Governing Document of SESAME

The Statutes of SESAME are the principal governing instrument of the Centre. They effectively came into force on 15 April 2004 after UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which is the depository of the Statutes, had received the required six instruments of acceptance of the draft Statutes from eligible potential members.



15 April 2004 


Statutes of the International Centre for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME)


Article I Purpose and Functions
Article II: Membership and Participation
Article III: The Council
Article IV: Standing Committee
Article V: Directorate
Article VI: Duties of the Director
Article VII: Legal status
Article VIII: Financial Arrangements 
Article IX: Contributions
Article X: Contribution of UNESCO
Article XI: Loss of Membership
Article XII: Final clauses
Annex: Potential Initial Members and Observers Foreseen under Article II.3 of the Statutes






The Members Parties to these Statutes,

            Recalling 31 C/Resolution 19 of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (hereinafter referred to as “UNESCO”) adopted in November 2001,

            Further recalling 162 EX/Decision 3.3.5 of UNESCO’s Executive Board by which the Board launched the process for the creation of SESAME,

            HAVE AGREED as follows:

 ARTICLE I: Purpose and Functions

1.         The “International Centre for Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East”, hereinafter called “SESAME”, shall provide for collaboration in the Middle East and the Mediterranean Region with free access to all scientists of SESAME members in relevant areas of research, being also open to scientists from the whole world, in basic and applied research using synchrotron radiation or closely related topics.

2.         Special support will be given to work of relevance to the region and scientific and industrial research. SESAME shall not undertake classified work for military purposes or other secret research and the results of its experimental and theoretical activities shall be ultimately published or otherwise made generally available. The Council referred to in Article III shall adopt appropriate regulations concerning intellectual property and industrial interests.

3.         The programme of SESAME shall in particular consist of the following activities:

            (a)        installation, operation, maintenance and upgrading of:

      • the synchrotron light source;
      • the light beams, spectrometers and other detectors;
      • the ancillary equipment and laboratories;

            (b)        provision of research facilities for scientists and engineers from the region and elsewhere;

            (c)        training of scientists, engineers and technicians;

            (d)        scientific and technical help to users, and general help to users as far as travel, housing, transport and other needs are concerned;

            (e)        organization and sponsoring of international cooperation in the field of SESAME’s activities.

4.         The Centre shall be an autonomous institution at the service of its Members.

5.         The seat of the Centre shall be at Amman, Jordan or such other or additional site decided by a two-thirds majority of the Council.

 ARTICLE II: Membership and Participation

1.         Membership and observer status in SESAME shall be open to Founding Members and Observers as listed in the Annex, other states and international organisations.

2.         If a potential Member and Observer wishes to join the Centre, as provided under these Statutes, it shall notify the President of the Council and indicate whether membership or observer status is desired.

3.         Membership and observer Status in SESAME shall be subject to a decision taken by a two-thirds majority of the Council mentioned in Article III, with the exception of the entities listed in the Annex to these Statutes which may become Members or Observers by the procedure set out below in Article II.4.

4.         Once the conditions in Articles II.2 and II.3 have been fulfilled, the potential member or observer shall send to the Director-General of UNESCO a notification of acceptance of these Statutes.

 ARTICLE III: The Council

1.         The Centre shall be administered by a Council composed of:

            (a)        not more than two delegates from each SESAME Member nominated by the Member;

            (b)        not more than two delegates from each Observer nominated by the Observer;

            (c)        a representative of the Director-General of UNESCO.

            Each SESAME Member and the representative of the Director-General of UNESCO shall have one vote. Observers shall have no vote.

            Council Members and observers may be accompanied at Council meetings by up to two advisers.

2.         The Council shall elect its own President.

3.         The Council shall have all the powers required for the running and administration of the Centre. It shall approve the Centre’s programme and budget by a two-thirds majority. It shall examine the annual reports submitted to it by the Director of the Centre, as provided for under Article VI below, and it shall issue him with such directives as it thinks fit. It shall approve the Centre’s financial regulations and staff regulations.

4.         The Council shall meet in ordinary session at least once a year; it shall meet in extraordinary session if summoned by the President, either on his/her own initiative or on that of the Director-General of UNESCO, or at the request of one third of its Members.

5.         The Council shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure.

 ARTICLE IV: Standing Committee

            In order to ensure the effective running of the Centre between sessions, the Council may delegate to a small Standing Committee whose membership it fixes, such powers as it deems necessary.

 ARTICLE V: Directorate

1.         The Centre’s Directorate shall consist of a director and, if the Council so decides, of such additional support staff deemed appropriate for the proper functioning of the Centre.

2.         The Director shall be appointed by the Council by a two-thirds majority. Directors with special functions may be appointed by the Council on the proposal of the Director.

 ARTICLE VI: Duties of the Director

            The Director shall discharge the following duties:

            (a)        he shall direct the work of the Centre in conformity with the programmes and directives established by the Council;

            (b)        he shall prepare the draft programme and budget to be submitted to the Council and approved by it;

            (c)        he shall prepare the provisional agenda for the sessions of the Council and submit to it any proposals that he may deem useful for the administration of the Centre;

            (d)        he shall draw up and submit to the Council reports on the Centre’s activities;

            (e)        he shall represent the Centre in law and in all civil acts.

 ARTICLE VII: Legal Status

1.         The Centre shall enjoy on the territory of the host nation the personality and legal capacity necessary for the exercise of its functions.

2.         The Centre shall enjoy, on the territory of each SESAME Member, the legal capacity necessary for the attainment of its aims and the exercise of its functions.

3.         Each Member and observer undertakes to respect the international character of the responsibilities of the director and the staff, and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of their duties.

 ARTICLE VIII: Financial Arrangements

1.         The Centre’s resources shall derive from sums allotted by the SESAME Members, from such contributions as it may receive from observers, non-Member States of SESAME and international organizations, and from payments it receives for services rendered.

2.         The Centre may, with approval of the Council, receive gifts and legacies.

  ARTICLE IX: Contributions

1.         The SESAME Members shall contribute to a total yearly budget whose amount shall be decided by the Council by a two-thirds majority. The distribution of the total budget among the Members will be carried out according to the procedure accepted by the first six participants.

2.         The above-mentioned contributions shall not be due from the Members unless the Centre has received:

            (a)        a commitment from Jordan to provide the land, the accelerator hall and buildings for offices and laboratories;

            (b)        a commitment from the German government to provide the component parts of BESSY I, which has been dismantled at Berlin at the cost of SESAME.

3.         Observers and other institutions may provide funds for the project.

4.         Resources for the installation and upgrading of SESAME, for setting up beam-lines and experiments will be sought from sponsors and international organizations, in addition to contributions from SESAME Members. Part of such contributions can be provided in kind.

 ARTICLE X: Contribution of UNESCO

1.         UNESCO shall assist the Centre by:

            (i)         providing depository functions for the Statutes of the Centre;

            (ii)        providing administrative and legal assistance as may be appropriate;

            (iii)       promoting the Centre and encouraging interested States to participate as Members; and

            (iv)       helping to raise funds for the Centre.

 ARTICLE XI: Loss of Membership

1.         A Member shall lose its right to vote in the Council when the total amount of its contributions to SESAME that have fallen due and that have not been paid, irrespective of the calendar year or years to which the contributions relate, exceeds the amount of the contributions payable by that Member for the current year. A Member shall be deemed to have renounced its membership if it has omitted to pay its contributions that have fallen due during four consecutive calendar years. The Council may nevertheless permit a Member to exercise the aforementioned right or to retain its membership if it is satisfied that failure to pay is due to special circumstances beyond the Member’s control.

2.         If a Member fails to fulfil its obligations under these Statutes, it shall cease to be a Member of SESAME on a decision of the Council taken by unanimity of all the Members except the Member concerned.

 ARTICLE XII: Final Clauses

1.         Any Member or Observer of SESAME may withdraw at any time after 31 December 2011 by giving notice in writing to the President of the SESAME Council. The withdrawal shall take effect at the end of the next financial year following that in which the notice was given or at such later date proposed by the Member or the Observer. Any withdrawal shall be notified to the Director-General of UNESCO by the President of the SESAME Council.

2.         The present Statutes may be revised by a three-quarters majority of the SESAME Members.

3.         The present Statutes shall come into force upon notification of at least six acceptances referred to in Article II.4.


Potential Initial Members and Observers Foreseen under Article II.3 of the Statutes

1.         Armenia

2.         Bahrain

3.         Cyprus

4.         Egypt

5.         France

6.         Germany

7.         Greece

8.         Iran, Islamic Republic of

9.         Israel

10.       Italy

11.       Japan

12.       Jordan

13.       Kuwait

14.       Morocco

15.       Oman

16.       Pakistan

17.       PLO for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority

18.       Russian Federation

19.       Sudan

20.       Sweden

21.       Turkey

22.       United Arab Emirates

23.       United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

24.       United States of America


Quick Links