S-Anon North America World Service Conference Charter
As approved by the World Service Conference on July 30, 2022
The S-Anon World Service Conference Charter is a body of principles and relationships through which S-Anon as a whole can function. The provisions of the document are not legal, but traditional, since the Conference is not incorporated. This charter is an informal agreement between all S-Anon groups and its World Service Office (WSO). Certain countries of the world, for language or geographic considerations, have established or may desire to establish their own General Service Office and national conference. Therefore, the current “World Service Conference” will now be formally designated as the North America World Service Conference, and is understood to be the senior conference.1 2
A. To be the guardian of both S-Anon’s world services and its Twelve Traditions;
B. To be a service body, not a government.
A. Area Delegates or Alternate Area Delegates from North America (United States and Canada) elected by the Area or selected by the Area and registered with the North America World Service Office. (If the Area Delegate is unable to attend, the Alternate Area Delegate may be seated for the current North America WSC only.)
B. The Board of Trustees (BOT) of S-Anon and the WSO Executive Director.
C. Representatives from other countries may observe the Conference without a voice or a vote.
D. A Delegate to represent S-Anon members that participate in phone groups.
E. A Delegate to represent S-Anon members who participate in online platform groups.
F. Designated areas with large S-Anon populations may petition the Conference to divide and send an additional delegate to the Conference.
III. Relation to S-Anon
A. The Conference acts for S-Anon in the perpetuation and guidance of its WSO services.
B. The Conference is a vehicle by which S-Anon can express its views on policy and note deviations from Traditions.
C. Delegates are free to vote as their conscience dictates and not necessarily as instructed by their areas.
D. No changes are to be made in the Traditions, Steps, Concepts of Service or General Warranties of the Conference Charter without written consent of three quarters of the S-Anon groups polled via a Fellowship-Wide Group Conscience.
E. The Concepts themselves (not including the descriptive text) are accorded the same stature as the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
F. The Charter may be changed (with the exception of items III-D, III-E and 12) by the vote of three quarters of the Conference members.
IV. Relation to the World Service Office
A. Two-thirds vote of Conference members in attendance is binding upon trustees and any related corporate service.
B. The above does not affect legal obligations of the WSO in conducting business.
C. In accordance with the provisions of the Bylaws of S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc., three quarters of all members registered at the Conference may bring about a reorganization of the WSO if or when it is deemed essential and may request the resignation of the whole Board and nominate a new slate of trustees.
V. Delegates’ Terms of Office
A. Delegates and Alternate Delegates are elected or selected by their area for a three-year term and may serve that area for two consecutive terms. Delegates and Alternate Delegates shall serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same position, after which it is suggested there be a minimum interval of one (1) year before they are eligible to serve in that position again.
B. As the Conference grows, the election of Delegates will be staggered such that a third of the Delegates are elected in each of three consecutive years. This staggered election and tenure of office will assure that the Conference shall always include a group of delegates with two years’ experience.
VI. Conference Meetings
A. The Conference meets annually. The Conference may vote to postpone its annual meeting for one year subject to the approval of 2/3 of the Conference members polled by telephone or e-mail.
B. In the event the World Service Conference Committee is without a Chair six months prior to the scheduled Conference, and a poll of the conference members indicates a desire to hold a WSC in that year, the responsibility will fall to the Delegates to make the arrangements for the WSC.
C. In grave emergency, special meetings may be called.
D. Conference members may also be asked by the WSO or BOT to render advisory opinions at any time by mail or telephone poll.
VII. Board of Trustees: Composition, Jurisdiction, and Responsibilities
A. The Board of Trustees of S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc. is composed of qualified members of S-Anon. The Board nominates its own successors unless a regional service structure can provide an elected Trustee. Nominees are subject to the approval of the Conference or a committee thereof. Elected Regional Trustees are seated without further approvals.
B. The Board is the chief service arm of the Conference, which is guardian of
S-Anon’s Twelve Traditions. Subject to E, below, the Board has responsibility to determine policy of the WSO and manage the business affairs of the WSO. It may appoint suitable committees and elect members to its Executive Committee.
C. If any subsidiary services are later formed, the Board of Trustees will be primarily responsible for their policy and financial integrity.
D. The Bylaws of S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc. and any amendments thereto are subject to recall by the Conference by a two-thirds vote of all its members. All Bylaw amendments will be presented to the first Conference to be held after their adoption by the Board of Trustees.
E. Except in great emergency the Board of Trustees ought never take action liable to affect S-Anon as a whole greatly without consulting the Conference. However, it is understood that the Board shall reserve the right to decide which of its decisions may require referral to the Conference.
VIII. Conference Procedure
A. The Conference hears financial and policy reports of the Board of Trustees and WSO services.
B. WSC members take under advisement all matters affecting S-Anon as a whole, engage in debate, appoint necessary committees and pass suitable motions for the direction of the Board of Trustees and the WSO.
C. The Conference may recommend action respecting serious deviation from
S-Anon Traditions and Concepts of Service.
D. The Conference may adopt procedures and elect any needed officers by a method of its choosing.
E. A quorum of WSC members must be present in order for business to occur. A quorum shall consist of two thirds of all registered WSC members.
F. In order to maintain substantial unanimity, two-thirds of the registered WSC members in attendance at the WSC must vote in favor of any decisions and/or motions in order for them to pass, with the exception of those requiring a three-quarters vote.
G. If, after efforts have been made to bring a motion to an “in order” status, but that is unsuccessful and a motion is ruled “out of order,” the World Service Conference Committee will provide a report to the World Service Conference members of each “out of order” motion with a summary of why the motion is out of order.
H. At the close of each yearly session, the Conference will send minutes from its proceedings to all World Service Conference members.
I. Because the Conference is Traditional, the rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern this conference in all cases where they are applicable except when they are inconsistent with this Charter, the Twelve Traditions and Concepts, or any special rules of order this conference may adopt. The Conference has decided by group conscience that Robert’s Rules of Order may not be invoked to close off discussion before all members who are rightfully entitled to speak have spoken to the issue.
IX. To Be Added as Necessary
X. To Be Added as Necessary
XI. To Be Added as Necessary
XII. General Warranties of the Conference
A. In all proceedings the World Service Conference of S-Anon shall observe the spirit of the Traditions:
1. That only sufficient operating funds, including an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle;
2. That no Conference member shall be placed in unqualified authority over other members;
3. That all decisions be reached by discussion, vote and, whenever possible, by unanimity;
4. That no Conference action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy;
5. That though the Conference serves S-Anon it shall never perform any act of government; and that like the fellowship of S-Anon which it serves, it shall always remain democratic in thought and action.
NOTE: The term S-Anon includes S-Ateen. Therefore, the above Charter applies to all registered groups, including S-Ateen.
1 For S-Anon’s purposes, “North America” currently refers to the United States and Canada.
2 All references to “the Conference” included in this document are understood to refer to the North America World Service Conference, that is, the “senior conference.” In addition, all references to “S-Anon,” “the World Service Office,” “Delegates,” “S-Anon groups,” “the Board of Trustees,” the “World Service Conference Committee,” “S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc.,” etc. should be understood to pertain to the North America conference, charter, and service structure participants.
Last Updated July 2022