ICUMSA News n°34 – 1998

Editor: Rud Frik Madsen

Message from the president

Following the Berlin meeting I would like to thank all the National Committees very sincerely for my election as President of our Commission. I succeed Dr. Murray Player who, thanks to his great experience and skill, has led our Commission during the last twelve years. I realise how many responsibilities I have to expect, and I can assure everyone that I will do my best to maintain the high level of efficiency and productivity of our organization. Of course, I rely on the cooperation of everybody who, at various levels, works to make sure that ICUMSA can always be the reference point for the setting up of methods of interest to the sugar world. In particular, I mean to refer to the National Committees, Referees and Associate Referees, as well as all those involved in the organisation of the Commission such as the General Secretary, the Treasurer, the members of the Publications Committee, and especially those whose work in the laboratories guarantees the constant updating of our Commission.

The 22nd Session was particularly important not only from the scientific point of view, bearing in mind how much work was reported and discussed and how many methods attained the definition of Official, but also for historical and organisational reasons. In fact, we celebrated the Centenary of our Commission and this is surely a sign of the importance of the Commission itself.

From the organisational point of view, as well as the change of the President and then the General Secretary, there was a modification within the Publications Committee which calls for a change in managing the publications themselves both in the printing of the Proceedings and the updating and distribution of the ICUMSA BOOKS. For financial reasons, there was general agreement on printing the Proceedings under a less elegant typographical format whilst maintaining the standard of their contents. The Referees will be much more involved because, under the leadership of Mr. Phil Atherton, they will be asked to standardise the final format of their Reports so that they will be ready to be printed. With the important help of the Treasurer, we are evaluating more efficient and less expensive methods to be followed for both the publication of Proceedings and publications management, taking into account the proposals for cooperation which we have received.

In Berlin, the proposition for the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat was accepted. Such an issue will follow a gradual procedure involving the following steps: 1) modification of the “Constitution and By-Laws” to cover the possibility of opting for a Permanent Secretariat; such a modification is to be voted on and approved by the National Committees; 2) definition of the task of the Permanent Secretariat and evaluation of the relevant costs evaluated; 3) consideration of the eventual proposals coming from different countries as venues of the Permanent Secretariat; 4) ratification of the ultimate designation of the Permanent Secretariat must be ratified by the National Committees.

The advisability of simplifying and updating a number of Subjects was evident in Berlin. Such a task can be attained by unifying or removing some of them or changing their content. According to these suggestions, proposals will be made to the National Committees which will confirm, modify or complete the lists of Referees and Associate Referees.

As usual, suggestions, comments and accounts of experiences coming from anyone involved in the sugar industry for our ICUMSA News will be welcome, so that the connections between all the components of our Commission can become increasingly firm and efficient.

During the preparation of this message I received the very sad news of the sudden death of our good friend Dr. Margaret Clarke. Although being very unwell, she attended our session in Berlin. The sugar world will miss Dr. Clarke, who was indeed a leading personality in research related to sugar technology and who was always interested in all aspects of the progress of our Commission. Her death leaves a gap that cannot be filled, not only in the sugar world and inside our Commission, but also in the hearts of the many friends who were lucky enough to know her and appreciate her qualities of humanity and sincere friendship.