E-Bulletin September 2023

Virtual committee meetings arrangements

Following the announcement at council 71 that the committee meetings for the second half of 2020 will be held virtually, the secretariat developed a paper on the arrangements needed for such meetings.

These working arrangements are uniform across all committees and are extra-ordinary in nature due to exceptional circumstances that prohibit face-to-face meetings in the usual manner.  Face-to-face meetings will remain the primary means to progress IALA work.


Conducting meetings virtually gives IALA an opportunity to hold committees over a longer period of time.  This is particularly beneficial for:

  • Accommodating participants across a wide variety of time zones;
  • Allowing participants to fit committee work around their other commitments; and
  • Enabling sustained work on tasks over a longer and less intensive period of time.

Therefore, virtual committees will be held over a period of weeks.  It is important to note that although the duration is over several weeks, the expectation is that groups will meet as appropriate to the task objective that needs to be achieved over the period and the availability of participants.  For example, in the past, similar groups have met for 1 – 2 hour virtual meetings per week.  This will be determined by each task group.


The IALA Secretariat will issue an invitation to all members to register for a committee.  This invitation will contain:

  • key dates;
  • deadlines and process for input papers; and
  • these working arrangements.

Members that register before the opening plenary commences will constitute the committee and will be permitted to participate in the virtual meetings. Any members that request to register after the opening plenary has commenced will only be allowed to do so at the discretion of the chair of the committee. If a member has more than one representative to a committee, then a main point of contact should be identified and if required, will also vote on behalf of the member within a committee in order to reach a decision.

Read full document on committee arrangements here

Important deadlines for the upcoming sessions are as following :


31 August, 2 – 3 September 2020 (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday)


Input paper deadline – 24 August 2020

Opening Plenary – 21 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 15 October 2020


Input paper deadline – 31 August 2020

Opening Plenary – 28 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 22 October 2020


Input paper deadline – 28 August 2020

Opening Plenary – 29 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 23 October 2020


Input paper deadline – 2 September 2020

Opening Plenary – 30 September 2020

Closing Plenary – 16 October 2020


13 –15 October 2020 (Tuesday to Thursday)

Register here

IALA looks forward to welcoming all the delegates virtually and to keep up the IALA spirit of cooperation through virtual meeting during these challenging times.

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