The Governing Council of IFAD is the Fund's principle Governing Body having full decision-making powers. It consists of all of IFAD's Member States and meets annually. It is attended by the official Member State Representatives, i.e. Governors, Alternate Governors and any other designated advisers. Observers are also invited to attend sessions. These Observers consist of representatives from non-IFAD Member States that have applied for Membership to the Fund, the Holy See and those United Nations Specialized Agencies, Intergovernmental Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations whose Observer status has been approved by the Fund's Executive Board.
All powers of the Fund are vested in the Governing Council which takes decisions on such matters as approval of new membership; appointment of the President of IFAD; matters pertaining to the permanent seat of the Fund; approval of the administrative budget and adoption of broad policies, criteria and regulations.
The Governing Council Sessions are chaired by the Chairman of the Governing Council Bureau which is composed of, for a two-year term, a Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen representing each of the three Lists of the Member States of the Fund.
Governing Council Bureau
As per Rule 12, paragraph 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Governing Council "The Governing Council shall at alternate annual sessions elect from among the Governors a Bureau consisting of a Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen who shall serve for two years and shall hold office until their successors are elected."
The current Bureau, elected at the thirty-third session of the Governing Council in 2010, is composed of the Chairperson from Cameroon and the Vice-Chairpersons from Belgium and Venezuela.