Ready for two more years!
Vilnius was great! It was quite cold with some rain and even some light snow, but the Hotel and Conference Centre were great and the meeting of the General Assembly didn’t allow for many outside moments. All in all, the meeting went smoothly and I am very happy and proud of the work that the Secretariat delivered! It starts to become a habit and people will soon get used to and eventually underestimate it; but for me this is a source of never ending pleasure! From the more political point of view, the meeting will always be evaluated in different ways by different people with different interests. However, left aside the results of the elections which is not up to me to comment, the General Assembly managed to agree, for the first time in the history of the organisation, on long-term Strategic Priorities which will guide us for the next six years and encompass the actions and activities that we will develop at least in the next two. On a more personal note, the General Assembly also approved, by a very clear majority, the renewal of my mandate as Secretary General, which means that I will stay for two extra years, until the end of May 2009. I am very happy for that, not only because of the personal satisfaction, but also because I could see in Vilnius that many people share the opinion that I and my team are doing a good work. I felt very much supported both by my colleagues in the Secretariat and in the Bureau, but also by a huge majority of Member Organisations, which gives me an extra motivation to keep working together with and for the benefit of all. Now, in about a month, the present Bureau will end its term and a new one will start its own. I will certainly miss many of my present Bureau colleagues, but I also have to confess that I look forward to start working with the new ones. The note of stability will anyway be given by the Secretariat team, which I sincerely hope to keep for as long as possible. The only negative aspect of the General Assembly is that I came back to Brussels amazingly tired… As all the workaholics, I get my energy out of adrenaline instead of using the nutrients as normal people do. When the thrill is gone, tiredness takes control of my body and soul. It always happens to me that the few days after these kinds of events are the more difficult ever. Fortunately, I’ve managed to survive the week and yesterday was able to get to bed immediately before I collapsed. I slept for almost twelve hours and woke up this morning feeling much better. And the sun is shining!