It is a great honour to reach out to the world’s architects following my election as President of the International Union of Architects during our General Assembly held on 6-9 July in Copenhagen, Denmark.
As I explained during my speech to the Assembly before my election, I have outlined three priorities:
- For the UIA: Reboot the UIA and ensure its future; implement a more transparent and collegial governance and transpose the recommendations of the Task Force Group
- For our profession: Follow and survey the evolution of the profession, redefine the role of the architect and recommend appropriate education
- For sustainable development: Contribute with architectural expertise
As President, I will guide the Union in a spirit of collegiality. I will work towards a more united UIA, benefitting from our cultural diversity, combining the best of globalisation with the best of local cultures and learning from the intelligence of technology and the wisdom of traditional practices. I firmly believe in the UIA’s potential and capacity to evolve, as well as the need to unite our greatest strengths for the benefit of our Union.
We need to define the UIA’s vision and strategy going forward, set priorities, focus our actions on what is essential, increase the UIA’s relevance and impact, ensure expertise and influence public policies.
As an NGO, the UIA, a recognised partner of the United Nations, has adopted the UN Agenda on climate and energy change and actively promotes the UN SDGs. It is my goal to strengthen our organisation’s voice and impact.
My agenda during my mandate will include:
- Maintaining dialogue with the global decision-making actors and academic institutions
- Making the UIA’s voice count and have an impact
- Responding with architectural expertise to environmental and climate challenges
- Promoting the cultural dimension of architecture, interdisciplinary collaboration, holistic approach, a high-quality built environment in line with the 17 UN SDGs, quality based, solution-oriented procurement of architectural services and fair conditions for practice
- Achieving recognition of architecture as a discipline of public interest, a key condition for enabling the profession to assume its responsibilities
We will seek collaboration with regional organisations on specific topics and intensify the contact with Member Sections in order to better understand their needs and bring them added value in their work. In addition to two in-person Council meetings a year, thematic meetings will be held virtually every first Tuesday of the month. Alternates may attend virtual meetings as observers along with the titular Council members.
I will be available for discussions with UIA Member Sections every first Thursday of the month, beginning 7 September 2023 and encourage Sections to reach out to me via the UIA Secretariat. It will also be possible for a representative designated by Member Sections (maximum 2 at a time) to register for attendance of virtual Council meetings as an observer. Those interested should contact Emily Webber by email: membersection@uia-architectes.
I look forward to working with architects around the world for the benefit of our profession and encourage you to contribute in any way you can to achieve our shared goals.
International Union of Architects