Minutes/notes of the MRF-Conference in Lyon (FR) | 14-16 October 2022

The second plenary conference of the “Multilateral Rotarian Forum” (MRF) was held in Lyon from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October 2022 – see flyer – , following the one in Sarnico in 2021.

The three Districts 1710, 1830 and 2042 were represented at the highest level by the three respective Governors. More than 20 RCs of the three districts were represented by more than 60 people.

It focused on promoting Peace, Europe and Youth and inspiring the Rotary and Rotaract clubs to take joint practical actions. This friendly forum helped clubs to network within the 3 districts, to start reflecting on common Global Grants and setting up short term exchanges (STEP) as well as fostering the projects already decided in Sarnico to promote Europe and Peace

Beyond the working sessions, participants enjoyed time to exchange ideas, to attend a conference on Europe, to profit from social interactions, to visit in and around Lyon, to have dinner in a local « brasserie », very typical in Lyon and, last but not least, to taste local wines…..

The conference focuses on « Europe and Peace » with parallel working sessions on: 

1.  Get ready for the first Trinational School project and the RES (Rotary European Stars): the first will take place in January 2023 in Heilbronn and the second in May 2023 in Bergamo.

2.  Start STEP (Short Term Exchange Program) for the 3 districts: not conclusive but was agreed that local Ryla’s should welcome youngsters from the other districts.

3.  Taking action together for Peace, Europe and Youth: the aim is to increase awareness of the importance of peace, in particular for the young generation. The proposal of a summer Camp came up.

4.  Inspiring large scale actions to plan Gobal Grants supported by clubs from the 3 districts: a committee will be organised in order to list all the GGs in our three districts to get inter-district participation.

5.  Helping clubs find twins in the other districts: aim is to succeed in getting a tri-national partnership.

6.  Networking and communication: improve inter-district communication via contacts at district level, club level and setting up an MRF web site.

During the conference some time was dedicated to the situation in Ukraine. By video, we got an overview of the situation as seen from Poland by Piotr Jankowski DG of 2231 (Poland) with whom we agreed to make a donation for urgent medical support in Ukraine. It was followed by a very inspiring talk on « Europe in Times of War: Perspectives » by Wolfgang Ischinger, President of the Foundation Council of the Munich Security Conference Foundation ». He went through our common European history, how we made it from war to peace. Among his conclusions, he insisted on one which is the need to promote European cooperation, in particular among the youngsters.

At the end of the conference, on Sunday morning, the Steering Committee and the MRF Secretariat met and decided, given the success of this second conference to organise a third plenary editions in autumn 2023 in Pforzheim (Germany).

In the early afternoon of Sunday, a group of participants took part in a trip round the « Beaujolais » before driving home with quite some homework