International Music Council looks with positive spirit towards its future


Paris, November 3, 2009. The 33rd General Assembly of the International Music Council, held in Tunis, October 21-22, 2009, adopted a series of key decisions that will pave the way to building greater capacity of the organization and its members to work towards its vision to be the world's leading professional organization dedicated to the development and promotion of diverse music.

Drawing on the IMC's mission to provide exceptional value to its members by building knowledge, creating networking opportunities, supporting and enhancing the visibility of projects that help sustain people's participation in music life, the IMC will continue to carry out its action in accordance with its strategic plan adopted two years ago by the 32nd General Assembly. Seven strategic objectives have been translated into action lines for the coming biennium, which will be implemented through advocacy, research, policy formation and capacity-building.

The General Assembly dealt with usual business matters such as new admissions, finance and budget, and adopted a series of amendments to the Statutes and the Rules of Procedure that aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation's work and modus operandi. The Assembly took note of the activity reports presented by the Executive Board and by Regional Music Councils and Regional Secretariats. It acknowledged the work accomplished by the Board with a view to implementing the new membership structure adopted at the 32nd General Assembly in 2007.

The General Assembly elected Frans de Ruiter (Netherlands) President for a 2-year term. Prof. de Ruiter serves currently as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Dance in the Netherlands. He is also Director of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University and joint founder and co-director of DocARTES, a cooperative PhD programme for music with the participation of academies and institutes in the Netherlands and Belgium. Prof. de Ruiter has occupied leading positions in various member organisations of the IMC and has served as IMC President from 1997-2001.

The General Assembly elected also four new members of the Executive Board: Fernando Condon (Uruguay), Henrik Melius (Sweden), Blasko Smilevski (FYR of Macedonia) and Féthi Zghonda (Tunisia).

Mr. de Ruiter will be joined in the Board's Directorate by Beata Schanda (Hungary) as executive vice-president, Liane Hentschke (Brazil) and Féthi Zghonda (Tunisia) as vice-presidents; as well as Lars Grunth (Denmark) as treasurer.

The 12-person Board is completed by Sonja Greiner (Germany), Gary Ingle (USA), Timo Klemettinen (Finland), and Lupwishi Mbuyamba (Democratic Republic of Congo/Mozambique).

The General Assembly paid tribute to the outstanding work and dedication of outgoing president Richard Letts (Australia) and elected him with a standing ovation to join the circle of Honorary Members of IMC, chosen among the world's outstanding professionals, educators, performers and composers.

The 33rd General Assembly saw a record participation with some 80 delegates from all over the world representing national music councils, international and regional music organisations as well as national and specialised organisations in the field of arts and culture, along with representatives of Regional Music Councils and Regional Secretariats of the IMC. Observers from partner organisations also attended the meeting. Altogether, 59 nations were represented.

The Assembly was held in conjunction with the 3rd IMC World Forum on Music and hosted by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture and Heritage Preservation, with the support of a number of sponsors and partners.

The International Music Council (IMC) is a membership organisation created in 1949 by the Director General of UNESCO as the advisory body to the agency on musical matters. It is based at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris and functions as an independent international NGO maintaining a formal associate relationship with UNESCO.

Over the past 60 years, IMC has developed as a world expert organisation, a forum for exchange and reflection and an observatory in the field of music. Mandated to promote all types of music, IMC is an organisation positioned to speak to governments, institutions and regions; it works through and for its members internationally to support the development and the promotion of diverse music and the role of musicians in the context of social, cultural and economic development.

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