On October 8th, the UIAA celebrated the General Assembly in Kathmandu, Nepal kindly hosted by our member federation the Nepalese Mountaineering Association (NMA). It was a great honor for the UIAA to have the Assembly opened by the President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav .
President Yadav was so kind to hand out 4 UIAA awards to 2 male and 2 female Nepalese mountaineers for their extraordinary mountaineering achievements.
On Friday the 7th of October, 3 symposia were organized on actual topics which are of importance to the UIAA and its member federations: update on expedition possibilities in Himalayan host countries, an informative session on the backgrounds of running an Ice-climbing competition and last but not least a symposium on climate change and the recent developments. All symposia were well attended and well received. Reports on the various symposia will be made available. We thank all speakers for their valuable contributions.
On the day before, the Management Committee had a long meeting in which the accounts for 2010 and the budget for 2012 were presented and were approved unanimously. On Saturday the 8th of October, the General Assembly was held, unexpectedly chaired by UIAA Vice-President Jordi Colomer. This was necessary because of serious health problems of UIAA President Mike Mortimer who was only able to address the public during the closing diner.
Due to these health circumstances, President Mortimer announced he will step down from Presidency as from January 1st. Also Board member Silvio Calvi announced that he will step down from the Board at the same date. UIAA treasurer Jan Bonding already had announced not to complete the last year of his term. Therefore, as from January 1st, a small group of Management Committee members will assist the remaining members of the Board until the General Assembly will elect a new Board and Management Committee in Amsterdam, October 2012.
The Assembly dealt with a variety of issues. Decisions were made concerning a new financial policy including a conservative budget for 2012, and steps were taken towards finalizing the Strategic choices that will be made in 2012 concerning the direction of UIAA’s future policy. Commission Presidents reported about the latest achievements in Commissions work. Safety Commission President Jean Franck Charlet reported the still increasing numbers of UIAA safety label holders which generate increasing income for the work of the UIAA. Amongst other reports, Training Standards working group President Steve Long reported the remarkable steps that have been taken in implementing UIAA training standards in a growing number of UIAA member federations. It is clear that the professional approach in improving and implementing these training standards is much appreciated by the member federations. The Assembly approved a change to the statutes, whereas other changes were postponed until 2012 after some further work has been carried out.
At the very end of the Assembly, NMA President Zimba Zangbu Sherpa handed over the UIAA Banner to Frits Vrijlandt , President of our member Federation NKBV from the Netherlands, where the 2012 General Assembly will be hosted.
The UIAA gratefully said goodbye to the NMA, thanking them for their excellent organization and hospitality. We will move from one of the highest countries in the world to hold next year´s Assembly in the lowest country in the world.