segunda-feira, 16 de novembro de 2009


After Bucharest in October 2008, it was the turn of Tunis and District 9010 to host an International Conference of Inter Country Committees (ICC) on October 23/24 2009.
Lassaad Mestiri, PDG of D9010 and National Coordinator for the Maghreb ICCs, chaired this conference with the agreement of the ICC Executive Council.
Former RI Directors Julio Sorjus and Raffaele Pallotta, Past RIVP & President of the ICC Executive Council, Serge Gouteyron, DG 9010 Youssef Leffad, National Coordinators, DGs, PDGs, DGEs and DGNs, ICC Chairmen, Club Presidents, Rotarians and partners – making a total representation of 180 participants from 15 countries.
The role of the ICCs
Serge Gouteyron reminded us of conditions in 1950 when the first ICC was created between Germany and France, at a time when everyone was placing their hopes of peace in the intergovernmental organisations which had been recently created. One hoped that these would guarantee the expression of human values upon which civilisations are based.
It was in the same spirit that ICCs were started, making them one of the oldest Rotary programmes – dedicated to the advancement of Peace.
Activities of the ICCs
Next, National Coordinators spoke –
Ferit Biren (Turkey) underlined the role of ICCs in the Balkans.
Gianni Jandolo (Italy) pointed out our role with the countries of the South.
Marcel Tilkin (Belgium) stressed the extent of the North South cooperation.
Uwe Richardsen demonstrated how his country maintained, via the ICCs, world-wide contacts.
Yaovi Tigoe (Gabon & Central Africa) told us that of the 10 countries in his district, 3 are at war.
Andrez Ludek (Poland) reminded us how the ICCs had been responsible for the rebirth of Rotary in the countries of Central & Eastern Europe.
Daniel Navarro spoke of ICCs as the basis of forming exciting international relationships:
Eclador Nana (Ivory Coast & District 9100 with its 14 countries) showed a moving video asking us to face the inadmissible situation of the water problem in Abidjan.
Valentin Cismaru (Romania) was delighted by the growth of ICCs in his country.
Issa Togo (Russia) talked proudly of their 15 years of ICC activities with France.
Gwenael de Bergevin (France) recalled the humanitarian, vocational and educational projects carried through in 2008 by the Districts, Clubs and French ICCs in 15 countries.
M. Mahmoud Maamouri, former Minister, Ambassador and Past President of the Rotary Club of Nabeul Neapolis. called upon ICCs to work for the establishment of international understanding and tolerance. He appealed to Rotarians to subscribe to world-wide solidarity and to bear more witness in our daily lives of the Rotarian values of brotherhood, dignity and respect for others,
A vision for the future of the Rotary Foundation
Several speakers accentuated the priorities of the plan of Rotary Foundation’s future
( which, we might stress, dovetails with the objectives of the United Nations Millennium proposals) –
· Risks of potential conflicts anywhere in the world, and the provision of water (Bernard Bellemin Noel – France)
· Universal education, the number one foundation for civil peace
(Ovidui Cos – Romania)
· The development of relations between contact clubs at communal meetings
(Mohammad Ghamman DGE D9010)
· The foundation of Study Centres for Peace & Conflict Resolution – the most promising project of the recent years of Rotary & Foundation
(Gerard Morel– France)
· Our fight for Polio Eradication, still to be waged in Nigeria and its bordering countries. Marie Irene Richmond Ahoua (Ivory Coast)
· ‘The strength of the baobab is in its roots’ says the African proverb. This means that vocational service and economic development are the roots of Rotary. That is the example of the pineapples sold by French Clubs
(Eclador Nana – Ivory Coast)
· We all have the means to help in the advance of Peace but do we still have the will to do so? ((Nadia Benaoumeur – Algeria)
· Nowadays the rapidity of technological changes is not always accompanied by a change of attitude. Rotary International is confronted by this problem and must not only adapt but also anticipate the concerns of young people.
(Gianni Jandolo – Italy)
Peace in the Mediterranean
In Tunis, we were most concerned with relations between the Mediterranean countries. If the 2 shores continue to drift apart, then RI must bring its social expertise to bear, as a partner with inter-governmental agencies, to effect unity in the area. (Hassan Zargouni – Tunisia)
The richness of the civilisations bordering the Mediterranean, as their history and religions, have fashioned the world in which we live today and those values which we share. One thing more will be needed in the future – faith in humanity. On the Agenda for the Board’s November meeting is the creation of a Rotary Action Group ‘Peace in the Mediterranean’. (Raffaell Palotta - Italy)
Tunisian youth and its leaders of tomorrow have given us hope through their experiences while still keeping a careful watch on the regions of conflict.
(Kais Ben Amar, Myriam Ben Salem and Manuel Harrathi – Rotaract)
Their vision was not very far from the unacceptable situation suffered by women, children, the poor and the sick in the regions of the South. Rotary’s influence there is insufficient because its presence is limited and there is a natural reticence to become involved in the huge problems of that society.
Be that as it may, Rotary has a duty to consider and act in the struggle against all forms of violence. (Najib Zakka – France)
We are the Future
Now more than ever, Rotary must show, in all its activities aimed at the betterment of the quality of life, that spirit of brotherhood to enable each Rotarian to be useful to Rotary and to others.
Our Past is a guarantee of the Future. (Julio Sorjus – Spain).
Summing Up
After the presentation of the Charter to the ICC Belgium-Tunisia, Chairman Lassaad thanked all those attending and in particular those teams which had helped him, his wife Jouda and Najoua Azouz for the perfect organisation of this Conference.
Serge Gouteyron thanked Lassaad for his enthusiastic acceptance of the task of the organisation of this Tunis Conference of ICCs. He further pointed out that if, after Cannes, Bucharest, Birmingham and Tunis the ICC programme was undergoing a rapid expansion, this was because there is a great expectation from all Rotarians for Peace.
The ICCs are today responding to that realisation of the expectation of Peace.
We thank our Tunisian friends for their Home Hospitality, the visit to the Bay of Tunis and Carthage, Sidi Bousaid and the Friendship Dinner,
Also for the Charter Presentation ICC Belgium/Tunisia held in the presence and residence of the Belgian Ambassador (former residence of President Bourguiba).
October 2009
PHOTOS: Tunis, capital city of Tunisia, Bab Saudone; Serge Gouteyron, ICC chairman and the Embassy from Belgiun, in Tunis

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