General meetings

Report on our 7th General Meeting 2024

On Saturday 23 March 2024, from 10am to 12pm, the 7th General Meeting of our association was held at the Willibrord Centre in Bascharage.


  1. Opening of the meeting by the Chairman
  2. Report on 2023 activities
  3. Financial report 2023
  4. Auditor’s report
  5. Amendment to the Articles of Association
  6. Additional election of the Committee of Administrators
  7. Election of the auditor
  8. Provisional budget for 2024
  9. Determination of the membership fee
  10. Miscellaneous
  1. Opening of the meeting by the Chairman

Claude Pantaleoni, President of Ad Pacem servandam (Ad Pacem), thanked everyone for coming to this 7th General Meeting in Bascharage, at the Willibrord Centre. In his welcoming remarks, he emphasised the need to highlight the works of peace rather than the rhetoric of war. Because PEACE needs to be more visible in our society. This is one of the association’s raisons d’être.

Claude Pantaleoni and Christian Welter were elected President and Secretary respectively of the General Meeting.

  1. Report on 2023 activities

2.1. Internal work of the Committee of Administrators

During 2023, the Committee met 7 times. It was decided to set up a support group to widen the circle of paid-up members to take stock with them of the strengths and weaknesses of the association by taking the opinion of as many people as possible. The first meeting of this support group took place on 30 June 2023.

9 newsletters were sent out in 2023 to paid-up members from the previous three years, of which there were 159 for 2023.

New flyers were produced to be given to each new member to raise awareness of the association. Targeting Italy (mainly the Marches), France (especially the Grand Est) and Luxembourg, they have been produced in three languages: French, Italian, and also German, to raise awareness of the association in the neighbouring region of Germany.

Vice-president Natalya Pantaleoni and Maxime Pantaleoni took part in a CLAE training course about managing an association in accordance with the new regulations and how to draw up articles of association, manage a budget, organise the committee, set goals and obtain public funding.

2.2. Activities in our regions

On 25 February 2023, the Committee organised a conference at the Salon du Livre et des Cultures in Luxembourg City with Mr Sapper, the director of the oldest magazine on Eastern Europe, Osteuropa. The theme of the conference was: “Test Case Ukraine – Russia’s War, the West and the Paths to Peace”.

On 20 May 2023, the association organised the 4th “Bike for climate – bike for peace” day. The aim of this cycling day is to enjoy a day out with members of the association. It’s also an opportunity to realise that alternatives to consumption and dependence on oil and gas do exist. We must face up to the fact that many wars are fought over non-renewable energy sources and control of areas rich in energy resources. For example, Russia waged war in Syria, killing tens of thousands of Syrians, to secure control over the gas and oil in the Syrian subsoil.

On 17 June, the Ad Pacem committee organised a visit to the Bastogne War Museum in Bastogne and to nearby battle sites. The visit provided a better understanding of the Battle of the Bulge, which took place around the town at the end of the 2nd World War.

In Italy, in the Marche region where the President and his family spent their summer holidays, two solidarity concerts were organised, raising funds for Ukraine.

2.3. Activities in Ukraine

The association has set up a two-year aid project using the proceeds from the 2023 calendars to help a team of doctors working behind the Ukrainian front line, as well as hospitals in Kharkiv and Kramatorsk. The proceeds from the 2023 calendar have been used to buy twelve sleeping bags, thermal linen, warm clothing, eight bullet-proof waistcoats at the end of 2022 and six bullet-proof waistcoats in 2023. Oleg, a member of the team who was injured, survived thanks to the protection of the bulletproof vest. He sent photos from the hospital where he was treated. Sadly, another carer, Andrij, died later because of bombing. It should be noted that the faces in the photos sent to us by these men are blurred for reasons of caution.

The association has also helped doctors at hospitals in Kramatorsk and Kharkiv by buying medicines and equipment needed to treat the seriously injured. Each time, they write down what they need, and the association organises the purchase and collection of the equipment from the donors. Or the treasurer sends money to the heads of the team of doctors so that they can buy what they need on the spot.

Another part of the aid sent to Ukraine by Ad Pacem went to the “Misto Dobra” reception centre for children and mothers in difficulty, which takes in displaced orphans in Chernivtzi. 10 beds and chests of drawers, changing tables, 5 air purifiers and a steam cleaner were purchased.

Part of the aid went to a refugee centre being set up in Berezhany, in western Ukraine. Here, 60 families (around 330 people) have been taken in following the flooding of their land following the destruction of the large dam on the Dnipro River. The parish of Berezhany took them in and was able to provide food and basic necessities for the children, thanks to financial support from Ad Pacem. The main aim is to support the families in their new lives and in their search for work. The parish provides regular updates on parents and children. Ad Pacem has bought craft materials for the children in these centres, who love to do handicrafts. Their little works will be sold at Christmas markets in our regions.

Ad Pacem is also helping a refugee centre in Dnipro, which has been taking in refugees from Donetsk since 2015. In 2022, it was expanded by 200 sick, young and elderly people. Some of them have managed to find outside accommodation, but this is only a small part of the total because there is not enough space. To help this refugee centre in Dnipro, the association regularly organises clothing collections (donations from association members, neighbours, etc.). Every Saturday, Ukrainian transporters take the aid from Luxembourg City to the address indicated in Ukraine.

In 2023, Ad Pacem members bought and sent Christmas toys to the Dnipro and Berezhany centres. There is also individual aid for certain refugees who find themselves in very difficult situations (illnesses or imminent operations that they cannot pay for themselves).

Svitlana Shukh, a refugee from Donetsk since 2015, has become our intermediary for all aid sent to the refugee centre in Dnipro. Ad Pacem supported her emergency retinal operation in Kyiv. During the operation, Russian bombardments caused a power cut, and it was thanks to an emergency lamp that the operation was completed. Ad Pacem is also buying medicines for Valerij Nedosekin, a former prisoner at Izolyatsia (the prison where torture is commonplace) in Donetsk, who was released in a prisoner exchange at the end of 2019. He suffers from diabetes, injuries, and the after-effects of the torture he endured in prison.

Ad Pacem is also helping 2 students with their university studies: Stephan, a young seminarian in Lviv, and Sergij, a refugee from Donetsk studying IT in Kharkiv.

Since July 2023, the association has been helping the psychiatric hospital in Vorzel, north of Kyiv, which the association’s vice-president visited twice beforehand. Our development worker Anatoly made several major purchases of medicines. The patients are traumatised soldiers from the front and civilians who have suffered torture, rape, kidnapping, injuries, loss of family members, etc. under the Russian occupation. The help provided by Ad Pacem is very important for hospital managers, as the Ukrainian state does not have enough resources to help these psychologically traumatised war victims.

2.4. Activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

In 2021, 7 members of the Ad Pacem association travelled around Bosnia to collect information and photos for the Ad Pacem 2022 calendar. This country was at the centre of the 1992-1995 Balkan war. The aim was also to meet the leaders of the different communities: Serbian-Orthodox, Croatian-Catholic, Bosnian-Muslim, and Jewish. These meetings gave Ad Pacem’s leaders an idea of the current post-war situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

We can see today that the post-war period is still going on, as past conflicts remain deeply rooted in the memories of the different communities, including the youngest who did not live through the war. Indeed, they base their lives on the prejudices and racism with which they grew up, often in ethnically cleansed regions. Unfortunately, this gives rise to fears that the worst could once again emerge from the ‘bowels of the past’. In fact, the different communities hardly ever see each other, they become communitarian, mutually exclude each other, and thus maintain their resentment towards each other.

However, courageous men and women in Bosnia-Herzegovina are working to bring peace and rapprochement. Such is the case of the “Forum zena” association, which the President and Vice-President of Ad Pacem were able to meet, and which helps women who were tortured in the camps during the war and who have emerged traumatised. Life is still particularly hard for these women, even thirty years after the war, because many of them are still living on 63 euros a month. Half of the profits from the sale of the 2022 calendar were donated to “Forum zena” for its therapeutic aid, and to three women who were then able to rebuild their lives by buying what they needed to live with dignity.

The other half of the profit was used to fund 6 scholarship holders at the University of Sarajevo for the two academic years of 2023 and 2024. On the association’s website, you can read about the aid provided in Bosnia-Herzegovina and who these scholarship holders are, who, after completing their interfaith and intercultural studies, want to work as peacemakers in organisations serving their country.

2.5. The 2024 calendar

As part of the design process for the 2024 calendar, during the summer of 2023 members of the Committee walked and photographed around 250 kilometres of the Western Front of the First World War between Verdun and Reims. Several versions of the calendar have been produced for this 2024 edition: an Italian version (250 copies), a French version (900 copies) and a German version (200 copies). Only in Germany have there been problems selling these calendars. Many Germans reject anything to do with war; it’s often a taboo subject for them. Exceptionally, the committee has decided to produce a Ukrainian edition (25 copies) and a Bosnian edition (25 copies). The aim is to strengthen contacts with academics and acquaintances in Bosnia-Herzegovina, bearing in mind that the event that triggered the First World War took place in Sarajevo. In the Ukraine, these calendars serve to forge links through the transmission of history, which they know little about. Profits from the sale of the 2024 calendar will be invested in the purchase of medication for traumatised patients at the Vorzel psychiatric hospital in Ukraine.

2.6. The website

The website is essential because it is the only way for the Ad Pacem association to make itself known. All the information can be found there. Laurent Tran Van Mang, a member of the Ad Pacem Committee, is the IT specialist responsible for the site and he reveals that in 2023, the site was subject to 715 attacks, all of which were blocked. The attacks came from various countries, led by Germany, Canada, and Austria. However, hackers have the means to falsify the actual locations from which the attacks originate. Laurent Tran Van Mang is trying to provide the latest updates, which are essential to maintain the site’s accessibility.

The 2023 activity report as presented was unanimously approved.

  1. Financial report 2023

The financial report for 2023 was presented by Christian Welter, the association’s Treasurer. The association’s balance increased slightly during the year. The Committee is endeavouring to reduce the proportion of cash and to centralise funds more in the bank account.

Expenditure on activities and operating costs is covered by income from subscriptions, while the remainder, notably aid, is financed by donations. In 2023, 159 contributors made it possible to finance activities.

The donations received cover the aid we provide, both to individuals and to organisations. The association has been able to help many beneficiaries, including teams of doctors in the hospitals we support, our scholarship holders, not forgetting many victims suffering the consequences of war.

Calendar funding and income is always spread over two years, which can affect the financial overview from one year to the next; calendar profits and donations have been in line with expectations.

  1. Auditor’s report

Patrice Picart, who was absent, confirmed in writing his agreement with the financial report.

The 2023 financial report and the auditor’s report were unanimously approved.

  1. Amendment to the Articles of Association

Under Luxembourg law, the laws governing associations are evolving and we need to update our Articles of Association to comply with the new law of 7 August 2023 on not-for-profit associations and foundations. According to the criteria laid down by this law, we are a ‘small association’ in that we have assets of less than €100,000, our income is less than €50,000 and we have no employees.

Christian Welter then reminded those present of the major changes, in particular those relating to the object of the association (it is no longer sufficient to state the aims of the association in the Articles of Association; the means used to achieve these aims must also be defined), the registered office, the distinction between full members and members, and the rights of the General Meeting and the Committee of Administrators.

The amendment to the Articles of Association was unanimously approved by the members.

  1. Additional election of the Committee of Administrators

Renaud Cecconi applied to join the Committee of Administrators as Secretary. As the number of administrators is currently 4, the General Meeting unanimously decided to increase the number to 5. Renaud Cecconi then briefly introduced himself to the General Meeting.

Renaud Cecconi was unanimously accepted as Secretary to the Committee of Administrators.

  1. Election of the auditor

Patrice Picart was unanimously accepted as auditor and re-elected.

  1. Provisional budget for 2024

The provisional budget for 2024 was presented and discussed. Anticipated income consists mainly of subscriptions, calendar sales and donations.

Expenditure for 2024 covers activities, including events such as a conference, a cycling tour, cultural visits, and outings. Administrative and operating costs, including website costs, postage and bank charges, are also included. Finally, the planned grants are intended for various beneficiaries, including teams of doctors, individuals, scholarship holders and hospitals.

The provisional 2024 budget was unanimously approved.

  1. Determination of the membership fee

The membership fee was unanimously set at €15 and €5 for students.

  1. Miscellaneous

We need occasional members to help with special events such as trips, meetings and visits. Claude Pantaleoni addressed the audience, inviting everyone and anyone they know in their immediate circle to come and help us if they can. This could involve car pooling, for example, or helping out at the Christmas festivities, where we will be running a stand in Differdange for three weeks.

On 18 May 2024, on a Saturday, we’ll be organising a cycling trip along the cycle paths in the south of Luxembourg.

As there were no further questions from the audience, Claude Pantaleoni closed the General Meeting after thanking everyone and inviting them to share a glass of friendship and take a photograph together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.