By Cyril Noirtin, 2020-22 Chairman of the Intercountry Committee Executive Council and Chairman of the 2021 Intercountry Committee Preconvention
It is my great pleasure to invite you to the 2021 Intercountry Committee Preconvention Conference: Opening Opportunities for Peace, taking place 10-11 June before the Virtual Rotary Convention. This two-day program, the first of its kind, will introduce you to the peacebuilding work of intercountry committees, inspire you to form new international relationships, and help you expand your peacebuilding efforts.
Intercountry committees, or ICCs, have been pivotal to Rotary since the 1950s, when a handful of German and French Rotarians, marked by a terrible war, took a gamble to emerge from tragedy in unity. They created the first committee with a single goal: reconciliation between their two countries. ICCs first rose in importance as they helped reunify Europe after the second World War.
Today, there are more than 400 ICC relationships around the world: often helping foster peace in regions historically impacted by conflict. ICCs strengthen relationships between clubs and districts in two or more countries. Through these relationships, we enhance our global understanding of other cultures and regions, build life-long friendships, and lay the foundation for international service projects and ultimately more prosperous, resilient communities.
The 10-11 June event will feature an outstanding line-up of general session speakers, interactive breakout programs, and networking sessions with participants from around the world.
Our first keynote speaker, Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui of Tunisia, is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate recognized for her work to launch the National Dialogue Initiative. Together with the League of Human Rights and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, Ms. Bouchamaoui formed the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to building a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011. Ms. Bouchamoui, an accomplished businesswoman and peacebuilder, also advocates for gender equity and women’s active participation in every peacebuilding process.
Our breakout program will provide interactive networking opportunities and demonstrate how ICCs increase the quality and consistency of international friendship among clubs and districts from different cultures and nations.
We look forward to seeing you on 10-11 June!