At the Convention there were More than 26,000 registrants representing 3,605 Rotary clubs in 170 countries. Rotary committed US$102 million this year to end polio. Hamburg gained €24 million in tourism revenue. Holger Knaack was the first German nominated to serve as Rotary International president in 2020-21. There were 35 speeches and 98 breakout sessions and 334 exhibit booths of which 200 featured Rotary humanitarian projects.
District 5340 had 108 registered to attend and we all met for a District 5340 Reception after the 2nd Opening Session of the Convention at the Hamburg Marriott for food and drink.
Nearly 1000 Rotarians, Rotaractors and other peace leaders from around the world gathered before the Convention to discuss the power of peace at the Rotary Peacebuilding Summit. In the Peace Around the World session, representatives from six presidential peacebuilding conferences Rotary held in 2018 described the results of those meetings. Each focused on one of Rotary’s other five areas of focus or the environment. There were speeches from David Morley, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada; Michelle Breslauer, program director in the Americas for the Institute for Economics and Peace; and Muyatwa Sitali, a Rotary Peace Fellow alumnus.
In his keynote address, Rotary International President Barry Rassin said, “Service to others is an integral part of our mission, whether it’s through the plans and actions of individual clubs, Rotary’s six areas of focus, or the transformational support of The Rotary Foundation. And the service that most defines us and our global mission is the ongoing goal to rid the world of polio.”
During the four-day event, attendees heard from an array of world class speakers, including Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg, Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, and on the closing day, Eckart Diepenhorst, CEO of mytaxi presented a check for €70,000, representing 100 percent of the proceeds from all rides to and from the Hamburg Messe from 31 May through 5 June to support German Rotary club projects.
Rotaract was highlighted throughout the event including these remarks from RIP Barry Rassin, “Rotaractors are Rotary’s rock stars. They inspire us with big dreams and even bigger actions. I call on all of the graying Rotary leaders, who have given so much to this organization through the years, to take heed of what Rotaractors say and do. They are Rotary’s future.”