29 June 2020

An important message from the President – Change in the General Secretariat team

Dear Members of the OWHC,

I hope my message finds you well and you are successfully dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which we are all experiencing.

In mid-May, I was informed by the Secretary General of the OWHC, Mr. Robert Quarles van Ufford, that a medical condition had arisen making living in Quebec City not an option for him. He immediately returned to The Netherlands and was working from home. Due to the permanence of the situation as opposed to a temporary absence from Quebec City, it was necessary that the Board of Directors address the matter at its meeting held virtually on 4 and 5 June 2020. Taking into consideration that in addition to the contract signed by the Secretary General stating that the location of his position is in Quebec City and that Article 83 of the OWHC By-laws states: “The Secretary General shall be appointed to hold office at the General Secretariat, in Quebec City…”, the following resolution was taken:

Resolution CA 20/ZOOM-3: It is unanimously resolved to terminate the contract between the OWHC and the Secretary General as of 30 June 2020.

The decision is taken in accordance with the By-laws of the OWHC and the contract signed by the Secretary General which stipulate that the Secretary General hold office at the General Secretariat in Quebec City.

Further to options put forth at the 4-5 June meeting to temporarily fill the vacancy of the office of Secretary General, an extraordinary virtual meeting of the Board of Directors was held on 26 June 2020 to deliberate the various alternatives. It was decided that the Deputy Secretary General, Mrs. Lee Minaidis, will serve as Interim Secretary General from 1 July 2020 until the subsequent General Assembly of the OWHC to be held during the 16th OWHC World Congress in Quebec City (Canada) on 2-5 June 2021. At that time, the members of the General Assembly will have the opportunity to elect the next Secretary General from among the candidates proposed by the Board of Directors. A recruitment process for the position of Secretary General will commence at the beginning of 2021.

I thank Robert Quarles van Ufford for his contribution to the Organization and wish him a speedy recovery and a new rewarding job in Europe that will ensure his well-being and sense of fulfillment.

Yours sincerely,


Jacek Majchrowski
Mayor of Kraków
President of the OWHC