35,000 expected at Rotary meet

Thailand's organising committee for the 103rd Rotary International Convention expects more than 35,000 delegates at the May |event, higher than the previous projection.

Noraseth Pathmanand, chairman of the host organising committee, said yesterday that more than 30,000 Rotary members had registered to attend the Rotary World Peace Symposium from May 3-5 and the global organisation's international convention from May 6-9 at Impact Arena, Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Attendees will come from 43 Rotary Clubs in 200 countries.

The event looks like attaining one of the highest records in terms of number of attendees for a global Rotary annual event after the convention in Osaka, Japan, in 2004 that had more than 40,000 participants.


The four-day event in Thailand is expected to generate about Bt3 billion for the economy, while the Thailand Convention and Exhibi-tion Bureau has granted Bt271 million in financial support.

Those attending the event will participate in a broad agenda including a plenary session, workshops and other activities that focus on how Rotary Clubs help to improve communities worldwide through volunteer service.

Participants will meet key speakers in the plenary session, namely Hugh Evans, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Global Poverty Project; Angelique Kidjo, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and peace advocate; and Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2006 and founder of Grameen Bank.

The bank provides microfinance services for poor people in Bangladesh.

Additionally, international experts will give a global update on the status of polio eradication. After that, Rotary members will celebrate their success in raising more than US$200 million (Bt6 billion) in new funding for wiping out polio in response to a $355-million challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.