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Glasgow, Scotland, June 16 - For the first time in 76 years, Rotary International is holding its annual convention in Scotland, and the 24,000 Rotarians present will make the meeting the largest ever held in the country, and one of the largest ever in Europe.

Although this is the first time that Rotary International has held a convention in Glasgow, it's the second time Rotarians are gathering in Scotland. The last convention held in Scotland was in Edinburgh in 1921, and was the first Rotary convention held outside North America.

Also significant is the number of countries represented. Rotary has clubs in 155 countries and 35 geographic regions, and Rotarians from some 120 of those countries or regions will be in attendance. The convention provides an opportunity for Rotarians from every corner of the globe to meet, exchange ideas and compare notes on projects to improve the quality of life in areas such as health, education and sustainable development.

This year's agenda is filled with interesting and thought-provoking speakers as well as a variety of programme's highlighting the kind of work Rotary clubs are doing in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. Speakers include Federico Mayor, director general of UNESCO; Donald Dewar, Secretary of State for Scotland; Michael K. Dorsey, director on the board of the Sierra Club; and Dr Michael Nobel, chairman of the Nobel Family Society.

South African President Nelson Mandela has been awarded this year's Rotary Award of World Understanding. The award will be presented to his designated representative during the convention, and a special videotaped message from President Mandela to the Convention will be shown. The convention runs from Sunday, June 15 to Wednesday, June 18.

Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary International is composed of 28,000 clubs. The main objective of Rotary is service - in the community and throughout the world. Rotarians build goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service, and encourage high ethical standards in all vocations. This year, President Luis Vicente Giay asked clubs to focus the activities on service to youth and urban peace.

Advisory to editors:

UNS does not warrant or make any representations regarding the correctness, accuracy or reliability of the contents of the press release. Under no circumstances shall UNS be liable for damages resulting from the use of information contained in the press release. All facts should be independently checked.

SOURCE Rotary International

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