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Twelve Concepts for World Service
(Short Form)

As adopted by the 12th annual General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous on April 26, 1962


The Twelve Concepts (Short Form) I.   Final Responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole fellowship.

II.   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.

III.   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”.

IV.   At all reasonable levels, we ought to maintain traditional “Right of Participation”, allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.

V.   Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

VI.   The Conference recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world servicematters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board.

VII.   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.

VIII.   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.

IX.   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.

X.   Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined.

XI.   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.

XII.   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.


Copyright 1962 © Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous, William Griffith Wilson (Bill W) and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, M.D. (Dr. Bob); 1st AA meeting ever, June 10th, 1935.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. has neither endorsed nor approved of Welcome to Silkworth.info. Nor is Welcome to Silkworth.info affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. or any service entity of AAWS, Inc. which includes The AA Grapevine, Inc. Alcoholics Anonymous®, the book, Alcoholics Anonymous®, The Big Book®, the book, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions® are registered trademarks of AAWS, Inc. The Grapevine®, and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.
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