Posted on 04/06/2009 in category Convention

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, 4 June 2009

BIR World Recycling Convention

25-27 May 2009, Dubai

Press Releases on Commodity Sessions

General Assembly:

Excellent Convention attendance despiteeconomic downturn

The impact of theglobal downturn on the recycling industry has been “brutal” but“our businesses will be in the vanguard of the economic upswing”.That was the positive message delivered by BIR World PresidentDominique Maguin to the organisation’s latest General Assembly inDubai.

He called on theindustry to “assess our ability to react, organise and develop”and to “reinforce our professionalism by enhancing the quality ofour products, our respect for the environment, and the training andsafety of our employees”. Secondary raw materials produced by theindustry should conform not only to contractual agreements but alsoto specifications “of which we should promote the implementationand use by all operators within our industry”. And he added: “Weshould also redouble our vigilance and our efforts in support of freetrade given that the current crisis may lead to protectionistbehaviour by certain states.”

Mr Maguin, who nowembarks on a second two-year term as BIR President, also underlinedthe potentially profound importance of work being conducted withinthe EU towards the setting of “end-of-waste” criteria. BIR andits daughter associations EFR, Eurometrec and ERPA have been askedfor their expert input to these deliberations, he noted.

The GeneralAssembly’s guest speaker was Dr Rami Khouri - Director of the IssamFares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at theAmerican University of Beirut, as well as Editor-at-large of theBeirut-based Daily Star newspaper. Having congratulated the recyclingindustry on combining environmental stewardship, global co-operationand the profit motive, he contended that the international mediapaints a generally negative picture of the Middle East despite thefact that it is “a region of great variety and much change”.

Dr Khouri alsohighlighted a growing awareness of environmental protection issues inthe region, particularly among young, well-educated people. In thiscontext, he went on to insist: “There is an enormous opportunity toconnect more with people in the Middle East.”

Encouragingly, BIRmembership has slightly increased since the beginning of the economicdownturn in late 2008, according to the organisation’s TreasurerBjörn Grufman of MV Metallvärden AB in Sweden. “It’s actually anet gain in members, and as you can see from this Convention, we havemany more delegates than we expected,” he said. In total, around1300 people attended the Dubai Convention, comprising 950 delegatesand 350 accompanying persons. In his Treasurer’s report, Mr Grufmanalso observed that BIR’s 2008 receipts had reached forecastedlevels despite the dramatic global downturn of the fourth quarter.

The upbeat tone ofthe General Assembly was reinforced by the awarding of three BIRCertificates of Merit. Salam Sharif of Sharif Metals and FadiShahrour of Sharmetal Trading Co SARL were recognised for theirefforts in promoting BIR in the Middle East; and Augustin BrutusJaykumar of India received the same accolade for founding theIntercultural Network for Development and Peace as well as the Basefor Rural Women Development - two organisations with a strong social,cultural and environmental dimension, which amongst others launched arecycling project called Plastic life.

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