General Assemblies

Resources
MSF-B General Assembly and the OCB Gathering

The OCB Gathering is for the Operational Centre of Brussels what a General Assembly is for a section, except with regard to legal aspects[1]. In 2008, the GAs of MSF-B and the other OCB sections decided on the creation of the OCB-Gathering and since 2011, the OCB Gathering and the MSF-B General Assembly take place at the same time and share the same agenda.

The MSF-B General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA) is the supreme debate forum and decision making-body for the members of MSF-Belgium. It focuses on operations through the OCB Gathering (see below) but also addresses more Belgian section specific issues. MSF-B, just like any other section in the OCB group, is a legal person. In addition to debates, the GA therefore has certain legal obligations (for instance voting on accounts and budget), and the Board it elects and holds accountable carries legal responsibilities.

The OCB-Gathering

The OCB-Gathering is the main platform for OCB associative governance. It is for the OCB what the GA is for a section, except for legal responsibilities. The OCB-Gathering is the main associative platform for debates and motions relevant to OCB operations; it is the main platform for mini-AG/FAD representatives and other field participation; it elects members to the OCB-Board, etc. The OCB is not a legal person but a solid gentlemen’s agreement within the OCB Partnership; legal responsibilities therefore are formally carried by the sections and in particular MSF-B.

All members of any of the 9 OCB association (MSF in Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, South Africa and Sweden) have voting rights at the OCB Gathering without any restrictions.

Voting can be done in person, electronically or by proxy. The event is video-broadcasted, a call centre and a website for voting is put in place in order to maximise the possibility for remote participation and electronic voting in real time for those members who are in the field or elsewhere.

Voting at the OCB-Gathering/MSF-B General Assembly

Since 2011, the OCB Gathering and the MSF-B General Assembly takes place at the same time and share the same agenda. In order to distinguish the MSF-B members from the other OCB members, they have a different voting card colour.

  • all OCB members (incl. MSF-B members) vote on the President’s Report, Financial Report and Budget but for legal reasons the Belgian votes are counted separately;
  • all OCB members (incl. MSF-B members) participate in the election of OCB Board members;
  • all OCB members (incl. MSF-B members) participate in debates and voting on motions directed to the OCB Board;

One part of the agenda is set aside for MSF-B specific matters on which only MSF-B members have voting rights (for instance the election of MSF-B Board members and voting on motions directed to the MSF-B board).


[1] The OCB is not a juridical person but a solid gentlemen’s agreement approved by the General Assemblies of each section within the OCB Partner­ship.

 

By: Göran Svedin