The International Council

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ESU - International Council

The International Council meets annually, usually alternating between the U.K. and an overseas location.

The 2013 I.C. Meeting was held in London in October. The 2014 meeting wil be in September in Genoa in conjunction with the launch of ESU Italy.

Recent meetings were:
London 2013
Istanbul 2012 (n conjunction with the World Members' Conference)
Philadelphia 2011
Tirana 2010
London 2009
Edinburgh 2008 (in conjunction with the World members' Conference)
Tokyo 2007
London 2006

The Chairmanship rotates between the U.K. and the United States every twe years. The current Chairman is Josiah Bunting III (USA), who succeded Mrs. Patricia Schroeder (USA), and the Deputy Chairman is Dame Mary Richardson. Mr. Bunting and Dame Mary Richardson are currently the Chairmen of their respective national ESUs.

The Presidency is for a two-year term and a new President is elected by the Council from a member country other than England & Wales and the USA. The President for 2013/2015 is Marina Tsitsishvili of Georgia, succeeding Riza Kadilar of Turkey.


Dartmouth House hosted the 2013 IC meeting with Josiah Bunting III in the chair. Mr. Bunting was elected Chairman of the ESU of the United States in June this year and continued the rotation of IC Chairman between the UK and US. Dame Mary Richardson continues as Vice-chairman.
There were 52 delegates and guests from 26 countries including The Ukraine, Italy, Belarus and Yemen. The latter country has been accepted for membership but has not yet held a formal launch.

Mr. Bunting opened the meeting by asking for a vote of thanks to the past-chairman of the Council, Patricia Schroeder (ESU-USA) and to retiring Chairman Emeritus, Bill Miller. Both were heartily endorsed by the Council.

Marina Tsitsishvili was elected to the presidency fot 2013-2015.

Constitution Revisited
Claire Clausen, ESU Denmark, agreed to head a small committee to look at the constitution. While it has not caused any serious problems, the "St Petersburg Constitution (2003)" does not meld well nor replace the original (1975) constitution.
The committee will look at the format and make recommendation on which parts of the 2003 constitution should be considered as amendments to the 1975 document and which parts could best be cast as by-laws.

Peter Kyle, Secretary General of the IC, presented the accounts on behalf of Alan Cox who has decided to retire from his position as Honorary Treasurer. The meeting asked that its thanks be conveyed to Alan for his work over many years.

The dichotomy between the countries which are 'native' English and those which are 'learned' English means that there is no one good plan for increasing membership. The 'native' English countries tend to rely on social programs to bring in members and hence donations. The 'learned' countries have social programs as secondary activities.
ESU Argentina (Malcolm Rodman) holds an annual lunch with the British Ambassador as the speaker. This attracts business people, resulting in some new members.
Italy made a presentation on its progress as a Steering Committee and as a request for full status. Their bid was accepted. Belarus and Ukraine will wait another year before making a firm bid.

ESU Spain
After a very positive start and a successful launch in 2012, ESU Spain has found it difficult to proceed. Dartmouth House is working with the British Council to try to get matters back on track.

Next IC
Several countries put their names forward as potential hosts for 2014. Italy suggested that it would be convenient for all if their launch was combined with the IC meeting, and this offer was accepted.
The approach, in future, will be to have alternate meetings in London. Malta has offered to host in 2016.

World Members' Conference
It was clear that many members expected that the centennial WMC would be in London, which raised the question of having two conferences at 3-year intervals or a 6-year gap. While there was no firm resolution, the possibility bruited about was for Regional Members' Conferences, 'Regions' being, as yet, undefined. One possibility is that a conference could be held on a cruise ship.

British Ambassadors/British Council
British Ambassadors are being more and more oriented to trade issues and not cultural issues. The British Council is working under reduced budgets. This may create opportunities for the ESU to become the de facto focal point for English culture.

Social Program
The Dartmouth Staff arranged an excellent social program to complement the meetings. The highlight was a backstage visit to the Globe Theatre and the as-yet-unfinished Sam Wanamaker Theatre adjacent to the Globe. Our guide was Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Education for the Globe. A dinner cruise on the Thames rounded out the weekend's events.

To sum up
Three busy days. Excellent opportunities to renew old friendships and make new friends. It was a particular pleasure to see Ambassador Sadaaki Numata again. We first met when he hosted an Ottawa Symphony Garden Party at his residence while he was the Japanese Ambassador to Canada.
The Dartmouth Hose staff is to be congratulated on the excellent arrangements.


There were no Canadian celegates in attendance.


The 2011 meeting was held in Philadelphia at the invitation of the ESU of the USA and took place in the two days ahead of their annual meeting. The formal meetings were on the premises of the Union League, one of the three remaining such clubs of the 700 formed in the aftermath of the War between the States.

Pat Schroeder introduced the newly appointed Secretary-General, Peter Kyle, who also holds the position of Director-General of the ESU of the Commonwealth, replacing Mike Lake.

It had been expected that one of the main agenda items would be approval of a revised constitution and by-laws for the IC, but the complexity of the task against a background of major changes in personnel at Dartmouth House and concurrent proposals to revise the Royal Charter and the constitution of the ESU of the Commonwealth, made it necessary to defer action. However, at several points in the meeting, draft revisions were tested against the actual situation, although not applied.

The Council elected Riza Kadilar of Turkey as President for the coming year with the closest possible of election results. This was one of the occasions when proposals for constitutional change were reviewed. These were proposals on voting and terms of office. Brazil (2013) and London (2014) put forward invitations for the next two IC meetings. London is starting to look at a centennial WMC. This could leave a 6 year gap between WMCs unless a host comes forward for 2015. One suggestion was that holding a WMC on a cruise ship out of Miami or Barcelona would obviate the need for booking multiple hotels and arranging meals, making the organization simpler.

The meeting closed with a half-day of workshops dealing with several aspects of the future of the ESU. Ms Fisher took extensive notes of the plenary session and will distribute them from Dartmouth House.

As well as the formal meetings there were several social events, including a birthday party! Deborah Webster, the US representative on the Council, invited everyone to a party in honour of her husband's 60th birthday. An optional outing took us to the original Dupont gunpowder factory and the 175 room Dupont home which is now an Americana museum.

Personal Notes - John Wright

Joyce and I were delighted to renew the acquaintance of Ambassador Numata, who we first met at a Garden Party at the Japanese Embassy in Ottawa. He is now Chairman of ESU Japan.

We decided to drive to Philadelphia. On the way there we stopped overnight in Gettysburg and took a tour of the battlefield the following morning. One of the rooms we used at the Union League had two panels with Lincoln's address carved and gilded. "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal....". Between Gettysburg and Philadelphia is Lancaster County the settlement of the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch who eschew the use of motors and things electrical. We paused for a while in the Amish town of Intercourse where the streets are marked with a lane for horse drawn vehicles.

On the way home we visited Valley Forge and stayed overnight in Syracuse, a favourite shopping venue for Canadians.

The Liberty Bell

Pat Schroeder congratulates Riza Kadilar on his election to the Presidency, against the background of a poster for WMC 2012

Cannon on Little Round Top dominate the battlefield at Gettysburg

This model of horse drawn carriage is a common sight in Lancaster County


The 2010 meeting was held in Tirana, Albania, the formal meetings being in the Government's Cabinet Meeting Room. As well as the formal meeting there were several social activities, including a bus tour. There was also an opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister at the opening of book fair for University Students, sponsored by the ESU. Delegates were delighted to see representation from Australia (Chris and Gillian Perriam) after several year's absence.

Much of the meeting was taken up with discussion on revisions to the Constitution of the I.C., which (hopefully) will be formalized at the 2011 meeting in Philadelphia. This work precluded the presentation of "Country Reports", so that the insights on the problems and successes of other ESUs were not available to us.

The results of ballotting for President and for the location of the next World Members' Conference were announced. Garo Keheyan, ESU Cyprus, will be the President of the International Counci for the coming year. He was duly installed by Arne Zettersten, the outgoing President, and by Lord Hunt. Turkey will be the location for the next WMC to be held in September 2012. There was a brief discussion on the Centennial WMC (2018) and the thought that London would be the natural location.

The main social activity was a day trip to Kruja, a mountain town, about a 2 hour drive north of Tirana. It is home to a modern museum dedicated to Alexander the Great. We were arssured that if we wished to go to the top of the mountain we would be aple to see the lights of Bari, Italy. After a delightful al fresco lunch, there was a market to explore.

We were made to feel very welocme in Albania. Tirana, like most European capitals is a mix of old and new, affluent and less so. We were quite comfortable walking around. Near the Hotel Roegner is a very large park and while exploring it one day I chanced upon a Commonwealth War Graves site with about 40 headstones, mostly aircrew. It was well tended and obviusly treated respectfully

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