integrity and competence needed for architects, designers, and planners and enable them to advocate for peace, democracy, and sustainability while exercising their profession and abiding by its related ethics. 

Article I: Name and status

ARC•PEACE International Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility is an international non-government, non-for-profit organization of architects, designers and planners. The organization is politically and religiously independent. ARC•PEACE has a status as a Non-Government Organization (Category II) with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The seat of the organization is Palma, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. 

Article II: Purposes and Tasks

  • ARC•PEACE has these goals:
    1. to pursue actively the reduction and subsequent elimination of nuclear, biological, chemical weapons and other means of mass annihilation, both on earth and in space, and to support avenues for non-violent resolution of conflicts;
    2. to exercise our professional expertise in helping to protect the natural environment from further destruction;
    3. to exercise our professional expertise in helping to design, improve and preserve a socially responsible built environment with emphasis on disaster risk management and human safety;
    4. to support the diversion of funds from weaponry to the above needs and to other critical obligations of society;
    5. to promote enabling housing strategy and methods and techniques that go to enhance capability of people, particularly the poor, to build their own housing and living environment and also improve the same.
  • ARC•PEACE will pursue the above goals in the following ways:
    1. By expanding the number of its members in order to reach the largest and broadest segments of our profession worldwide. This includes assistance in the formation of organizations in areas where they do not as yet exist;
    2. by broadcasting our goals worldwide through electronic networking, newsletters, declarations, position papers, and other means of communication;
    3. by conducting meetings, conferences, exhibitions, competitions and other informative events relevant to our professions;
    4. by coordinating activities with international professional and other non-government organizations;
    5. by promoting our goals within research, education, union policies, and other means of professional development.
    6. by constantly making effort to refine and uphold ethical standards within our profession. 

 Article III: Membership

Members of ARC•PEACE can be organizations or individual architects, designers, planners or students expressing a desire to enter the Organization and advocating its goals. Applicants acquire membership after being accepted by the Board and paying the specified fees. Discontinuation of membership can be voluntary by the member or when the member violates the ARC•PEACE charter as determined by the Board or when the member defaults on payment of fees. 

Article IV: Structure

  1. The highest decision-making body of ARC•PEACE is the General Assembly (GA). This consists of representatives of the member organizations and individual members of ARC•PEACE. The GA shall meet at least once in three years. The Board shall send out calls to the GA meeting at least three months in advance. The proposed agenda shall be sent out at least two months before the meeting. Motions to the GA meeting shall be sent to the Board at least one month before the meeting. At the GA meeting member organizations have two votes each while individual members have one vote each.
  • At the General Assembly the following items are to be included in the agenda: 
    1. Election of chair, secretary and other functionaries of the meeting 
    2. Settling the agenda of the meeting
    3. Decision that the meeting has been correctly announced
    4. Establishment of membership representation and voting rights
    5. Reports from members
    6. Report from the Executive Committee/Co-chair/Secretary
    7. Financial report
    8. Report from the auditor/s
    9. Approval of the reviewed financial report
    10. Composition of the Board
    11. Election of auditor/s for the coming period
    12. Appointment of an Election preparatory committee for the coming period
    13. Decision about membership fees and budget for the coming period
    14. Decision about Activity plans for the coming period
    15. Motions and other proposals
    16. Any other business
  • The Board is the highest steering body between GA meetings. Board shall be in office for three years or otherwise as decided by the General Assembly. The Board is responsible to call the GA meeting as per the charter. The Board shall not have more than 20 members including the members of the Executive Committee, namely, two co-chairs, one secretary, one vice-secretary and one treasurer. Member organizations can appoint representative to the Board and the Board may select adjunct members if considered desirable.
  • The Board shall meet at least once in three years. At such a meeting election of Chair and Secretary for conduct and appropriateness of the meeting shall be done by the members present. In between Board decisions can be taken by email or other types of modern communications.

Article V: Finances

  1. The financial resources of ARC•PEACE come from annual fees from members plus contributions from all other activities of the Organization. The auditor/s report shall include financial reporting and cover the financial period as per the rules prevailing at the ARC•PEACE headquarters country.
  2. The minimum amount of the fees shall be determined by the Board, or, if delegated, by the Executive Committee. Upon request to the Board (or Executive Committee, if delegated) members can be exempted from membership fee. 

Article VI: General Provisions

  1. All amendments to this Charter must be approved by 2/3 of the members of the Board and ratified by the members present at the general assembly meeting.
  2. In the case of dissolution of ARC•PEACE, all of its property shall be transferred to such professional organizations as have goals related to ARC•PEACE and decision to that effect taken by the Board. 

*Background note

At the 1987 congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in Brighton representatives of Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) in USA, the Soviet Union Institute of Architects, Architects against Nuclear Arms in Sweden and colleagues from Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, UK and other countries decided to form International Architects Designers Planners for the Prevention of Nuclear War, IADPPNW. The decision was supported by UIA and many official national architect associations/institutes decided to become members. The name of the organization was influenced by the existence of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, whose statues were copied to some extent.

However, already at the meeting in Stockholm 1988 – when our organization was formally founded – proposals were made to widen the scope of IADPPNW to include work against all arms of mass destruction and for the environment. A working group was appointed to make a proposal, which was presented at the meeting in Prague 1989. The meeting recommended the Charter to include these ideas, to change the name into Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility and to revise the Charter also with respect to a more effective administrative structure. The meeting in Montreal 1990 adopted the name “ARC•PEACE Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility” and the meeting in Chicago 1993 adopted a new Charter reflecting theses proposals.

At the beginning of the 1990s most of the official architect organisations ceased to be members of ARC•PEACE. Instead ARC•PEACE became more of a network consisting of activist groups and individual members. After the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, at which ARC•PEACE participated actively our network gained status as a Non-Government Organisation in consultative status with ECOSOC (economic, environmental, social and human rights issues).

A series of online meetings called by the Executive Committee and attended by other Board members decided to open a Delegation of ARC•PEACE in support of the NGO continuity. Accordingly ARC•PEACE Delegation was registered in Spain at the end of year 2015. Furthermore, at the GA held on April 2016 it was decided that the seat of the NGO be established in the city of Palma, Majorca, Balearic Islands. The Secretariat undertook the task of arranging all legal, financial and practical issues, and reported its completion at ARC•PEACE 20º GA and 30º anniversary, on July 2017.