All about the 128th IOC Session

The election of the host cities for the Olympic Winter Games 2022 and the Youth Olympic Winter Games 2020 will be the highlights of the upcoming 128th IOC Session, taking place from 31 July to 3 August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Many other important decisions affecting the Olympic Movement will also be taken, both at the Session and the IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting preceding it from 28 to 30 July.

The entire IOC Session will be broadcast live on Tune in to see where the Games will go in 2022 – to Almaty (Kazakhstan) or Beijing (China)*; and who will host the Youth Olympic Winter Games in 2020 – Brasov (Romania) or Lausanne (Switzerland)**!

What is the IOC Session?  

It is the general meeting of the full IOC membership that takes place at least once a year. The Session is the supreme decision-making body of the IOC and the only one that can make modifications to the Olympic Charter. While the Session may delegate certain powers to the Executive Board, the most important decisions are taken by the Session, which votes on proposals put forward by the EB.

Sessions usually take place over a two- or three-day period. In the years when Olympic Games take place, the Session traditionally precedes them. An extraordinary Session can be convened upon the initiative of the IOC President, or on the written request of at least one third of the IOC members.

What kinds of decisions does the IOC Session take?
  • It elects the host city of the Olympic Games, seven years before they are held.
  • It elects the IOC President, Vice-Presidents, the other members of the Executive Board and – on the latter’s proposal – IOC members.
  • It decides on modifications to the Olympic Charter.
  • It decides on the inclusion or exclusion of a sport on the programme of the Olympic Games.
  • It decides on the recognition (or exclusion) of International Federations, National Olympic Committees or any other sports organisation that submits a request.
  • It decides on the cities that will host forthcoming Sessions (the President decides on the location of Extraordinary Sessions).
  • It approves the reports and accounts of the IOC.
What procedures does the IOC Session follow?

The President, or, in his absence, the longest-serving Vice-President present chairs the Session.

  • The quorum required for a Session is half the total membership of the IOC, plus one.
  • Each Member has a vote, and voting by proxy is not allowed. Abstentions and spoiled or blank votes are not counted.
  • In general, an IOC Member must abstain from participating in a vote when it concerns a city (Olympic Games, Session, Congress), a person (IOC Member) or any other matter from his or her country / NOC.
  • The decisions are taken by the majority of votes cast. However, a majority of two-thirds of the Members present at the Session is required for any modification to the Fundamental Principles and Rules of the Olympic Charter.
  • The election of a host city must take place in a country not having a candidate for the Olympic Games in question.
  • A city is declared elected when it obtains the majority of the votes cast. If there is no majority, the city with the fewest votes is eliminated, and IOC Members proceed to another round of voting. The procedure is repeated until an absolute majority is obtained. 

* cities listed in the order of drawing of lots

** cities listed in alphabetical order

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