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President's Report on the State of the Union

This address is presented by IUPAC President Prof. Leiv K. Sydnes at the 43rd IUPAC Council Meeting on 20-21 August 2005 in Beijing, China.

According to the Union’s statues (S6.23) the “President shall submit to each regular meeting of the Council a report on the general state of the Union.” The accurate meaning of the words “general state” is not evident, but it is natural that this report takes into account the contents of two related reports presented at this meeting, viz. the Secretary General’s report which focuseson the administrative aspects of the Union (agenda item 7), and the Vice President’s Critical Assessment (VPCA), which this time contains a most thorough review, assessment, and analysis of our project system (agenda item 11). The “general state” of the Union should therefore be assessed with the Union’s stakeholders in mind.

IUPAC’s stakeholders constitute an extremely complex group of people, nations, regions, governmental institutions, professional societies as well as national, regional and international organizations. Within this group there are significant differences in the understanding of chemistry and the awareness of the needs for and the purpose of chemical products, secure handling of chemicals, and chemical management. As a result the Union has to be sensitive and responsive to

  • formal requests and expectations from its members,
  • professional expectations from the scientific community,
  • adequate requests and questions from practicing chemists,
  • regulations and legal aspects in societies at different levels of development,
  • curious as well as biased questions from lay people and the general public,
  • unarticulated needs caused by natural processes, accidents, and disasters involving chemicals.

Thus, the general state of the Union should be judged on the basis of the organization’s ability

to maintain an active, fruitful and democratic interaction between its leadership (at all levels) and its membership,

to disseminate the results of the scientific and educational activities as well as conclusions reached in discussions related to science policy,

to address and get engaged in important global issues, which involve application of chemistry in the service of Mankind.

Full text ...Download PDF file of the President's Report (86 KB)


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