More than 130 participants representing 29 National Movements gathered between May 16 to 19th at Hotel Globus in Prague as delegates at YMCA Europe´s 2012 General Assembly.
Under the title “Roots and Leaves” the programme included a mix of key note speeches, discussion groups, devotions, presentations and elections for every place on the Executive Committee.
The composition of the our Executive Committee is the following :
President : Ed Eggink (The Netherlands)
Vice President : Stepan Cerny (Czech Republic)
Treasurer : Mike Will (Scotland)
Recording Secretary : Beate Turck (Germany)
Birgir Urbanic Asgeirsson (Iceland)
Eva Magassy (Hungary)
Ion State (Romania)
Kie Cummings (England)
Martin Winter (Germany)
On behalf of the newly elected Executive, Ed Eggink thanked all delegates and congratulated all National Movements that had put forward candidates for the elections.
This year´s General Assembly focused on “Peace/Justice/Democracy” following one of the signature programmes described in our Strategic Plan (2011 – 2016). Vardan Hambardzumyan, Peter Posner and Doris Kligenhagen were our keynote speakers and they shared inspiring reflections, examples and proposals on each of the three topics. The participants were given the space to react to the keynote speeches and discussion groups came up with a number of recommendations that will be used by YMCA Europe in the implementation of our strategy.
In his speech and report, YMCA Europe´s Secretary General Juan Simoes Iglesias established a relation between the “roots” of our European movement and the outcome of our work, historic developments and actions, calling them the visible and fresh “leaves”. Juan reported about the main highlights of the past year and focused on the implementation of YE Strategic Plan.
Devotions were conducted by COG (Christian Orientation Group) and also focused on the topic of the General Assembly and the flagship programmes that were used by the keynote speakers.
Both the YES and the Youth Policy groups were highlighted as clear and effective platforms for youth participation and development in the frame of our European YMCAs. Thirty four young people came to Prague as participants at another successful YES Seminar.
Youth empowerment was in the centre of our work during the General Assembly aligning with the World Alliance of YMCAs´ strategic direction shared by Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, WAY´s Secretary General. Johan Vilhelm also attended the European National General Secretaries meeting in which the creation of a specific working platform for this group was presented and discussed.
Prague´s City Hall hosted the presentation of the YMCA Europe´s Festival LOVE2LIVE. Mrs. Helena Chudomelova , member of the City Council expressed her gratitude to the YMCA for choosing Prague again for the 2013 event.
Different local and national initiatives were presented at the traditional “Market Place”. Those proposals involving young people from across Europe and the reports included in the working documents, show how vibrant and diverse our European movement is.
All delegates showed their appreciation and gratitude to Peter Posner for his outstanding contribution to YMCA Europe during the past 16 years serving at the Executive Committee as Treasurer and President. Peter´s wife Gill and their daughters Helen and Claire also attended a special celebration, in which YMCA Europe and representatives from National Movements congratulated our past President. Peter “officially” joined the “past-Presidents´ club” together with Terry Ratcliffe and Jan Nissen.
Thank you to all participants for an inspiring, useful and exciting General Assembly. A very special note of gratitude to all those who contributed to a successful event.
Thank you for your work and for continuing adding leaves to our common tree!