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News IHEYO, September 2003

IHEYO Conference 2003 in Berlin

The Conference

As a follow up to the earlier conference held in Netherlands last year, IHEYO has successfully organized another international youth conference in Berlin. Held between 29th of August and 2nd of September, 2003 in Berlin and hosted by the German youth humanists, JUHUS [with the support of HIVOS and IHS], IHEYO-Berlin 2003 was a success! The conference had over 50 delegates from over 17 countries in attendance with a handful observers. Berlin 2003 was truly unique because the aspiration of having participants from the global south was realized as there were delegates from Nigeria, Nepal, and India.

Of significant interest to the organizers [besides the 6 main and short workshops held] was the transformation of IHEYO into a formal YOUTH BODY and this was achieved with the ratification and adoption of IHEYO By-laws and the election of members of IHEYO Executive committee by the General Assembly.


The following workshops were held

The most attended workshop was Religious Fundamentalism and Secularism, which had paper presentations from three great blocks: the Islamic , the Hindu and Christian fundamentalism. A summary from this and the other workshops will appear soon on this website


The largest part of the General Assembly was devoted to the Bylaws of the IHEYO. During the introduction of the draft bylaws it became soon clear that an ad-hoc committee had to solve the matter of the bylaws in order to save time. This committee worked very hard to incorporate all wishes and notices of amendments and modifications into a consensus paper which could be evaluated on their merits and be voted upon without wasting the time of the members present.

Despite the efforts of the committee the discussion on the Bylaws still took some time before it was formally adopted UNANIMOUSLY by the general assembly. Full report and 'who is who' that made it a success will be posted on this site very soon.

The Executive Committee

At the beginning of the conference there were only few candidates for the office of President, Vice-President and General Secretary, but as the conference progressed, other participants also felt the urge to volunteer to serve on the board.

The elections took place on Monday, 1st of September,2003 during a short break from the discussion on the Bylaws. Below is the result of the elections which were conducted in a ballot:

PresidentGea Meijers, Netherlands
1st Vice PresidentAlina Mänttäri, Finland
2nd Vice PresidentTewar Ramesh Kumar, India
Secretary General Ademowo 'Yemi Johnson, Nigeria
Regular Boardmembers Lars-Petter Helgestad, Norway
Frederick Dezutter, Belgium
Marita Eriksen, Norway
Vincent Lloyd, U.S.A
Wolfgang Huber, Austria

Bye! Berlin 2003, Hello! Kampala 2004

Most, if not all, of the participants were very reluctant to leave Berlin, as it was a well organized conference (a big thanks to the German organizing team). And for most of us, the conference [although it lasted nearly 5 days] was too short to actually discuss all the matters which everyone wanted to deal with.

Well, perhaps there is the time to discuss these matters at the next conference, which will take place in Kampala, Uganda, in May/June 2004.
See you there!

Don't forget that a comprehensive report and Photorama on the conference will be available on this site very soon!