SINGAPORE (July 19, 2011)—The International Rubber Study Group adopted a revised constitution and elected India as its new chairman nation at the 107th IRSG group meetings in Singapore July 11-14.
The revised IRSG constitution involved administrative and logistic changes necessitated by the move of the group's headquarters from London to Singapore in 2008, according to an IRSG press release. The constitution also needed structural changes to reflect changing trends in the world rubber industry, developments in commodity organizations and stakeholders' needs, the IRSG said.
The constitution had not been revised since 1944, when the IRSG was founded in its present form, it said.
India was chosen as chairman nation to replace Cote d'Ivoire, whose two-year term of chairmanship ended this year, the IRSG said. India was chosen as successor because of its strong standing as both a producer and consumer of rubber, it said.
Sheela Thomas, chairman of the Indian Rubber Board, will officiate as IRSG chairman representing India. Other Indian delegates to the IRSG include J.B. Upadhyay, undersecretary of India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Toms Joseph, Indian Rubber Board deputy director.
India will serve as chairman of the IRSG until 2013. The European Union, representing all 27 of its member nations, will serve as vice chairman for the same period, the group said.
During the meetings, IRSG delegates also discussed strategic planning for the organization, including the recruitment of a new statistician and the reactivation of the IRSG Statistical Core Group. Also discussed were plans to implement natural rubber planting policies, create a sustainable “Green Rubber” economy and combat price volatility, among other issues.
The IRSG also said it would package its annual World Rubber Summits in Singapore as “mega-events” over the next three years, with the next meeting to be held in May 2012, the group said.
With the exit of the U.S. and Thailand from IRSG membership as of July 1, the IRSG will give priority to recruiting new member nations, it said.
“Immediate focus will be given to Brazil, Indonesia and China, although discussions remain ongoing with other potential members,” the group said.