Constitution and Organization
  • The World Association of Perinatal Medicine has been set up and registered to group together any professionals involved in perinatal medicine, whether in aspects related to prevention, healthcare, training, teaching or research, in order to make advances in the science of perinatal medicine for the general benefit of the world population.
  • In order to fulfil its purposes, the Association may carry out the following activities:
    To promote and disseminate the study, research and know-how of all aspects of Perinatal Medicine, for the purposes of improving the physical and mental health of women, mothers, fetal patients and children by increasing perinatal quality and healthcare worldwide.
    To contribute to improving professional training.
    To establish protocols for conducting audits, assessments and providing clinical care related to Perinatal Medicine.
    To strengthen the ties between various disciplines related to perinatal healthcare, as well as encouraging cooperation and establishing relations between individuals from different countries involved in this discipline.
    To organize a World Congress of Perinatal Medicine once every two years, alternating with a World Congress of Perinatal Medicine for Developing countries every two years.
    To run national and international courses about research and practices in Perinatal Medicine.
    To set up and encourage study groups on matters related to Perinatal Medicine.
    To promote and disseminate know-how about Perinatal Medicine through scientific journals, as well as through the Journal of Perinatal Medicine (the Association’s official journal) and Newsletter.
    To conduct clinical trials.
    To encourage international visits between researchers and young specialists on internships.
    To back international agreements on the use of definitions, methods and common terminology.
    To promote the publication of declarations on the rights of Pregnant Women and fetuses.
    To represent the interests of the members in different International Associations, whose purposes are related to those pursued herein. 
  • The Association’s governing bodies are: The General Assembly-AGM and The Board of Trustees.
  • These Bodies, which are the entity’s governing and representative body entrusted with its management and administration, may agree to create other temporary or permanent bodies that shall be delegated deliberative or executive powers, in compliance with the provisions of the regulations that apply.
  • The Association shall be managed, administered and represented by a Board of Trustees.
    No remuneration shall be paid for holding office on the Board of Trustees. Officers shall be appointed and removed by the AGM and their term of office shall be two (2) years.
  • The members who sit on the Board of Trustees may be re-elected to their posts.
    Vacancies that arise on the Board of Trustees must be filled at the following AGM held. Until it is held, the Board of Trustees may provisionally appoint a member of the AGM as a substitute to fill the vacancy. The members of the Board of Trustees whose term of office had run out shall continue to hold the posts for which they were elected until such a time that their substitutes are accepted or until they are re-elected.
  • The President shall have the following powers:
    a) To manage and legally represent the Association, by delegation of the AGM and the Board of Trustees.
    b) To chair debates at both AG Ms and meetings of the Board of Trustees.
    c) To have the casting vote in the event of a tied vote.
    d) To issue calls to AG Ms and meetings of the Board of Trustees.
    e) To countersign the minutes and certificates drawn up by the Association’s Secretary.
    f) To exercise all other powers inherent to the post, as well as those delegated by the AGM or the Board of Trustees.
  • The Secretary shall be entrusted will keeping all of the Association’s
    documentation on record, taking meeting minutes, writing them up and endorsing any certificates that must be issued, and keeping the members’ Record Book up to date.
  • The Treasurer shall be responsible for:
    a) Safeguarding and monitoring the Association’s funds.
    b) Keeping a cash book.
    c) Paying invoices approved by the AGM or the Board of Trustees. They must have been countersigned by the President if they do not appear in the budget.
  • Committees and Work Groups may be created at the proposal of the
    members of the Association who wish to set them up, subsequent to informing the Board of Trustees about them and the activities they propose to carry out.
    The Board of Trustees must take responsibility for reviewing the various committees and work groups, the heads of which must submit a detailed monthly report on their activities.



The “World Association of Perinatal Medicine” has had three constitutions throughout its history.

First Constitution

The first Constitution, which was written by Prof. Ermelando Cosmi in April 1988, is titled “CONSTITUTION OF THE WORLD FEDERATION OF PERINATAL MEDICINE (WFPM)”. The draft of this first Constitution was written in Italian and English. It is therefore a constitution linked to the first attempt to create a World Association.

Second Constitution

The second Constitution was born as a consequence of the definitive foundation of the World Association. In the first World Congress in Tokyo (1991), the Federation was transformed into the “WORLD ASSOCIATION OF PERINATAL MEDICINE”. In the first constituent General Assembly it was agreed to create a new Constitution. The text of this Constitution was approved in the Association General Assembly in Rome 1993.

Third Constitution

The third Constitution, which is the present one, was born from the work of a Commission “ad hoc” composed by Professors F.A. CHERVENAK, E. COSMI, J.SHENKER and M. CARRAPATO, who modified some aspects of the second constitution by order of the WAPM Board and its General Assembly. This Constitution was approved by General Assembly of the WAPM in Osaka on September 16, 2003.


The present Constitution has 15 articles, and one By-Law with 10 points. After the definition, name, legal status (art.1), objectives (art.3), duration and language (art.3), the following articles explicated the conditions and types of the memberships (ordinary, honorary, etc.) and their obligations (art.4). The structure of the Association is deal in the articles 6 to 10. In then it is established the composition and functions of General Assembly and the Council, and the duties of the secretary general and the treasurer. Among the art.11 to 15 it is established the organization of several meetings (Council, Scientific Committees, Congresses, etc.) as well as the Finances and amendments the Constitution and Dissolution.


The organization of the WAPM is based, essentially on the provisions of the Constitution and the WAPM by-laws, together with the rules and regulations approved by the Assembly General at request of Council.

As the diagram shows, the WAPM has and organizational structure, which allows it to develop a triple mission: a legislative and representative, an executive and a scientific mission.

Structure of decision

As stated in art.7 of the WAPM Constitution, “The General Assembly is the final authority of WAPM”. This is the governing body that chooses and/or dismisses Council members, accepts or suspends the decisions or initiatives taken by the Council, approves the Association’s accounts and which has the legal capacity to amend the Constitution.

However, the ordinary and daily management of the WAPM is carried out by the International Council, particularly by the members forming its Executive Board. This body establishes the Association’s policies as regards the objectives and functions described in the art.8 of the Constitution, carries out the decisions taken in the successive General Assemblies, supervises the WAPM Congresses and organization courses, controls the activities of the different committees, administers, thanks to its treasurer, the Association finances and encourages the formation of working groups, and so on the edition of publications, etc.

The composition of the Council is representative of the geographical precedence of WAPM members.

The roles and responsibilities of the different positions of the WAPM Executive Board (president, elect president, vice-presidents, secretary general, deputy, secretaries and treasurer) are ruled by art.8, 9 and 10 of the Constitution.

In the Council meetings, decisions are taken by majority vote. However, the attendance of at least one third of its members is necessary, so that the decisions can be made valid.

According to the above, the different Committees depend on the Council. At the same time, these Committees supervise most activities of the WAPM.

Apart from this, the Council gets support, information and advice from the following bodies:

1. A fund-raising Working Group which designs and sets up appropriate fund-raising program.

2. The Consultative Council, formed by all Ex-Presidents, the Ex-Secretary General of the WAPM and the Ex-World Congress President. The Consultative Council was created to debate on conflictive matters.

3. Liaison Commission with “International Perinatal Medicine Group” constituted by the President and Secretary General of the WAPM in collaboration with the International Institutions (The Fetus as a Patient, International Academy of Perinatal Medicine, Matres Mundi International, Ian Donald, etc.).


According to the art.7 of the Constitution, the General Assembly meets every 2 years in the context of the World Congress of the WAPM. The items of the agenda are prepared by the secretary General, by common agreement with the President, are discussed in this meeting. The financial situation of the Association is also reviewed.

The Council meets previous to the General Assembly in order to prepare its development. It also meets several times in the year in order to study, discuss and carry out the objectives and issues established by the General Assembly and the Council itself.

These meetings normally take place when there is any International Congress of Perinatal Medicine (European Congress, The Fetus as a Patient, Developing Countries, Ian Donald School, etc.) so the Council usually meets from 4 to 6 times a year.

The Fund Raising Working Group, the Consultative Council, and the Liaison Commission with the World Group of Perinatal Medicine. They only meet when the WAPM Council considers necessary.


The different Committees of the WAPM depend integrally on the Council. The control of its activities is responsibility of the Secretary General of the WAPM.

The Committee of Publications is coordinated by Editor-in-Chief of the Official Journal of the WAPM (Journal of Perinatal Medicine). This Committee, together with the President and the Secretary General, supervise the edition of the different publications authorized by the Council (Textbook of Perinatal Medicine, etc.).

The Solidarity Committee, together with the Developing Countries Committee, develops certain Special Programs in order to help to improve perinatal health of certain geographical areas. All specific actions of cooperation and solidarity are carried out through MATRES MUNDI INTERNATIONAL, which acts as a solidarity agency of the WAPM.

The Scientific Committee, apart from its specific functions, coordinates, together with the Secretary General of the WAPM, the Working Groups activities. However, its most important function is to supervise, according to the Constitution, the Scientific Committees responsible for the Programs of the “World Congress of WAPM” and “Developing Countries of Perinatal Medicine”.

The control of these Congresses organization is done by the Executive Board and the WAPM.


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