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The first address of the new President of AIDA, Carlos Ignacio Jaramillo, to the AIDA General Assembly AIDA XI World Congress, New York, 25 October 2002

Distinguished Members of AIDA's Presidential Council, respected members of AIDA's General Assembly, organisers of the XI World Congress for insurance law, ladies and gentlemen:

It is with great pleasure that I stand before you this afternoon to express my overwhelming gratitude and honour at having been elected President of the International Association for Insurance Law, AIDA.

This organization is, without a doubt, the most prestigious scientific organization for insurance law worldwide, known for its commitment and dynamism. This is shown not only in the extraordinary work that its numerous National Chapters carry out on each of the five continents, but also in the organisation of diverse academic activities of international importance. By way of example, let me mention the celebration of the eleven World Congresses, and the meetings of the Working Groups. They provide the appropriate milieu for the in-depth and comparative analysis of the specific topics which they study, all of which are of obvious importance to our time.

Therefore, being aware of the responsibility that the Presidency of this Association implies, I want to reiterate my immense gratitude for the honour that such an important nomination represents to me and my family. Thank you for your trust.

It is my strong desire to collaborate with each of the Chapters that comprise AIDA, without discrimination of any kind, as all are worthy of my deep institutional, personal, legal, cultural and linguistic respect. Following the example set by the outgoing President, Mr. Rosenmejer, I will spare no effort in the promotion of the full participation of all Chapters committed to AIDA'S noble ideals. I will continue to support the study and diffusion of insurance law from an exclusively academic perspective, as it should be.

In that vein, I would like to point out that this is the first time that the Presidency of the Association has fallen on a resident of a continent other than Europe. Aside from the obvious significance to the institutional life of the Association, it confirms our very real international character. AIDA is, happily, an intercontinental, multilingual and multiracial organization. This fact constitutes an invaluable resource that should be utilized for insurance law and for legal science as a whole.

As the visionary liberator, Simon Bolivar, pointed out in the XIX century, and, as others in the XX century, including the celebrated statesman Winston Churchill, also pointed out, the integration of and co-operation between the nations that comprise our planet become every day more necessary and more practical. It is in this light that the famous, and recently departed, Prof. Antigono Donati, thought of AIDA. He was a believer in the comparative law of insurance in its purest form, and an irreplaceable beacon to guide us. His thoughts stimulated the idea that the Presidency of this great association should be itinerant and could be conferred on a member of the prestigious and old Ibero-Latin American Committee of AIDA - CILA. This is a clear example of the importance of regional integration. I hope that this idea will be capitalized on in the future and that different continents will have representatives serve as President.

How sorry I feel, consequently, that Professor Donati could not see his yearning realized in this world. I also regret that other figures of this beloved discipline who have had great influence in AIDA, do not accompany us physically into this new era. I want to recognize that many of them have been of enormous significance to my professional training and it is to my sorrow that they cannot be here today. By way of illustration, I want to mention Professor Efren Ossa G, so dear to me and to whom I owe so much, who, when he was its President and I was very young, invited me to be part of ACOLDESE. It was in that respected Association - for which I profess an enormous affection - that I was formed and I still continue being formed, and it gave me the opportunity to contact AIDA years ago, and thus many of you, who were old friends of this internationally reputed legal author.

This appointment constitutes, completely independently of my name or of my person, an example of the pluralism of the Association. I so interpret the decision of the distinguished executives who, with this appointment, are not only giving an explicit vote of confidence to the lusty continent of America, but especially to a distinguished group of scholars. They, under the wise tutelage of Professors Manuel Soares Povoas; J. Efren Ossa Gómez; Juan Carlos Félix Morandi; Arturo Díaz Bravo and Fernando Sanchez Calero - all of them ex-presidents of CILA-AIDA - have demonstrated that they know how to work jointly in the interests of Ibero-American insurance law and, of course, for insurance law in general. Named this morning as the new President of the CILA, for the period 2002 to 2006, Dr. Eduardo Mangialardi will continue this pattern of excellent work. I again congratulate him for the well deserved nomination.

Likewise, I wish to congratulate all the recently elected Members of the Presidential Council. I could not finish these brief lines without expressing to all the members of the Council my gratitude for their support, past and present. You are fundamental to AIDA's progress during the next four years. Also, I extend my thanks to Professors Arturo Díaz Bravo and Fernando Sanchez Calero, for their stimulus and cooperation. In addition to other respected colleagues, they supported the candidacy of an Ibero-American President. I also wish to thank Mikael Rosenmejer, not only for his personal support, but also for the unequivocal support he offered during his Presidency to the National Chapters that comprise CILA and, in addition, to the Spanish and Portuguese languages. He richly deserves the AIDA Medal that, during the General Assembly meeting, held today, was unanimously decided to be given to him.

I cannot complete this address, without evoking, with overflowing affection, the memory of all the famous proponents of insurance law who, with their fervour and mystical and well-known scientific authority, earned places in the celestial gallery of insurance lawyers. I refer specifically to the following Professors and Doctors: Nicolás Barbato; José Luis Barron De Benito; André Besson; Mario Cerne; Konrad Firgau; Simón Fredericq; Joaquín Garrigues; Isaac Halperin; Adelmo Kohler; Roberto Mantilla Molina; Hans Moller; Juan Carlos Félix Morandi; J. Efrén Ossa G.; Gordon Shaw; and Witold Warkalo, among many others.

If God is willing, they will guide me through the duties of the demanding role of the Presidency that, with great honour, I assume today. With security in the knowledge that the contribution of all you makes most things possible, I trust that my Presidency will be to the benefit of the AIDA. A Presidency is a collective responsibility, which provides good reason for my always being ready to listen to your recommendations, suggestions, and comments. Given that a calm and constructive dialogue is certainly useful and good counsel, it will be to my benefit to be a good listener. An additional reason for open dialogue lies in the fact that there are so many National Chapters, each with their own unique characteristics. No one person may hope to manage this all without the input of others.

You may, members of the General Assembly, be certain that, in the company of the Presidential Council and other office bearers, among them the enthusiastic members of the General Secretariat Messrs. Colin Croly and Michael Mendelowitz, I will work to preserve AIDA's strictly scientific identity, obtained through more than forty years' worth of contribution by extraordinary human beings. It will be our focus to maintain the mission traced by our founders, as well as the due and considered balance that should exist among the different juridical systems to which each of the diverse Chapters belong. It will only be possible in this way to respect the true essence of our organization, and, at the same time, to stimulate its growth and development.

Finally, I want to congratulate the organizers of this eleventh World Congress for Insurance Law, because they have achieved a most successful event. At the same time, it is with great enthusiasm that I invite all of you to meet again in the year 2006 for the twelfth World Congress for Insurance Law, which will be held, God willing, in the elegant and noble city of Buenos Aires. I wish to thank in advance the members of the Argentinian Chapter of AIDA, who have already begun the preparations for its organization. It will without a doubt be a success, judging by their institutional commitment and their proven responsibility.

Gracias; thank you; mercie; danke, grazie. Thank you also to my exemplary parents, here present; to my beloved wife; and to my admired Colombian colleagues in ACOLDESE and FASECOLDA, who, with their generosity of spirit, decided to accompany me to this highly successful World Congress.