Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), and FIA Vice President recently headed a team of six representatives from the UAE’s National Sporting Authority to attend the FIA Annual General Assembly and Prize Giving that was hosted for the first time outside of Europe and took place in New Delhi, India.
The General Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the FIA. It is chaired by the FIA President and is composed of automobile and touring clubs and National Sporting Authorities representing the 228 member organizations.
All meetings were notable for the number of important decisions that were made, including amendments to the FIA Statutes. These were mainly brought about following the work of the Statutes Review Commission, in order to create a more modern organisation with better capability to service the interests of its members today and in the future.
One of the highlights of the meetings was when The Arab Council of Touring and Automobile Clubs (ACTAC) ratified a comprehensive restructure of its board. The council approved a range of positional changes and the creation of several new roles, which it believes will strengthen the organisation in the future. H.E. Mohammed Ben Sulayem was elected as the new chairman of ACTAC, while Essa Hamzah Al Failakawi of the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC), became the organisation’s Secretary General.
Ben Sulayem commented “The world is undergoing dynamic changes, so I am glad to see all the Arab clubs agreeing on the decision that we must work together to improve out status with the FIA, and to further strengthen the bond between us to achieve out common goals.”
Under the new board’s scheme, two vice chairmen were also appointed; Chihab Baloul from Algeria and Ahmad Abd al-Malek from the Yemen Club for Touring and Automobile. It was also approved that Walid Shaiban of the Syrian Automobile Club will take up the post of region I coordinator.
The Council also decided over the course of the meeting that its permanent Secretariat will be established in the United Arab Emirates in the near future; and as safety was high on the meeting’s agenda, the organization also agreed to make road safety a top priority in the region and offered their full support for FIA’s Action for Road Safety Campaign. The initiative targets motorists, motorsport enthusiasts, young people and governments and encourage member clubs and federations to make a commitment to address a critical road safety problem in their country.
FIA Institute: New President appointed and Motor Sport Gold Medal for Prof. Watkins
Meanwhile and following the announcement of Professor Sid Watkins retirement from the FIA Institute Presidency, former Deputy President, Professor Gérard Saillant, was elected as the Institute's new President with the unanimous support of the organisation's General Assembly.
Furthermore, FIA Institute Honorary President Prof. Sid Watkins, who revolutionised safety and medical standards in motor sport, was awarded the FIA Academy Gold Medal for Motor Sport at the FIA Gala prize-giving ceremony in Delhi. The FIA Gold Medal that is awarded to an individual that, either through exceptional success, or outstanding effort, has made a substantial contribution to motor racing allows Prof. Watkins to join a very prestigious list of recipients to have received the award since it was launched in 2004.