(Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme)

The Articles of Association (AoA) define the purpose of the UIAA and the principles its activities are based on. They explain the rights and responsibilities of its member associations and describe the powers and duties of its organisational bodies: the General Assembly, Executive Board, Management Committee, Auditors, Court and Commissions.

The annual General Assembly makes the decisions concerning the UIAA’s role, its activities and its budget. It also elects the President, the Executive Board and members of the Management Committee. The work of the UIAA is supported by a secretariat located in Bern, Switzerland.


UIAA Office
c/o Schweizer Alpen-Club SAC
Monbijoustrasse 61
Postfach CH-3000
Bern 14

T: +41 (0)31 370 1828

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UIAA Organisation


The Board is elected for a four-year period and consists of the President, Vice-President, Secretary General, Treasurer and four other members. Together they carry out the decisions made by the General Assembly, control finances and support both the commissions and office staff.


Frits Vrijlandt

Frits Vrijlandt has climbed the seven highest peaks in the world’s seven continents. All at the first attempt. He was the second Dutchman to do so and the first from his country to successfully scale the north side of Mount Everest. He has been President of the UIAA since 2012.

Despite hailing from the one of the ‘low countries’, Frits fostered a love of the mountains at a young age, a relationship he defines as ‘friendship, beauty and fulfillment’. Frits reached 4,000m for the first time in 1987 when ascending Weissmies, Switzerland, before negotiating some of the world’s tallest peaks, culminating in the highest of all, Mount Everest in 2001.

With the close support of the Executive Board, Management Committee and the UIAA office staff, Frits spearheads the federation’s climbing and mountaineering movement which comprises wide-ranging responsibilities from sport competition, medical issues, safety standards, through to sustainability and mountain protection.

New Board Members, October 2019

As voted at the 2019 UIAA General Assembly, the new composition of the UIAA EB is as follows:

Frits Vrijlandt, President
Zoljargal Banzragch, Vice President
Lode Beckers, General Secretary
Peter Muir, Treasurer
Helène Denis, Member
Mahmood Hashemi, Member
Yongfeng Wang, Member

This area will be updated shortly with details of all Board members.

UIAA Management Committee

Members are elected for a four-year period and consist of the Executive Board, representatives from the five largest member associations, one representative from each continent and three to five representatives elected by the General Assembly. They make recommendations to the General Assembly on matters such as budget and admission/expulsion of member associations. In addition, the Management Committee creates projects, oversees the work of commissions, assigns responsibilities and has the power to dissolve commissions.

The Management Committee came into being with the new Articles of Association on 1 January, 2008. Its functions are described in the Articles of Association.

The Management Committee is responsible for implementing all the policy directives and decisions made by the General Assembly. This includes preparing the agenda for the General Assembly and the preparation of the annual accounts.

The Management Committee also makes recommendations to the General Assembly about long-term strategies for the UIAA, rules and regulations that are voted on by the General Assembly. This includes the admission of new members, the creation and dissolution and the tasks of Commissions, the appointments of a President of each Commission upon recommendation of the Commission itself, recommendations for any proposed changes to these Articles of Association, recommendations on the terms and conditions of contracts to be concluded with third parties, membership issue and to decide the official means of information of the UIAA.


The work of the UIAA is conducted through the work of its commissions which consist of members who volunteer their expertise in a particular field of mountaineering. The commissions are: Access, Anti-DopingIce ClimbingMedical, Mountain Protection, Mountaineering, Safety and Youth. Their work includes managing the Mountain Qualification Label, the Safety Label, the Mountain Protection Award, the global youth event series, the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Tour and issues relating to access, mountain medicine and anti-doping.

Continental Organisations

The UIAA recognises continental organisations in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Asia: Union of Asian Alpine Associations, (UAAA)

Europe: EUMA (European Union of Mountaineering Associations)

Latin America: Pan-American Union of Mountaineering and Climbing (UPAME)

Management Committee Membership

As confirmed by the UIAA General Assembly (October, 2019)


Executive Board
Frits Vrijlandt (President), Netherlands
Zoljargal Banzragch (Vice President), Mongolia
Lode Beckers (General Secretary), Belgium
Peter Muir (Treasurer), Canada
Helène Denis (Member), France
Mahmood Hashemi (Member), Iran
Yongfeng Wang (Member), China

Largest Federation Representatives
Juan Garrigos i Toro, Spain
Francoise Jaquet, Switzerland
Josef Klenner, Germany

Continental Representatives
Africa: Greg Moseley, Republic of South Africa
Asia: Christine Pae, Korea
Central and South America: Martin Lascano, Argentina
Europe: Anne Arran, United Kingdom
Oceania: Stuart Gray, New Zealand
North America: Peter Muir, Canada (interim)

Representative Members

Simon Alden, Malta
Amit Chowdhury, India
Jochem Driessen, Netherlands
Georges Elziere, France
Reza Zarei, Iran

NEXT UIAA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING: 1-2 May 2020, Skopje (North Macedonia)

About the UIAA


The staff working in the UIAA Office in Bern, Switzerland are responsible for running the daily operations of the UIAA.

The UIAA Court

The UIAA Court comprises President Pierre Humblet and three other elected members.

According to its Statutes, the UIAA Court decides about:

a) conflicts of competence and other possible disputes between the UIAA, UIAA members and bodies;

b) disputes between UIAA member associations;

c) conflicts between a UIAA-related party and a non-UIAA-related party (e.g. a potential UIAA member association), if the regulations of the non-UIAA-related party or a specific agreement provide for.

Pierre Humblet

Pierre Humblet, President of the UIAA Court, joined the UIAA in 1992 as a Council member (equivalent to the current Management Committee). At the time he was President of the Belgian Alpine Club, a position he had occupied for 13 years. He has since been re-elected several times as a Council member in the experts’ category. Among other positions he chaired a working party reporting on insurance issues (he is a lawyer specialized in liability and insurance matters). Pierre was one of the founders of the Legal Experts Working Group and later he became the chair of that Group within the Mountaineering Commission and represented the UIAA at several European authorities. Furthermore, he was a member of the Discipline and Appeal UIAA body (having been Belgium arbitrator with the Olympic Committee). At the beginning of the 2000s he was elected vice-president of the Mountaineering Commission. In 2004 he became the UIAA vice-president and when the President resigned at the 2005 UIAA General Assembly in Singapore, the Assembly asked him to be President during the coming year with the task of presenting a reform project at the next General Assembly meeting. At the end of that difficult time he went back to the Mountaineering Commission where he was elected as President,  a position he held for nearly a decade. Pierre is now a UIAA Court President, an organ he initiated in his reform project.

 Denis Poncelin

Denis Poncelin’s passion for the alpine word begun with bouldering in Fontainebleau. He then began spending his summers in Chamonix, climbing  nearly all of the major routes on the Mont-Blanc range, and then scaling numerous hard routes on the 4000m Alpine summits. Travelling overseas, he has rock climbed in North America and  various 6000m peaks in South America and the Himalayas.

Joigning the Club Alpin Français in 1974, he improved his technical skills and became a «mountain leader». He is serving a second term as Président of the CAF Grenoble Isère. Graduating from the « Institut d’Études Politiques » de Paris, Denis was a civil servant in the French Ministry of Sports, head of regional agencies, notably the famous « École Nationale de Ski et d’Alpinisme » de Chamonix. He is now retired, but still advises the regional prefect of Grenoble as a « Technical Counsellor » in mountain safety and regional economy regarding climate change.

Marco del zotto

Marco del Zotto’s professional background is in judicial and extrajudicial consulting activities in civil and criminal law, mainly in the areas of business law, corporate, banking and industrial sectors and in the areas of civil and criminal liability. He spent seven years as a member of the supervisory board of a multinational company in Italy, has worked as Professor at the medical facility of the University of Padua in legal subjects for the Masters of Medicine in the Mountains and since 2009, Marco has been Professor in legal subjects at the National School of Alpine Rescue. A member of the Club Alpino Italiano and a lover of being outdoors, he has worked in both the mountains and sea as a ski and sailing instructor since the early 1990s.

Franz Stämpfli

Franz Stämpfli works as a lawyer and public notary at his own office in Bern. He was President of the Swiss Alpine Club from 1999 to 2005. During that period, he was a member of the UIAA Council. Between 2006 and 2016 he was a member of the Executive Council of the National Olympic Committee of Switzerland. He is currently President of the Swiss Alpine Rescue, member of the council of the REGA, the Swiss Air Rescue, and President of  ICAR, the International Commission of Alpine Rescue.

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