Twenty-five barons signed the Magna Carta in 1215. Fifty-six men signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence in 1776. Fifty-one representatives signed the Charter of the United Nations in 1945.
Add to that list 27 political leaders around the world who signed the “Declaration of Support for the Meetings and Events Industry” at IMEX 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany. The leaders (listed below) put pen to paper and agreed with the following statement.
“In a critical period of global economic transition and recovery, I believe that creating jobs and retraining work forces, increasing trade and inward investment, spreading knowledge and improving professional practices, enhancing innovation and creative development, nurturing community awareness and advancement and stimulating business regeneration are all essential factors in sustaining long-term economic growth and stability.
“I further acknowledge the key role that meetings and events play in delivering these important objectives by instigating and facilitating the critical interactions required to exchange information, share knowledge and achieve consensus while at the same time enriching the visitor economy and raising the profile of the host destination.”
Destinations will now be encouraged to use the declaration as a way to open up dialogue with their local politicians and help solicit their public support for the meetings and events industry locally. IMEX and its partners are aiming to secure 100 signatories for the declaration by the end of the year, and the document is also being used by the Joint Meetings Industry Council as part its new “Speak Up” advocacy campaign.
“The emphasis on working collectively to achieve recognition has inspired me to go home and really work to break down remaining barriers,” said Wendy Simon, a city councilor for Liverpool, England. “And we’ll definitely be highlighting our part in the Declaration of Support. I think it’s important that Liverpool knows it had a voice here today.”
Below is the list of all 27 signers.
Director Tourism Planning & Development, Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Azerbaijan—Fikrat Mammadov
Vice Mayor, Antwerpen, Belgium—Koen Kennis
Chair, Canadian Tourism Commission, Canada—Steve Allan
CEO, Tourism Victoria, Australia—Leigh Harry
The Egyptian Minister of Tourism—His Excellency Mr Hisham Zaazou
President of France Congres - Mayor of Deauville—Phillippe Augier
Deputy Mayor of Toulon, France—Sophie Verdery
President, Toulouse Metropole, France—Bernard Keller
Vice President, Nantes Metropole, France—Valerie Demangeau
Ministry of Economy, Transportation & Innovation Hamburg, Germany—Dr. Rolf-Barnim Foth
Councillor, City of Milano, Italy—Franco D’Alfonso
Deputy Mayor - The Hague, Netherlands—Marjolein de Jong
Vice Minister of Tourism, Panama—Honorable Ernesto Orillac
President and CEO, Seoul Tourism Organization—Sung-Real Lee
Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore—Lionel Yeo
Director of Spirit Slovenia—Bostjan Skalar
Vice President Moderat Party, Skovde, Sweden—Michael Nimstad
Vice Municipal Commissioner, Municipal of Tranemo, Sweden—Claes Redberg
Deputy Mayor, Municipality of Ulricehamn, Sweden—Mattias Josefsson
Member of Parliament, Sweden—Penilla Gunther
Vice President, Region Vastra Gotaland, Sweden—Conny Brannberg
Municipal Commissioner, Municipal of Boras, Sweden—Lena Palmen
Member of the Geneva City Government, Switzerland—Guillaume Barazzone
Mayor of Lviv, Ukraine—Andriy Sadovyi
Minister for Sport and Tourism, U.K.—Rt. Honorable Hugh Robertson, MP
Member of Parliament, U.K.—Nick de Bois
Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism, Liverpool, U.K.—Wendy Simon