A farewell reception was held on 28 February in Brussels at the “Bozar” (Centre for Fine Arts) to pay tribute to UITP Secretary-General Hans Rat, who is leaving the association after holding this position for 14 years, from 1998 to 2012.
His successor is Mr Alain Flausch, CEO of Brussels Public Transport Company (STIB) until the end of 2011, and who was also UITP Chairman in recent years.
The farewell reception took place in the company of the new UITP Chairman Mr Ousmane Thiam from Senegal.
The academic session and reception that followed in the “Bozar” were attended by many guests from the public transport world, national and European authorities, transport industry as well as institutions and associations from all over the world, including UIC.
During the academic session UITP Chairman Ousmane Thiam paid tribute to the strong and successful personal commitment of Hans Rat for the development of the association over all these years. Hans Rat continuously consolidated the public transport association, enhanced its profile and transformed it from a European into a genuinely international organisation. Another successful development was the creation of regional UITP networks and the setting-up of a series of UITP regional offices.
Alain Flausch, who has been chairing UITP in recent years, described the future challenges for the association in a changing world, in particular the need to cope with developments in terms of economy and mobility, and for UITP to develop an entrepreneurial spirit.
UIC expresses its sincere thanks and very best wishes to Hans Rat, and warmly congratulates the new UITP Chairman Ousmane Thiam as well as the new Secretary-General Alain Flausch, who take up their new positions at the head of UITP.
UIC is looking forward to further developing fruitful cooperation between both worldwide associations – UITP and UIC – particularly in the fields of sustainability and regional rail transport, etc.