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Wednesday 4 January 2012, by Jacques Fröchen
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2nd EMAN General Assembly - Minutes
(Euro Mediterranean Academic Network) November 22nd, 2011 in Rabat, Morocco
The second EMAN General Assembly was held in Rabat, Morocco, on November 22nd, 2011 during the 4th GID-Parmenides Scientific Conference - A Mediterranean Science Area: “Water and sanitation: health challenges and risks in the Mediterranean region”

Participants: Kada Allab (Algeria), Doudou Ba (Senegal), Georges Bahr (Lebanon), Catherine Bréchignac (France), Maurizio Brunori (Italy), André Capron (France), Ilan Chet (Deputy SG for research at the Union for the Mediterranean, Barcelona), Yohanan Friedmann (Israel), Jacques Fröchen (France), Federico Garcia Novo (Spain), Michèle gendreau-Massaloux (Mission inter-ministérielle Union pour la Méditerranée, France), François Guinot (France), Fadhel Htira (Tunisia), Romano de Arantes e Oliveira (Portugal), Bruno Rostand (Cyprus), Pavao Rudan (Croatia), Albert Sasson (Morocco), Francis Segond (France), Perko Vukotic (Montenegro).

Apologies: Omar Fassi-Fehri (Maroc), Yucel Kanpolat (Turquie), Mustafa Khamis (Aut. Palestine), Ljubisa Rakic (Serbie), Yehia Halim Zaky (Égypte).

Eman General Assembly - Rabat 2011
Maurizio Brunori, actual President of EMAN and André Capron, President of the GID and Honor President of EMAN, during the meeting in Rabat.

Agenda:

- Welcome of the participants;
- Communications;
- Modification of the Statutes;
- Vacancy of one Vice-President;
- The activities of the GID;
- New initiatives;
- Others


The photographs taken during the meeting have been gathered on this page:
- 2ème Assemblée Générale d’EMAN, Rabat 2011

(photos : J. Fröchen)


Minutes

- 1. Welcome.

President Maurizio Brunori welcomes the participants, and opens the General Assembly at 17.00. He reminds the audience that EMAN is a unique- network of Mediterranean Academies, now recognized by IAP (The Global Network of Science academies) as an Observer Regional Network. Brunori declares his deep appreciation to the colleagues who have been heavily involved in the organization of the Parmenides 4 , and particularly Prof. A. Capron, Prof. A. Sasson and Dr. J. Frochen who made possible this excellent scientific initiative of the GID.

- 2. Modifications of the Statutes.

President Brunori summarizes very briefly the facts that led to propose a modification of the Statutes, facts that were communicated by mail to all the Presidents and/or the Delegates of EMAN’s Academies. He recalls

(i) the deliberations of the Executive Council and the Membership Committee of the IAP as stated in the letter of 8 April 2011;

(ii) the decision of EMAN’s Executive Committee to modify the Articles 4.3, 5.3 and 6.3 of the Statutes as follows:

4.3 Associations of national academies of sciences and academies from non-Mediterranean countries may be admitted to the EMAN as observers, without the right to vote. Observers cannot be elected as members of the Executive Committee of EMAN. (instead of: 4.3 Associations of national academies of sciences may be admitted to the EMAN as observers without the right to vote. )
5.3 The General Assembly shall, in particular, make the following decisions:

a. Approve general EMAN strategies and policies;

b. Elect new member academies and observer academies; elect members to the EMAN Executive Committee; and decide the academy hosting the EMAN Secretariat; (instead of: b. Elect new member academies; members to the EMAN Executive Committee; and the academy hosting the EMAN Secretariat; and )

and

6.3 Election of the Executive Committee Members, to reflect a wide geographical distribution, shall be held once every three years by those Member Academies present at an Ordinary Session of the General Assembly. (instead of: 6.3 Election of the Executive Committee shall be held once every three years by those Member Academies present at an Ordinary Session of the General Assembly. )

(iii) the decision to call an extraordinary General Assembly of EMAN with the explicit consent of more than 25% of the Constituency, as demanded by the Statutes.

The proposed modifications of the Statutes and the rational behind are discussed by several members present at the General Assembly. At the end of discussion, President Brunori calls for a general vote: the modifications proposed are approved by a unanimous vote.

- 3. Vacancy of one Vice-President.

In order to fulfil the IAP’s recommendations, EMAN must change the current Vice-Presidency of the ANSTS (Academy of Senegal), which is not considered as a part of the geographical network by the IAP’s Co-chairs and Ex. Committee. Prof. Doudou Ba on behalf of the ANSTS, understands the decision and reaffirms the ANSTS interest to collaborate with the network and the GID.

André Capron expresses his deepest appreciation for the participation of the ANSTS, founding member of GID, and his gratitude to Prof. Ba. There is a possibility to directly associate ANSTS to GID for the promotion of S&T as driving forces of human development.

François Guinot adds that the philosophy of GID is to keep all his members deeply associated for development. The main element of the network lies in its objectives and vision. In this framework it is mandatory to include the Academies of Technologies within EMAN.

President Brunori expresses his deep consideration for the valuable collaboration of the ANSTS to the activities of EMAN, and his gratitude to Professor Ba for his statements and for the proposal of the ANSTS to be considered as an Observer Academy, according to Article 4.3 of the Statutes just amended. The proposal is accepted by a unanimous vote, and thereby the ANSTS is an Observed Academy of EMAN as of today 22 November 2011.

Thereafter the General Assembly deals with the election of a new Vice-President. President Brunori recalls that the three Vice-Presidents should belong to different Countries, widely distributed between the north and the south of the Mediterranean. After a short discussion, President Brunori proposes Prof. Georges Bahr, Home Secretary of the Academy from Lebanon, as a Candidate; the proposal is seconded by Prof. Yohanan Friedmann. Prof. Bahr is elected unanimously Vice-President of EMAN. He expresses the honour to serve as one of the VPs of EMAN.

- 4. GID and EMAN objectives, vision and activities.

André Capron on behalf of GID, thanks Maurizio Brunori for his commitment for the development of EMAN. The spirit of GID and EMAN as one of his modalities, is to promote S&T achievements as the driving forces of development in particular in the Mediterranean region. One of the running most important activities of the GID is Parmenides and the Parmenides Conferences. Parmenides 1 in Paris, under the aegis of the Institut de France, Parmenides 2 in Rome, under the aegis of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Parmenides 3 in Alexandria (Egypt) under the aegis of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and now Parmenides 4 in Rabat, under the aegis of the Hassan II Academy of S&T. Parmenides 5 will take place in Paris in March 2012 (20 and 21).

EMAN was set up by the GID as one of its programmes. It held its first meeting in Paris, June 2008, and its first G.A. in Alexandria in June 2010, where the Statutes were officially adopted and Maurizio Brunori elected as the President of the EMAN Network. 19 Academies have already joined EMAN so far, whose essential duty is the diffusion of knowledge to the populations of the Mediterranean region in keeping with their current deep evolution. Everyone understands therefore that EMAN’s role is crucial.

Maurizio Brunori expresses his sincere thanks to prof. André Capron for the illuminating overview of GID’s philosophy and activities, and hopes that there will be a chance to extend the initiatives of GID/EMAN (see point 5).

Yohanan Friedman stresses on the importance of the forthcoming Parmenides 5 and points out that the Humanities as the essential spirit of inter-academic cooperation in the Mediterranean Science Area should also be given proper attention.

Catherine Bréchignac agrees on the role of a network in scientific strategies.

- 5. New initiatives.

President Brunori summarizes briefly the motivations and the practical approach to new initiatives. Given that funding is very scarce, he proposes that EMAN starts collaborating with qualified activities elaborated by the constituent Academies. In detail, he illustrates the scientific and socio-economic motivations and the format of an initiative proposed by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, to organize in Rome a training course in Mediterranean Archaeology, with some practical activities in restoration and conservation. The essential role of EMAN would be to provide a scientifically qualified framework, to suggest names for the participants, both teachers and students, and to provide a Mediterranean landscape; the funding will be secured by the organizing Academy, with collaboration by the ICCROM and private Foundations; it should be at least sufficient to support the students coming from the Med Countries that adhere to the initiative. Some of the members express appreciation and interest in the proposal which would have the additional merit of being directed to the Humanities, and particularly to an area that has not only deep cultural interest but also socio-economic relevance. The positive aspects of this novel initiative are explicitly appreciated.

Albert Sasson has 3 comments:

  • Technologies are already included within EMAN’s network since many Academies (Senegal, Malta, Morocco…) are named for science and technology.
  • GID’s “constituency” includes already appropriate devices, such as the “Sciences, Professions, Societies” programme (“Sciences, métiers, sociétés”; see g-i-d.org portal).
  • GID and EMAN’s added value is to address recommendations to decision-makers, in order to :
    • alert
    • reassure and quieten
    • propose…

Parmenides 3 was a model in this regard, with simple things to say about the fish, the tree and the book.

- 6. Miscellaneous.

Ilan Chet presents the structure and activities of UfM ( Union for the Mediterranean region , Secretary general based in Barcelona, Spain), an intergovernmental structure composed of 43 States, that will invite GID and EMAN Presidents at the next official meeting in Barcelona. Definitely, the UfM could help the network, including funding.

According to François Guinot, the project and the vision come before the Statutes issue. Technological innovation can be achieved only with social and economic acceptance. Human and Social Sciences are as essential as medicine and agriculture. He mentions Euro-CASE with 21 Academies of technologies in EU.

Michèle Gendreau-Massaloux as a researcher herself, stresses on the same vision of Science within societies, e.g. basic and applied sciences. GID and EMAN can launch S&T project to the UfM countries as propositions for each member state, but also for any institution, academic or not. This dynamic cannot but rise.

Yohanan Friedmann reports about a project launched at the last Parmenides 3 conference in Alexandria, regarding data bases in Arabic and Hebrew translations (from Ar. to Heb. and Heb. to Arabic). The National Israel Library is involved along with Dr. Mahmud Kayyal, from Tel Aviv University. A catalogue of about 500 items has been already worked out and will be very soon presented in a more friendly way.

Kada Allab (Algeria) reports briefly about Algeria: 1.2 Million students, 50 universities, 1500 laboratories, 10 Research Centres. Contacts have been set up with the GID in order to gather the elite of the Country as a national academy of sciences. The Parmenides programme appears very attractive to him and KA hopes that a forthcoming conference could be held in Algeria.

Georges Bahr raises a question on the funding of EMAN/GID and suggests that member Academies could be asked to contribute annually a symbolic sum of € 2000 to EMAN in order to cover running cost expenses. The idea is discussed but no decision is taken pending further discussions.

Finally, Francis Segond presents the latest developments in the WHEP Programme (Women Health Education Programme) and stresses out some aspects of the GID communication policy (Web-portal and scientific publications). Five books have been published so far by the GID, four of which are also available as paperback edition. The internet GID portal and its WHEP sub-site offer to an average of 500 single visitors/day a wide range of – freely downloadable – high-level scientific and educational material.

At 19,30 President Brunori declares the extraordinary General Assembly of EMAN closed./.