General meeting

Report of our 5th General Assembly 2022

Contents:

  • Welcome and war in Europe
  • The first “Bike for climate – bike for peace”
  • Operation Igor
  • Peace march in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • The second “Bike for climate – bike for peace”
  • Invitation Ihor Kozlovsky
  • Ad Pacem 2022 calendar sale
  • Financial report 2021
  • Our support for Ukrainian scholarship holders and patients in 2021
  • Conference with Mrs Galina Ackerman on 7 May 2022
  • Updated charter of projects and objectives of the association

On Saturday 26 March 2022 the board of the association “Ad Pacem servandam – For Peace and Against War” held its fifth general assembly online. Four of the board members were present, Mr. Anselmo Malvetti excused himself for professional reasons. Several members were also excused.

Opening of the meeting

After giving a general overview of the items on the agenda, President Claude Pantaleoni explained why since 24 February Europe has entered a new area of conflict. The period of peace that had preserved our continent since 1945 was over. Therefore, in recent weeks, all the activities of the association have been focused on organising humanitarian aid sent to Ukraine and receiving Ukrainian refugee families in our Greater Region. He spoke about the many difficulties in finding people willing to take in mothers with their children, especially when these people have space. He then went on to give an overview of the activities carried out during the year 2021.

Report on activities in 2021

The sale of Ad Pacem 2021 calendars was carried out until the end of January 2021.

On 15 and 16 April 2021, Ad Pacem organised its first “Bike for climate – bike for peace”. Fifteen participants cycled from Luxembourg City to Echternach where we visited the Gallo-Roman villa and spent the night at the youth hostel. On Sunday morning, after the church service and a visit to the crypt where the sarcophagus of St Willibrord is located, the participants continued along the Sûre and the Moselle to return to Luxembourg-City in the evening. The aim of this outing was to motivate the young people to take a renewed interest in cycling for its health benefits (in total about 110 km covered in two days) and to think about alternatives to the current energy dependency.

Next, Vice-President Natalya Pantaleoni explained how Operation Igor was funded. The latter consisted in financing the difficult and urgent operation of the young civilian Igor, victim of military clashes on the front line between Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, in May and June 2021. She thanked the great generosity of our members in helping.

In August, six members of our association did their Peace march in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Balkan War took place from 1992 to 1995. The aim was to see in the museums and in contact with the religious leaders of the four Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Jewish communities how peace is lived day by day. Unfortunately, it must be noted that – even if there is no war today – living together remains difficult and each community lives (rather) separately from the other. Peace has yet to be achieved in the Balkans. With prints and photos taken in the cities of Sarajevo, Mostar and Jablanica and with beautiful photos of the Bosnian mountains, we produced the Ad Pacem 2022 calendar in autumn, which was sold until the end of January 2022.

Mr Laurent Tran Van Mang then reported on our second “Bike for climate – bike for peace” on 9 October, which this time involved discovering the south-west of Luxembourg. A dozen of our members left the Pétange train station in the morning at around 9am to reach Garnich at lunchtime, before returning to Pétange at around 5pm, satisfied with this 42 km ride.

On the weekend of 15-16 October, the association invited the historian and religious researcher Ihor Kozlovsky, who had spent two years (including six months of torture) in the prisons of the pro-Russian separatists in Donbass. We organised a testimony evening in Lintgen and a public lecture at the parish house in Mont-Saint-Martin, France. On Sunday 16 October, a benefit concert was held at the Church of Notre-Dame in Villerupt (F) for the family of Valery Nesodekin, who had to flee Donbass where they lost everything after the father was released from the prison of the pro-Russian separatists and the family went to live in Kyiv.

In November we started the sale of the Ad Pacem 2022 calendar in schools, among our members and in parishes in the Greater Region. The profit from this sale will go to a therapy organisation for Bosnian women who were victims of the 1992-95 war. These women continue to undergo secret therapy to “free themselves” from the abuse they suffered during the war. They cannot talk about it in their families and villages without risking repudiation. On the other hand, we have decided to support a project at the Catholic Theological Faculty in Sarajevo: we will offer three scholarships to students who decide to follow two additional semesters of intercultural and interreligious studies after the master’s degree. The aim is to promote peacemakers in Bosnia.

Financial report 2021

The treasurer Mr Christian Welter then presented the detailed financial report for the year 2021.

Ms. Natalya Pantaleoni explained how and with what amounts we financed the studies of our seven scholarship holders in Ukraine and how we financially supported three people with illnesses there during the year 2021.

Report of the financial audit 2021

The financial report for 2021 had been checked and approved by the auditor Mr. Patrice Picart a few days earlier, as he was unable to attend our general meeting due to illness.

Current and future activities 2022

We ended our fifth general meeting by explaining our presence, during the month of March 2022, at the demonstrations that took place in Luxembourg (Luxembourg City) and in France (Metz, Jarny) against the Russian war in Ukraine. Mr. and Mrs. Pantaleoni presented the first families of Ukrainian refugees that we took in and sought to place with families.

Mr Pantaleoni invited everyone to attend the conference that Mrs Galia Ackerman will give on Saturday 7 May 2022 at 3pm at the 39th Salon du Livre et des Cultures in Luxembourg-City (at the CEPA in Hollerich). The topic will be: “What peaceful policy for Europe in the face of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine?”

Miscellaneous

Mr Pantaleoni explained why the last five years and the outbreak of the war in Ukraine have led the board to update the charter of the association’s projects and objectives, which is available on the website.

The final word went to the President who thanked the good work and voluntary commitment of his entire team.

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