Code of Ethics

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums

Ethics and museum professionals’ exemplary practices are essential for ICOM.

ICOM Code of Ethics for museums
was adopted in 1986 and revised in 2004. It establishes the values and principles shared by ICOM and the international museum community. It is a reference tool translated to 36 languages and it sets minimum standards of professional practice and performance for museums and their staff.

By joining ICOM, each member commits to respect this code.

ICOM Statutes

Download the PDF

ICOM's Statutes are an essential document for the organisation. ICOM's rules clarify and complete these Statutes.

The Statutes are the foundations of the organisation and its functioning. They specify the objectives, the mission and the organisation of the structure.

The new version of this essential document was adopted in 2007 during the 21st General Conference in Vienna (Austria).

Article 10 - 10. General Assembly

Section 1. Authority
The General Assembly is the legislative body of ICOM.


Section 2. Members
The General Assembly consists of all individual, student, supporting, and honorary members and the designated representatives of institutional members. Only individual members and representatives of institutional members who have been designated as voting delegates by National Committees, International Committee and Affiliated Organization in accordance with Section1 1, 2, and 3 of Article 7 have the right to vote at the General Assembly of ICOM.


Section 3. Meetings
Ordinary General Assembly - The General Assembly will hold an ordinary session at least once a year at the time of the annual meeting of the Advisory Committee.

The quorum for an Ordinary General Assembly is a simple majority of the number of members present, or members with the right to vote represented by a proxy (the number of proxies per member is indicated in the Rules of Procedure). If this quorum is not reached, the General Assembly will be convened again in the same location within twenty-four (24) hours at the latest. Whatever the number of members then present, the General Assembly has the power to deliberate. The decisions of an Ordinary General Assembly are taken by a simple majority of the members present.

The Ordinary General Assembly makes decisions on recommendations from the Executive Council (i) on changes to the conditions on application for membership.

The Ordinary General Assembly elects members of the Executive Council (Article 11, section 1 and Article 14, section 5)

The Ordinary General Assembly meets at least once a year, within six (6) months after closure of the fiscal year, to rule on the accounts.

The Ordinary General Assembly will meet in triennial session, on the same dates and in the same place as the triennial General Conference, as described in Article 20 of this document.

Extraordinary General Assembly - The Executive Council, on the recommendation of the President, can convene an Extraordinary General Assembly to adopt amendments to the Statutes and items of importance proposed by the Executive Council and/or the Advisory Committee, as well as by National and International Committees and/or Regional Alliances and Affiliated Organisations. The decisions of the Extraordinary General Assembly are taken by a two-thirds majority of the members present and represented.

The Extraordinary General Assembly has the authority to amend all aspects of the Statutes.

List of Participants - An attendance sheet will be signed during every General Assembly by the members who are present and by representatives having received a proxy. The Chairperson reviews the attendance sheet and guarantees its accuracy.

Minutes - A report on the deliberations and decisions of each Assembly will be prepared by the Director General and approved by the President. Copies or extracts are made available to members in an electronic or printed version.

The Minutes must indicate the date, place and agenda of the meeting, the mode of convening, the names of the members present and represented, the documents and reports submitted for discussion, a summary of the debates, and the texts of the resolutions with the results of the votes.


Section 4. Official invitation to the assemblies
The Executive Council establishes the agenda of the General Assembly and convenes the Assembly at least thirty (30) days before the date fixed for the meeting. The meetings of the assemblies will take place at UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France, or in any other location indicated in the official invitation.


I) An official invitation is sent at least thirty (30) days before the date of the meeting by the Director General to all the members of ICOM composing the assembly.

II) An announcement is published in ICOM News, or on the Web site of ICOM.

The official invitation includes the date, time and place of the meeting, as well as the agenda of the assembly.


Section 5. Authority of the President
The President of ICOM chairs the General Assembly. If the President does not wish to exercise this function, one of the two Vice-Presidents shall chair the General Assembly.


Section 6. Vote
During the sessions of the General Assembly and notably during the election of the Executive Council, each National and International Committee has the right to appoint five (5) of its voting members (individual members or representatives of institutional members) to vote in its name on questions subjected to a decision of the General Assembly. Similarly, each Affiliated Organisation has the right to appoint three (3) of its voting members (individual members or representatives of institutional members of ICOM), under the same conditions.