Statement from Wikimedia Canada regarding the ratification vote of the Wikimedia Movement Charter

Over the past few months, the volunteers on the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC) have devoted a considerable amount of time to drafting the Wikimedia Movement Charter, which defines the roles and responsibilities of all members and entities of the Wikimedia movement.

A first version was shared with the community in the spring for feedback, followed by the finalized version in early June. The ratification process is underway until July 9. 

This project has mobilized thousands of hours of volunteer work and involved a significant financial investment over the last few years. The community has also been called upon numerous times throughout the entire process, including at the last Wikimedia Summit in Berlin last April. On June 20, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) Board Liaisons shared the recommendations they had provided to the Board. Their recommendations to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees are:
– not to ratify the final draft of the Movement Charter as proposed; and
– support the Foundation in developing concrete, time-bound next steps on a more practical scale, allowing us all to evaluate progress, and see what to change or build on.

Non-ratification of the Charter by the WMF Board of Trustees would bring the project to a halt, even in the event of majority approval of the Charter by members and affiliates.

The Board of Directors of Wikimedia Canada has decided to ratify the Charter, believing that ratification : 
– Enables the Wikimedia Foundation to achieve its objectives of inclusion, transparency, and representativeness.
– Fulfills the 2030 Vision, which specifies that an effort must be made to ensure that all voices are heard and have a clear role in the decision-making processes that have an impact on them and on the movement.
– Allows the Foundation to align itself with the governance charters of major global organizations (such as OXFAM, UNICEF and the UN).

Wikimedia Canada hopes that ratification by numerous affiliates and members will further stimulate debate and discussion with the Foundation. This approach is intended to recognize the considerable volunteer and community efforts invested to date in continuing the process.

Wikimedia Canada strongly encourages eligible contributors and affiliates to ratify the Charter to further this important initiative.

Photo credit: Movement Charter Drafting Committee at the Wikimedia Summit 2024. Ekvidi – CC BY-SA 4.0