Since 1930, IIAS has contributed to improving public administration and governance globally. We also did so in 2018, and we will continue to do so in 2019. We are organizing conferences and research meetings where new ideas can be shared, problems and solutions are exchanged, and existing and new practices are communicated. This implies that theory meets practice, that academia meets policy makers and advisors.
We are reaching out across borderlines to connect people and institutions. Geographically, our regional conferences in different parts of the world allow to connect within and between cultures. Demographically, our young civil servants and PhDs meet senior civil servants and established scholars. We bridge academics and practitioners with pracademics. We set agenda's globally by our strategic focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. We keep track of trends through publications and dialogues. Also, quality of training and teaching is a major focus for the quality of public governance and its institutions. Our national, regional, and global networks allow and facilitate this shared focus on quality through accreditation of programmes, in a spirit of sharing and upgrading among peers for the common good of public governance in our societies and our countries.
Our members constitute a community of interest in public governance which is effective, accountable, and inclusive. It is in our shared interest and duty to keep this community and this field of public administration and administrative sciences and practices alive and relevant. IIAS is an international platform that animates this community of all those that think and act within this e field of administration. For this reason, IIAS wants to be effective, accountable, and inclusive.
I would like to thank all our members, especially our Member Countries, for sharing this belief that we can improve our public governance systems by sharing our ideas and practices through exchanges and dialogues. Also, specialised (IASIA) and regional groups (EGPA from Brussels, LAGPA from Rio de Janeiro, AGPA from Beijing) and their leadership create a great IIAS family which is expanding. Finally, our loyal partnering organizations allow to push agendas even further.
I would like to thank our current Secretariat, which in 2018 performed beyond all standards, under the leadership of DG Sofiane Sahraoui. In 2018, this dream team was able to handle the past, control the present, and prepare the future.
On a personal note, it has been a great privilege to serve IIAS. Let me thank all of you, especially the members of the Council and the Committees, for your trust and for your support. Leadership only works well, when we really 'own' the IIAS vision and mission. In 2019, we will continue our march uphill to improve public governance, also to make the SDGs really happen.