The 2020 IFLA General Assembly will be held on Thursday 5 November at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, in The Hague, The Netherlands. 

The current situation in the Netherlands as regards COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, with high rates of infection, and new restrictions on the economy and society. As a result, and both in line with official Dutch health advice and a desire to avoid any IFLA Members exposing themselves to risk unnecessarily, we have to encourage Members to avoid coming to The Hague. 

The Dutch Government has implemented reservations for public buildings such as libraries. If you feel you must be present at the General Assembly, please assist our planning by registering with us. Send an email to [email protected] by 12pm Central European (The Hague) Time on 30 October.

Nonetheless, we are committed to ensuring that your voice can be heard, and so urge you to make use of the possibilities for proxy voting (as per the email sent to Members and as detailed in the convening notice).

In this extraordinary situation, IFLA is also taking further actions in order to help you to participate as best possible:

  • we will live-stream the General Assembly, with details on how to join to be published shortly.
  • we are offering the opportunity to ask questions regarding the subjects on the agenda of the IFLA 2020 General Assembly. In order to allow time to prepare a response, questions should be submitted to [email protected] by 12pm Central European (The Hague) Time on 27 October. Answers will be collected, reviewed, and published on a dedicated webpage on 30 October.


Thursday 5 November 2020, 13.00–15.00 (CET)

  1. Opening by the Chair of the General Assembly
  2. Appointment of Tellers
  3. Establishment of a Quorum
  4. Adoption of the Agenda
  5. Minutes of the previous meeting, held in Athens, Greece, 28 and 29 August 2019
  6. In memoriam of those members who have died during the past year
  7. Presentation of the Report of the President
  8. Presentation of IFLA’s Annual Report by the Secretary General
  9. Presentation of the Annual Accounts by the Treasurer
  10. Presentation of IFLA Honours and Awards
  11. Address by the President:
    • Proposed amendments to the IFLA Statutes
  12. Motions and Resolutions
    12.1 Motion to approve the holding of the next General Assembly in August 2021
    (Art 8.2 of the Statutes refers)
    12.2 Motion to approve amendments to Articles 12 and 17 of the current Statutes (and re-numbering elsewhere where needed). These Articles explain how IFLA can make amendments to the Statutes themselves and decide on other major issues and thereby:
    • Allow a resolution on important issues to be decided by either a meeting of the General Assembly or a ballot of all Members; 
    • Ensure there is a single timeframe for decisions on all resolutions by Members whether at a General Assembly or by a ballot
    On the advice of IFLA’s lawyers, based on Dutch law around the conduct of General Assemblies, the Governing Board has decided to withdraw Motion 12.2. The lawyers have nonetheless indicated that recent reforms create opportunities to allow for electronic voting on resolutions on the table at General Assemblies, which must in any case still be held in physical form. This is welcome news, as it provides an alternative means of achieving the goal of maximising the possibilities for all Members to engage in decision-making at IFLA. To implement these possibilities, new text will be incorporated into the proposed new IFLA Statutes, and voted on at the Extraordinary General Assembly in February 2021. Beforehand, there will be an advisory ballot of IFLA’s Members which will be launched on 30 October with a deadline of 30 January.
    12.3 Motion to propose to the Governing Board to investigate alternative and sustainable ways to conduct future WLIC and arrange WLIC as a global event only every third year.
  13. Announcement of future World Library and Information Congresses
  14. Close of the Assembly

Gerald Leitner
Secretary General
The Hague, Netherlands
20 October 2020