Report of Secretary General to GM-14
San Francisco, CA, USA, October 31, 2001
1. Period and activities
This report covers the period from Wednesday, 2nd September, 1998 till the official end of the triennium on October 31, 2001. The major activities of the Secretary General during this period were:
a) general administration and correspondence
b) organization of the Executive Committee Meetings with the assistance of the host National Society
c) organization of GM14
d) updating and maintaining the Directory on the web site
e) updating and maintaining the Procedures Manual on the web site
f) updating and maintaining the Events Schedule on the web site
g) interactions with UNESCO, ICSU, ISO, and other organizations
The main points are presented below. More detailed and complete information is available in the reports to the Executive Council Meetings.
I informed UNESCO of the change in the secretariat. I receive copies of the decisions of each Executive Council meeting.
It was suggested that applications for grants to support training courses in vacuum would probably best be submitted through a local UNESCO contact in the appropriate country. I obtained a list of contacts from UNESCO. However, the Pakistan Vacuum Society were unsuccessful in applying through the Islamabad office.
Prof Barna represented IUVSTA at the NGO-UNESCO meeting and the World Conference on Science in Budapest, He proposed several modifications to the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge.
The President of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee requested that IUVSTA sign a Partnership Agreement for Manifesto 2000 in preparation for the International Year for a Culture of Peace (IYCP), but it was not compatible with the Union's organizational structure.
Request for nominations for a number of international prizes were received; the International José Marti Prize, the Félix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize, the International Simón Bolívar Prize, the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, the Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, the Prize on Human Rights Education, the UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize, the Science Prize and the Javed Husain Prize. Only the Science Prize seemed relevant to IUVSTA and Prof. Tenne of Israel was nominated; the prize was awarded to Prof. Iniesta of Mexico.
A questionnaire for the Sexennial Report on the contribution to UNESCO's activities by NGOs (1995-2000) was provided in 2001. Prof Colligon had provided a report in August 1994 . UNESCO-ONG decided to reorganize working groups on "Gender Equality and Equity".
I receive copies of the speeches by the Director-General; Koichiro Matsuura of Japan succeeded Federico Mayor in November 1999. He has painted a bleak picture of overstaffing at the higher levels and over expenditures coupled with poor performance on unclear objectives and promised a re-organization and refocussing on major areas, particularly education. Strategy, programme and budget for 2002-3 will be discussed for approval at the General Conference in October-November, 2001.
Immediately after the ECM-82 meeting, I informed ICSU of the change in the secretariat and returned the revised entry for the ICSU Yearbook. There is a 6 page entry for IUVSTA, updated annually, under the International Scientific Associates section. The annual dues to ICSU are US$500.
Grants for international projects for Capacity Building and Science Education are available each year; category 1 grants (US$50-100k) require joint applications with another ICSU body (e.g. IUPAP).
ICSU were joint sponsors with UNESCO of the World Conference on Science, in Budapest, June 26-July, 1999 which resulted in "World Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge" and "Science Agenda-Framework for Action".
The ICSU Executive Board initially invited IUVSTA to send a representative to a meeting of Unions affiliated with ICSU to be held 19-21 Feb, 2001 in Paris but then informed me that the invitation was an error; there was insufficient space available for associate members to be represented.
4. Committee on Science and Advanced Scientific Research Technology in Developing Countries
COSTED is a special advisory committee of ICSU and a joint initiative of ICSU and UNESCO.
COSTED announced a study "International Mobility of Asian Science & Technology Professionals" for India, China, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka.
I obtained the addresses of local contact offices in Latin America and Africa, as a potential route for grant applications for programs in these areas. I was informed that COSTED had very little funding available. COSTED invited IUVSTA to a 1-day plenary meeting of National Members in Cairo in association with the ICSU Assembly.
The JNCASR-COSTED Fellowship Programme was jointly instituted by the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and COSTED to foster free mobility and exchange of scientists from developing countries and to promote South-South co-operation. The JNCASR is a centre of excellence located in Bangalore, India, and works closely with several other reputed academic institutions. The fellowship covers short-term research, training or participatory research work in physical, chemical and biological sciences in reputed scientific institutions in India including the JNCASR. The programme is open to scientists, teachers and research scholars in the developing countries in Asian, African, Arab and Latin American regions.
In July, 2001, with the assistance of Monika Jenko, I supplied information for a Handbook on Activities of ICSU Bodies for Developing Countries.
International Standards Organisation documents on standards have been passes on to the appropriate division chair. These include several standards on surface analysis issued by TC201. The monthly Bulletin was forwarded to the Vacuum Science Division Chair.
I receiver annually a listing of all the ISO Committees.
I received a letter from the ISO Secretariat regarding revisions to the ISO 9000 standards for quality management; these are not technical standards but deal with procedures for tracking product, etc.
6. Web issues
At the suggestion of the Recording Secretary, the url www.iuvsta.org was registered and became operational, replacing www.vacuum.org/iuvsta. It is of interest to note that the American Vacuum Society have now purchased the url avs.org to replace vacuum.org.
The Procedures have been available as "pdf" files on the web site since May, 2000. This again replaces a printed version and allows individuals to download procedures which are of special interest to them. Professor Colligon had passed over to me an electronic version of the Manual and the English version of the Statutes, together with suggestions for updating; e.g. the addition of the IUVSTA Prize. The French and German versions of the Statutes were converted to electronic versions
The Directory was updated and revised to both simplify the process and make the directory more useful to divisions. Instead of a printed directory, addresses of all those with some IUVSTA responsibility are available through the web with password access; passwords are given on a "need to access" basis. However, the National Vacuum Society contact addresses are available without a password. This makes it possible to maintain the directory up to date, provided I am informed by societies or members of changes. The addresses of all the new representatives for the 2001-2004 triennium have been included in the directory.
The "Diary" was renamed "Schedule of Events" and was updated with new Workshops, etc. as they became available. It is now the responsibility of the Secretary General to keep the information up to date.
Alias address lists were created for Officers, Councillors, Alternate Councillors, Committee Chairs, Division Chairs, Division Secretaries and for each Electoral College to simplify sending e-mails to these groups. The e-mail aliases were changed from vacuum.org to iuvsta.org. The new alias lists for the 2001-04 triennium will be activated after the meetings in San Francisco
I also want to acknowledge the help of the AVS office in New York, and particularly Keith Mitchell, with the web and e-mail activities.
As a result of the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, the web site was unavailable until September 28 due to the location of the server.
A. With Vacuum Societies
Jose Dupont of Belvac notified me that the official postal code of the IUVSTA registered office had been changed to B-1000 Brussels from B-1400 Brussels.
The Romanian Vacuum Society were suspended during the last triennium as voting members because of their inability to pay the annual fee. Dr. Georghe Marin informed me that they have been able to maintain a low level of activity in spite of the poor economic situation but are unable to attend IUVSTA meetings.
The Pakistan Vacuum Society applied for membership in IUVSTA and were given provisional membership pending a vote at GM-14.
I wrote to Dr. Osvaldo de Melo of the Latin American Organisation for Vacuum Science pointing out that such a group could become an IUVSTA member since the Statutes allow such a group provided there is no National Society in the group. However, both the Brazilian and Mexican Vacuum Societies are already members of the group.
I sent an e-mail to all Officers and Councillors asking if they wanted copies of the revised IUVSTA flyers; the requests depleted the stock. New flyers for the 2001-4 triennium have been produced and printed with the help of the AVS.
I communicated with Egbert van Wiezenbeck of Elsevier regarding the Elsevier Student Awards. These were given to students attending ICTF-11, ECOSS-19, IVC-15 and ECOSS-20.
I received many brochures from convention centres all over the world with enquiries about the possibility of the IVC being held there.
I received a request from Declan Butler, the editor of a new publication "Nature Yearbook of Science and Technology:2000" for an IUVSTA entry, which I provided. I also provided an update for the 2001 issue.
I provided data for the Europa World Year Book, Ulrich's Directory, World Meetings Publications. Trade Shows Worldwide, the Yearbook of International Organizations,The Grants Register, the International Meetings Calendar (published by AIMS Corp., Japan), the Guide to Exhibitions of the World ( published by Convention Forum, Japan), ICCA Data. the Convention Forum in Japan, the University of Leyden data base, the The Nature Yearbook of Science and Technology,
The Fundación Príncipe de Asturias sends an annual call for nominations for the "Prince of Asturias Awards 2001".
8. Executive Council Meetings
ECM82 Friday, September 4,1998 Birmingham, England
ECM83 Sunday, February 21, 1999 Saillon, Switzerland
ECM84 Sunday, September 3, 1999 Cancun, Mexico
ECM85 Sunday, April 2, 2000 Namur, Belgium
ECM-86 Monday October 9, 2000 Portoroz, Slovenia
ECM-87 Sunday March 18, 2001 Brighton, England
ECM-88 Sunday October 28, 2001 San Francisco, USA
The minutes of all the meetings were posted on a restricted web site for Council members; this reduced the costs associated with printing and mailing. ECM-89 will be held in San Francisco on Friday, November 2, 2001 at the conclusion of IVC-15; this will be the first meeting of the new Executive Council. The new Officers, Councillors and Alternate Councillors have to be approved by the General Meeting (GM-14).
I would like to offer my personal thanks to all those who made arrangements for these meetings; this requires considerable effort to coordinate travel and meetings information in a timely fashion. Thanks are also due to those societies which made offers to host the meetings.
I wish to thank Prof Colligon for his assistance in transferring all the information at the beginning of the triennium so that the business of the Union carried on without interruption. I wish also to acknowledge the excellent work of the Recording Secretary, Dr. R.J. Reid in maintaining precise and informative minutes of all the meetings.