Of course, and in the first place, we pay tribute to the numerous – and sometimes very impressive films – entered year after year by the national federations in the UNICA competition and to their authors.
We also refer to this family and friendly ambience among the participants coming from many countries, sharing their philosophical and religious backgrounds and their cultural values creating an atmosphere of openness proper to UNICA events, something that is perceived as so precious that we could not imagine doing without it.
This creation should be sustained and cherished and at the same time regularly adapted to new circumstances while ensuring respect for the spirit of its founders.
Personally I have always advocated a "step by step" approach when addressing problems. As the governing body of UNICA, we have maintained this policy in the last few years, even at the risk that one or more members were not willing or prepared to give full support to this policy, as we reported above.
The third "retiree" - if I may use that term - is Alois Urbanek, who took over from Franz Rienesl 11 years ago, after the latter's sudden death. Alois is a quiet, thoughtful, very friendly person, ready to help at all times, He is indeed is equipped with all the virtues and qualities that a person belonging to a management team must have. His leaving will anyway represent a bitter loss for UNICA.
However, I am confident that, given the personality and the qualifications of candidates, the new committee will be able to maintain the UNICA ship on the right course in the future, manage to bypass dangerous cliffs and overcome all storms. I have absolutely no doubt that the new team that will emerge out of today's poll will spare no efforts to make all necessary adjustments, be they structural or organisational, all this with due respect, not only for the Statutes, but also for something of great importance, that is the essence and spirit of UNICA.
Two meritorious members are also leaving their position in the Committee this year.
I refer first to Jan Essing, who took over the position of Secretary general from Arie de Jong 10 years ago and has ever since performed his duties to everyone's satisfaction. Jan Essing is endowed with a lively, analytical mind and equipped with a keen sense of pragmatism, a gift that has been most useful in recent years as he was my number one contact person . It is common knowledge that harmonious cooperation between the President and the Secretary is absolutely crucial for proper management and successful administration. Jan Essing's skills will probably be greatly missed by UNICA and its new president.
Last but not least, dear delegates, I would like to express my gratitude for the support that you never failed to give me and my friends in the Committee in the recent years, and thank you for the confidence that you have extended to me during this period between 2009 when I was elected in Gdansk 2015 and now in St. Petersburg.
Thank you very much indeed and ...
Long live UNICA!
Photos by Julia Obraztcova