What international connections does my club have?
As a newly inducted member of Round Table (RT) you are probably wondering how big the organisation you have just joined is? Well, it exists in more than 50 countries around the world, some of which may only have the 1 club whilst others may have hundreds of them. Depending on the number of clubs in a country, there may or may not be a need for an internal structure of areas and a national association. Where there is only the one club that usually acts as the national association.
All national associations are legally constituted bodies in their own rights, but in an effort to unite the national associations, an international association was created in 1948 which is also legally constituted. It’s name is Round Table International (RTI) and it is run by an elected president and vice-president and several other elected board members. It was dis-banded in 1961 and only re-started 30 years later in 1991.
The important aspects of each member of RTI that unites them all is that they should all observe the following basic principles:
- To use the words “Round Table” in their association name;
- To use the rondel as their emblem, although the centrepiece varies from one country to the next;
- To stay a young man’s organisation with a maximum age rule of either 40 or 45;
- To adopt the same aims and objects;
- To allow members of one country to become members of another.
For ease of co-ordination, and because RT has spread into every continent, RTI is
divided into 3 Regions:
- EMA Region (European, Mediterranean, Americas’ Region): it is a division of RTI and refers to the RTI constitution wherever its standing orders don’t adequately address an issue;
- Africa Region: it is a legally constituted association with an autonomous constitution;
- PACART Region (Pacifi c Asia Region): it is going to be a legally constituted association with its own rules.
Each of the 3 regions has an annual regional meeting during which it elects a chairman and a vice-chairman, of which the chairman become members of the RTI Board, as follows:
- PACART Meeting in December;
- INDABA Meeting in April (for the Africa Region);
- EMA Tablers Meeting (EMATM) in June.
A responsible for the information technology on the international level has been appointed. All these 5 people together form the international board of RTI.
RTI Board responsibilities/aims & objects
Is primarily responsible for assuring the coordination between the national associations and the maintaining of proper standards in all level of activity. The international board is also supposed to take care about problems pointed out from the local national associations. Another important activity consists in the international development of Round Table. The International Board gives advice to all Groups present in countries where Round Table is not yet established in order to possibly try to form new Clubs. The regions of RTI fi rst came about during the gap years when there was no RTI. Both the Africa Region and the EMA Region were created in 1976, although the PACART Region didn’t start until 2002. The EMA Region is further divided into Sub-Regions, which are not offi cial Regions but are ones created by the countries themselves. Broadly speaking, the Sub-Regions split Europe and the Mediterranean neatly into 3 geographical areas, being North, Central and South, each of which has its own meeting once a year as follows:
- Nordic Tablers Meeting (NTM) in October/November;
- Central Tablers Meeting (CTM) in January;
- Southern Tablers Meeting (STM) in February/March.
Due mainly to the distances involved, the associations that exist in the Americas’ part of the EMA Region tend not to take part in the Sub-Regions. The make up of any region or sub-region is constantly changing, so for an up to date view record of which countries RT exists in and which region they belong to, there are 2 sources of information:
- RTI Directory; and admin.rtinternational.org
- RTI Website : www.rtinternational.org
Both of these resources are packed with useful information and further explanations. The website is obvious, but if you want a copy of the directory you should contact the National IRO from your own association (IRO means International Relations Offi cer).
Every year in August/September, RTI organises a week long conference/party called Round Table World Conference, in fact you can think of it as a holiday with hundreds of mates, where your whole family is always welcome. Here you can meet people from these other organisations as well as fellow members of RTI. RTI holds its AGM during this conference.
Through RTI there are opportunities for meeting and working with tablers from
- RTI provides the support and encouragement for extending the RT family;
- RTI provides the environment (CSM) where clubs can promote service projects and good fundraising ideas;
- RTI coordinates forums where problems can be brought for discussion, where ideas and best practices can be exchanged.
- AGM (Annual General Meeting)
approve the accounts, decide about changements of their constitutions and also discuss about general problems and service projects.
- IRO’s meeting
It is the annual meeting of all IRO’s of the national associations of the EMA Region.
- Vice-Presidents’ Meeting
It is the annual meeting of all the Vice-Presidents of the national associations of the EMA Region.during EMATM. RTI is planning a lot of social activity which comprises Mass Tours, Sport Events (EuroSki, EuroMountain, EuroSail, EuroTennis), but also celebrations and anniversaries.
Chartering of new clubs in new countries is always a priority of RTI.