ESU - International Council
The International Council meets annually, usually alternating between the U.K. and an overseas location.
The 2012 I.C. Meeting was held in Istanbul in September in conjunction with the World Members' Conference. There were no Canadian celegates in attendance.
Recent meetings were:
The Chairmanship rotates between the U.K. and the United States every three years. The current Chairman is Mrs. Patricia Schroeder (USA), who succeded Lord Hunt of Wirral, and the Deputy Chairman is Dame Mary Richardson. Mr William Miller holds the position of Chairman-Emeritus. Mrs. Schroeder 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 2011/2013 is Riza Kadilar of Turkey, succeeding Garo Keheyan of Cyprus.
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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