It is a privilege and an honour to address you as the new president of the IULTCS. First of all allow me to introduce myself. For 36 years I have been working as a scientific researcher in the CSIC which is the largest public research organisation in Spain and is affiliated to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

I have been chairman of the IUP commission for 14 years, four years as a technical member of the EC, and I have been a member of different organising commissions for national, Mediterranean and international congresses. By all of this I mean that I have deep knowledge both of the current aims as well as of the function of the IULTCS.

The leather related trade has become global. The number of tanners, footwear technologists, designers, production managers, quality controllers – just to name a few categories – involved in operations requiring collaboration with foreign companies and even practical work abroad is rapidly growing.

The ever broadening international cooperation gradually eliminates technical differences between different countries and regions; the technology (including CD/CAM/CIM) implemented in different parts of the world is very much the same today (Ferenc Schmél).

Globalization is multi-faceted, with many important dimensions, economic and social, political and environmental, cultural and religious; which affects everyone in some way. Its implications range from the trade to in our lives: the ease with which we can talk to people all over the world; the ease and speed with which data can be transmitted around the world; the ease of travel; the ease with which we can see and hear news and cultural events around the world; and most extraordinarily, the internet, which gives us the ability to access the stores of knowledge in virtually all the world’s computers (Stanley Fischer).

In this world context, I sincerely believe that the IULTCS plays a very important role in the international leather sector. Currently there are over 35 federated countries in the union. This means that we form an important international lobby.

We do, however, have some disadvantages with regard to the national associations of chemists and leather technicians. We do not have a true head office but a virtual one. We do not directly organise congresses, symposia or technical meetings, nor do we publish a monthly scientific-technical journal.

Nevertheless, we do have a website that we will modernise, up-date and include new on-line features. I would very much like to turn it into the best site in the world leather sector. It represents our best ‘media’ for divulging our activities. We must learn how to ‘sell’ the IULTCS to the sector and demonstrate that it is useful and necessary.

I would like to summarise, in general terms, the main activities that I will encourage and fully support during my mandate as president of the IULTCS:

* To activate, extend and increase the power, duties and obligations, especially of the area representatives who, in my opinion, are a fundamental part of the EC members

* To explain to the ICT (International Council of Tanners) the importance of the standards for leather that are conceived by the IU commissions. I would like to remind you that since 1989, the ISO (the main world organisation for standardisation in all fields of science and technology) has officially recognised (by means of a signed document) that the IULTCS is the only organisation capable of producing new standards on leather, withdrawing and modifying those that are no longer useful for our modern industry etc. The IULTCS has the best experts in leather methodology in the world and for this reason they must form part of any commission establishing norms in which leather is the only or part of a component of a manufactured article. The commissions of standardisation on tanning cannot be composed of technicians from other sectors such as plastics, textiles etc and who have no knowledge of the nature of leather. These standards are the basic tools to protect the quality of manufacturing in the world leather sector, independently of the inevitable zone effects. The IU norms, now ISO norms, must be unique, and applicable all over the world

* To modernise and extend our website

* To commit myself during the two years of mandate as president of IULTCS to personally attend the most important events that will take place during this period to represent the IULTCS, such as at:

* a. First Centenary of the ALCA in the USA

* b. The Latin-American Congress, possibly in Argentina

* c. The Fair in Hong Kong, in order to hold meetings with the majority of presidents of the leather associations from Asian countries

* d. Italy, as organiser of the XXVIII Congress of the IULTCS in Florence (2005)

* e. Türkiye etc

Likewise I would like to keep fluent contact with the ICT. All this will be carried out with no cost to the treasury of the IULTCS

* To incorporate guidelines for the organisation of future congresses of the IULTCS and other changes in the internal regulations, as well as possible modifications in the statutes of our entity

* We will open an interactive section in the web with the aim of answering your questions, receiving your suggestions, giving information and even, possibly, carrying out commercial transactions. I would like to get in touch with you every now and then through the web and I encourage you to do the same whenever you wish.

Professor Jaume Cot