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The AICESIS International Meeting, the General Assembly and two Boards took place on 6, 7 and 8 September 2017 in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). The Assembly, which ended the AICESIS Presidency of the Dominican ESC, provided an opportunity to organize a debate on the main work of the Presidency for 2015-2017 « the role of ESCs-SIs in the fight against inequalities linked to poverty » before the adoption of the final report, to welcome the new AICESIS President for 2017-2019, Mr. Iacob BACIU (Romania), the new SG AICESIS, Mr. Francisco GONZALEZ DE LENA (Spain), the new Board (Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Morocco, Senegal, UCESA (Mali) / Brazil, Curacao, Dominican Republic / China, Korea, Russia / Spain, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania) and the new Vice SG (Korea, Curacao, Greece, UCESA).

  www.ces.org.do

Word by the Secretary-General, Patrick Venturini : "The end of June 2017 ended my second term as Secretary General of AICESIS. On this occasion, I wish to express to all members of AICESIS - and in particular to the successive Presidencies of Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Algeria, Russia and the current Presidency of the Dominican Republic - and to all AICESIS partners, including the ILO, to Hanifa MEZOUI, Permanent Representative of AICESIS to the United Nations, and to the members of the AICESIS Secretariat, in particular to Samira AZARBA, my deepest thanks for their important contribution, their constant confidence and their positive active and fruitful cooperation between their respective institutions and the AICESIS. In the last years, our Association has been able to develop, sometimes in a complex situation both quantitatively (number of members) and qualitatively (concrete cooperation). Naturally, much remains to be done and time has come to include AICESIS in a new phase of development. I am convinced that future presidencies, together with my successor, Francisco GONZALEZ DE LENA and the Secretariat, will be able to successfully take on these new stages of development, always at the service of Members. I wish you good luck to all of you. "

The AICESIS is sad to announce the death of Mr Mohamed Séghir BABÈS, President of the National Economic and Social Council of Algeria since 2005 and President of the AICESIS from 2011 to 2013, happened on 7 March 2017 in Algiers (Algeria). Thanks to his great personality, his constant commitment and his many initiatives, he greatly contributed to the emergence and growth of AICESIS. All those who knew him remember in particular his leadership and the quality of the exchanges and cordial hospitality that marked the International Meeting and the General Assembly of the AICESIS held in Algiers in September 2013.

The AICESIS Board that took place on March in Luxembourg was chaired by Mr. Marco WAGENER, President of the ESC of Luxembourg, and Mrs. Rabiatou Sara DIALLO, President of the ESC of Guinea, because of the absence of President Agripino NUNEZ COLLADO. The Board appointed Mr. GONZALEZ de LENA as AICESIS Secretary-General for 4 years renewable from the 1st of July 2017.

In parallel, a workshop to share practices was held on March 3 on the ESC-SIs’ practices, functioning and working ways, and more particularly on “How to assess the impact and added value”. All presentations are available on the AICESIS website (www.aicesis.org ).

The AICESIS General Secretary wishes to thank each of its members for their efforts and their strong involvement in AICESIS activities during year 2016. 2017 already promises to be full of events and will start with the Board meeting on 2 March in Luxembourg, which will specifically focus on the designation of the AICESIS new Secretary General.

The General Secretary of AICESIS wishes you happy end of the year celebrations, and a happy new year 2017. It also thanks all of its members for their efforts and strong implication in AICESIS’ activities along 2016. 2017 will be full of events and initiatives, with the nomination of a new SG, a new Presidency and the Board renewal.

The AICESIS General Assembly and Board, held in Cotonou (Benin) from 14 to 16 September under the chairmanship of Mr. Tabé GBIAN, President of the ESC of Benin, due to the absence of President Mr. Agripino NUNEZ COLLADO went well. It was the opportunity to hold three intense debates and exchanges of experience, respectively on "The fight against inequalities linked to poverty"; "Extending social protection systems, austerity and options” - introduced by Mrs. Isabel ORTIZ, Director of the ILO Social Protection Department; and "The daily functioning of the ESCs-SIs (communication, measurement and valuation of the ESCs-SIs works)." All contributions made during the debates are available on the website of the AICESIS (www.aicesis.org).

Furthermore, as the next AICESIS Secretary General could not be unanimously elected, the current SG, Patrick VENTURINI, has agreed to extend his mandate, which will end on 1st of July 2017 to ensure a smooth transition. His successor should be appointed by the next Board to be held early 2017.

On 15 and 16 September 2016 in Cotonou (Benin) the AICESIS General Assembly will be held, preceded by a Board meeting on 14 September. The GA will be an opportunity to hold three debates: one on the main working topic of the presidency for 2015-2017 "The role of ESCs-SIs in the fight against inequalities linked to poverty", a workshop co-organized with the ILO on "social protection floor: situation and prospects", and an exchange of experiences on "the ESCs-SIs daily functioning”.

The updating of the global database on ESCs and SIs of social dialogue existing across the world have started. An AICESIS - ILO call has been sent to all ESCs and SIs of social dialogue members of these two organisations. Please check on the website this database http://www.aicesis.org/database/ if all informations regarding your institution are correct, and advise us of any modification or addition. All other non-indexed institutions are invited to submit by email () the application filled, if possible with all the corresponding reference documents.

The partnership signed in May 2012 between the President of the AICESIS and the ILO Director General strengthens each year, more particularly thanks to the intensification of joint activities of general interest. Are currently scheduled several joint events. First, in the framework of the Seoul Declaration (November 2014), two national capacity building workshops on social protection floor and social dialogue will be organized with the ESC of Guinea and the ESCC of Mali, respectively in May and June 2016. As every year, the AICESIS will make a contribution at the International Labour Conference (ILC) in June 2016 (Geneva, Switzerland), on workplace compliance. In addition, a presentation and a discussion on social protection will be held at the AICESIS General Assembly (Cotonou, Benin) in September 2016. Finally, two major conferences are planned for 2017: a Forum on "social dialogue in Asia" to be held in Seoul (Korea) in partnership with the ESDC of Korea, and a conference on "the future of work" to be organized in Athens in cooperation with the OKE of Greece. Moreover, the constant enrichment of the world database on ESCs-SIs developed jointly by AICESIS and ILO - available on www.aicesis.org - must be reminded.