The formal COSPAR activities in the triennium were governed by the biannual international congresses, the 31st and the 32nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly and Related Events held in 1996 in Birmingham, UK, and in 1998 in Nagoya, Japan. Following a decision of the COSPAR council during the 31st Assembly in Birmingham, the COSPAR Charter and By-Laws were modified in order to create a new category of affiliates for organisations or individuals willing to support financially the COSPAR activities. The changes of the Charter and By-Laws, allowing the installation of these ‘COSPAR Associated Supporters’, were subject to voting by correspondence and accepted.

The 32nd COSPAR Assembly was held 12—19 July 1998 in Nagoya, Japan, with Y. Kamide as Chair, Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University. It was connected with the 40th Anniversary of COSPAR, which was established by ICSU in October 1958. In addition, the 58th COSPAR bureau meeting and the 32nd COSPAR council meeting were held. The most important item of the agenda was the election of the President, the Vice-Presidents, the remaining Bureau members and the Finance Committee members for the period 1998—2002. The presiding President G. Haerendel (Germany) as well as the Vice-Presidents L.J. Lanzerotti (USA) and A. Nishida (Japan) were re-elected.

Another item on the agenda concerned the election of the Nomination Committee. Under current COSPAR By-laws a new Nomination Committee must be elected every two years, whereas the COSPAR officers are elected for a period of four years. In order to homogenise the rules, a modification of the By-laws allowing an extension of the term of Nomination Committee members from two to four years was discussed and subjected to voting by correspondence.

The 33rd COSPAR Scientific Assembly (COSPAR 2000) will be held in Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland, 16—23 July 2000 with K. Stepien of Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory as Programme Chair. In 2002 the 34th COSPAR Assembly will be held jointly with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and in combination with the Second World Space Congress (WSC-II) in Houston, Texas, USA, 11—20 October 2002. The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will serve as Local Organising Committee.

H. Klapper, IUCr Representative

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Updated 6th June 1999