The International Council
for Philosophy and Human Sciences

Opening Address by Chao Gejin at the CIPSH GA

Distinguished guests, dear colleagues and friends,

As the current President of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences, I would like to express my gratitude and welcome to the delegates, representatives and guests, at the opening of this year's general assembly, which is supposed to be happening in Odens, Denmark, but with the pandemic spreading around the world, the Council has had to, for the first time in its 71-year history, convene an online meeting to go through the established procedures. Over the following two days, the delegates and the representatives will go over the Secretary-General's report, the treasurer's financial report, review the ongoing projects, and conduct the election of the new board and executives, followed by deliberation on CIPSH’s development strategies. 

I believe that although we are now in different parts of the world, our hearts are in one and our minds are the same, hoping the CIPSH is getting healthier and stronger. 

Six years ago, in October 2014, at the CIPSH’s general assembly in Paris, I was elected president, with your trust and support, and in my absence due to illness. It has been a great honor and huge challenge for me to serve the CIPSH, the world's top academic umbrella organization for humanities. We have been working hard to improve its vitality in many ways. Over the past six years, CIPSH 's financial situation has improved, and its member organizations have increased. Moreover, its relationship with UNESCO was clarified under the agreement signed by the two organizations. 

Joining hands with UNESCO, we successfully sponsored the First World Humanities Conference in Liege, Belgium in 2017. Here I would like to stress that without the tireless efforts made by Adama Samassekou, past president of CIPSH, and John Crowley from UNESCO, and some others, it would not have been possible for the conference to be held successfully. If we look back at the Council's footprint today, we will first see Adama, a real gentleman, determined, passionate, leading the reform of the Council, so that the Council gradually move out of the trough.

Recently, working together with UNESCO, we established the humanities chair to facilitate world humanities studies, we launched some projects to enhance humanities’ social relevance, and we organized academic activities in some countries covering a wide spectrum of topics, with an aim of combining global concerns with local needs and development. 

The above-mentioned achievements would not be possible if not for the joint efforts of our board members and executives, as well as our member organizations. Here, I would like to express solemn thanks to Secretary-General Luiz Oosterbeek, Treasurer Franco Montanari, past president Adama Samassekou, and two vice-presidents Rosalind Hackett, and Francois Djindjian. 

We celebrated our council’s 70th anniversary last year. By summing up history, we have become clearer about the way forward, and more confident about the future of the Council. My term in CIPSH’s office is up now. The time I spent working with you is most pleasant and unforgettable. The future is more challenging, but we believe that the new board and the new executives would lead the council forward with new strategies and they will open a new chapter with novel achievements. Thank you!

December 15, 2020