Issue 25: March 2022
Welcome to issue number 25 of the FIDIC CEO’s Update, my regular round-up of the latest FIDIC activities, initiatives and events. Given the deeply concerning situation in Ukraine, this issue of the CEO’s Update obviously mainly concentrates on that issue and also details FIDIC’s response, following a meeting of the FIDIC board, which met on 10-11 March 2022.
The situation in Ukraine
The past three weeks has been very traumatic and difficult for the people of Ukraine and no doubt their many friends and relatives in many countries around the world. The depth of the impact of war is felt on life and death, on health and physical safety, on mental health and wellbeing, on feelings and emotions and deeply on families and relationships, so core to our culture and our world. Its impact on the community, cities, the environment and very importantly peoples’ homes and the infrastructure they depend on is appalling and frightening. These impacts will stay with those affected for the rest of their lives.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also been disturbing and upsetting for many countries and governments around the world and their peoples, particularly those in Europe and those who have had the lived experience of war, invasion and occupation.
As we are seeing in the news, many Russians are also very upset by this invasion. FIDIC hopes that the war in Ukraine will end very soon and peace and sovereignty will be restored to this great nation.
The situation highlights the dreadful impacts of military action on human lives, families, communities, institutions, governments and more broadly on humanity itself. It also brings into sharp focus the need for and dependence our societies have on critical infrastructure, trade, and resources. The cost of the war in the Ukraine and the associated economic impacts are being and will be felt by hundreds of millions of people for decades.
The FIDIC board met on 10-11 March and discussed what position FIDIC should take in respect of the war in Ukraine. I wanted to share the results of our deliberations with all our stakeholders at this critical time.
Following the meeting of the FIDIC board last week and consultation with EFCA and the FIDIC Europe board we have resolved to take the following steps in response to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
FIDIC board update
Apart from the situation in Ukraine, the FIDIC board also discussed a number of other issues and these are highlighted below.
Board members received an update on the plans for the FIDIC Global Infrastructure Conference which is due to take place in September 2022 in Geneva. Members discussed the format, structure and business model for the conference and made decisions to adopt a combined in-person and virtual conference hybrid solution by investing in a new digital conference platform to enhance the Zoom system used over the last two years.
The board also approved the terms of reference for two FIDIC advisory councils – the FIDIC Future Leaders Advisory Council and the Directors and Secretaries Advisory Council. These advisory councils will advise the board on key issues going forward related to future leaders and FIDIC’s member associations and upgrading these bodies to an advisory role is an indication of the importance that FIDIC places on their work.
Board members also approved a new working Committee, the Digital Transformation Committee and a restructured Business Practice Leadership Committee (BPLC) which would replace the previously known Business Practice Committee. The new BPLC will be more strategic focused and operate in a similar manner to the Contract Committee, with a clear mandate to establish proactive task groups to deliver guidance notes on issues such as finance, marketing, health and safety, risk liability and insurance, procurement, quality etc. Full details of the changes will be unfolded over the coming months to ensure an effective implementation process.
In the contracts area, board members also discussed and approved the terms of reference for two new FIDIC task groups to work on new subcontract forms and a handbook for practitioners.
The board also received an update on the FIDIC Climate Change Charter and the measurement of FIDIC’s own carbon footprint as part of the commitment made towards achieving the strategic development goals and the net zero agenda.
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