On 30 March 2009, UIC held in Paris a meeting of its Executive Board, followed on 31 March by its General Assembly. The primary objective was to approve new statutes and governance rules, and to appoint the senior management in charge of leading the “new” UIC. The General Assembly was chaired by Guillaume Pepy, President of SNCF and interim UIC Chairman (until the new Chairman Yoshio Ishida’s taking of office on 1 April), and subsequently by Ms Béatrice Dunogué-Gaffié, UIC Provisional Administrator, who had been mandated to oversee work on the revision of the statutes and finalise the proposed draft to be submitted to members.
The General Assembly was marked by the high participation (over 90%) of senior executives from UIC member railways, in particular the Chairmen of numerous European railways as well as members from Africa, the Maghreb, India, etc., showing the importance attached by members to this General Assembly, of decisive importance for the future of UIC.
At what was described as a “historic” General Assembly, members unanimously approved the new statutes on which consensus had previously been reached within the Executive Board on 30 March.
The new UIC statutes are based on the general governance principles approved at the General Assembly on 5 December 2008. These principles were complemented by a series of amendments to define the powers delegated by the General Assembly to the Executive Board.
In unanimously and unequivocally approving the new statutes, the members of UIC expressed forcefully their need for a strong UIC based on solidarity, able to rapidly and successfully meet the current challenges faced by rail transport across the world. This General Assembly draws a line under the governance crisis which has marked the association’s existence for the previous year. Due to the confidence forcefully expressed by its members, the Assembly marks a new start for UIC. As several railway chairmen stressed during the meeting, UIC must develop as a single international organisation, fostering in the course of its vocation the harmonious development of railways and increasing areas of cooperation and solidarity between members.
UIC members also unanimously approved the appointments of the senior management tasked with setting in place the “new UIC”. Mr Yoshio Ishida, Vice-Chairman of East Japan Railway Company, takes office as UIC Chairman from 1 April. Mr Mauro Moretti, Chief Executive of Italian Railways (FS) and Chairman of CER, was elected UIC Vice-Chairman.
Members also unanimously approved the appointment, as proposed by the Executive Board, of the new UIC Director-General of Services, who is tasked with managing the international railway organisation and setting in motion its new direction: this position was conferred on Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, currently Chairman of SNCF International, elected with overwhelming majority. He thus succeeds Luc Aliadière as the Head of UIC.
Taking the floor as the new UIC Chairman Mr Ishida expressed his sincere confidence in UIC’s mandate and action in the upcoming period. In particular, he highlighted that UIC must help exploit “the effectiveness of the railways in helping to overcome current global environmental problems, as well as the prospects for the building of superior future railway systems based on cooperation and solidarity of railway companies and railway-related organisations worldwide”.
The new DGS Jean-Pierre Loubinoux spoke of the priorities underpinning his future work, namely to “come back to harmony, strengthen the renown and influence of UIC as the prominent and professional railway organisation with a global reach, adapt UIC to the current and future challenges of rail transport, develop all technical partnerships useful to UIC and its members, our permanent objectives being those of pooling expertise, solidarity and efficiency, in a transparent manner”.
The General Assembly also welcomed a series of new members: Swaziland Railways (associate), CICF, Ivory Coast (affiliate), TRAINOSE, Greece (active), Taiwan (China) High Speed Rail Company THSRC (active) Floyd Zrt, Hungary (associate), ZPCG, ZICG, Montenegro (both associate), Hungrail (associate to active).
Born in 1943, Mr Yoshio Ishida joined Japanese National Railways (JNR) in 1967. In 1987, when JNR was divided and privatised, he became General Manager of the Train Operating Division, Tokyo Railway Operation Department, at East Japan Railway Company (EJRC). He held several prominent positions in JR East, primarily involving railway transport and rolling stock, such as General Manager of the Transport Safety Department (1989), General Manager of the Transport and Rolling Stock Department (1991), Director of Takasaki Branch Office (1992), Director of Transport and Rolling Stock Department (1994), Executive Director of the Tokyo Branch Office (1997). In 2000 he was appointed as Executive Vice President of JR East having control over all railway operations. Since June 2004, Mr Yoshio Ishida has been in charge of all technical and international matters as Vice Chairman of JR East.
He has been actively participating in UIC international cooperation activities for many years, in particular in the framework of the UIC World Executive Council (WEC) and then UIC Executive Board. In the field of technology and research he is currently chairing the IRRB (International Railway Research Board), the UIC body in charge of coordinating railway research strategies at a global level. Also, he has been taken the leadership in the international community of railways and public transport, and in international cooperation, being a member of the CER / UIC High-Level Passenger meeting and a member of the Policy Board of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).
Mauro Moretti, graduated in Electro-Technical Engineering at the University of Bologna, has been working for Ferrovie dello Stato since 1977 and held various responsibilities within the Italian railway company. He became in particular Director of Technological Department and Rolling Stock Division at FS (1993), Managing Director of Metropolis, the group company for the management of real estate assets (1994), and Director of the Area Strategica di Affari “Rolling Stock and Traction” (1996). He then moved to the Area Strategica “Infrastructure” (1997) and after creation of the Infrastructure branch Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI in 2001 became CEO of RFI (FS Group). He was appointed CEO of Italian Railways Group FS in October 2006. In 2007 he also became Chairman of Italferr, the engineering company of FS Group, and in 2008 Chairman of Grandi Stazioni, the station development and management branch of FS Group. Mauro Moretti is also CER Chairman since January 2009 and was member of UIC European Management Committee.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, 52 years old, graduate from Ecole Centrale of Paris, was at the Economic Expansion Observatory in Hong-Kong (77-78) before joining SNCF in 1978. He held in the French railway company various responsibilities: Train Operations Executive, Marketing Manager, SNCF Freight Executive branch (80-82, Director of SNCF Sales branch for North America (82-86), Director of On-board SNCF long-distance services (86-88), Chief executive French Railways Ltd UK (88-95), Director of Coal-Steel Business Unit, SNCF Freight (95-99), Director HR, Data Processing and Finance, SNCF Freight (1999-2000), Chief Executive SNCF Freight International (2001) and from 2001 Chairman and CEO of SNCF International and Director of International Development at SNCF.
In addition, Jean-Pierre Loubinoux is holding responsibilities in a large number of associations or institutions: President of AFFI (the French association of railway engineers and managers), member of the Chartered Institute of Transport, Advisor for the French Foreign trade and President of the Transport Committee, President of MEDEF France-Argentina committee, Vice President of Ecole Centrale association, etc.