A.A.’s Twelve Steps are principles for personal recovery. The Twelve Traditions ensure the unity of the Fellowship. ...the Twelve Concepts for World Service provide a group of related principles to help ensure that various elements of A.A.’s service structure remain responsive and responsible to those they serve.
The ’short form’ of the Concepts, which follows, was prepared by the 1974 General Service Conference.
The Twelve Concepts for World Service
Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services
should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly
every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of
our whole Society in its world affairs.
To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element
of A.A.--the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations,
staffs, committees, and executives--with a traditional "Right of Decision."
At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional
"Right of Participation," allowing a voting representation in
reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
Throughout our structure, a traditional "Right of Appeal"
ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances
receive careful consideration.
The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active
responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the
trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board.
The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal
instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service
affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon
tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.
The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of
overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately
incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their
ability to elect all the directors of these entities.
Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our
future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised
by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees.
Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal
service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined.
The trustees should always have the best possible committees,
corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition,
qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always
be matters of serious concern.
The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition,
taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power;
that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle;
that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority
over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote,
and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never
be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it
never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves,
it will always remain democratic in thought and action.
Reprinted from "Alcoholics Anonymous ®", page 574, 575 with permission, Copyright © 1939, 1955, 1976, 2001 by
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services ®, Inc.