Today the World Scout Bureau opened its new office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. These are the words I shared with our guests at the Grand Opening:
- The Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia
- Simon Rhee, Chairman, World Scout Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement
- The Honourable Jejomar Binay, President of Boy Scouts of Philippines and Vice-President of the Republic of Philippines
- Siegfried Weiser, Chairman, World Scout Foundation
- Members of the World Scout Committee
- Ministers of the Government of Malaysia
- Heads of National Scout Organizations
- Representatives of International Organizations
- Leaders of the National Scout Council and Executive Committee of The Scout Association of Malaysia
- Members of the press and media
- Guests, invitees and friends
Beginning in early 2013 with my new assignment as Secretary General, I visited Kuala Lumpur for the first time in this new capacity for me in Scouting. Since then, I have been returning regularly to what has now become my home. Each time I commute from the airport, the city center, the office, or from my apartment… I am struck by how welcoming, diverse and vibrant this city is. With every trip, I cannot resist making the connection between World Scouting and Kuala Lumpur. Because you see KL and World Scouting both are welcoming, diverse and vibrant. Both embody a unique representation of modern life, driven by young people who are engaged and animated by strong values.
So let me warmly and officially thank His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the whole Government of Malaysia for fully supporting the Grand Opening of this new office.
We are delighted to be here in Brickfields, in a modern office connected to easy and fast moving means of transportation to the city and to the KL International Airport. This is very important for us as we will welcome our volunteers and staff from across the globe more or less on a daily basis.
On this note, I extend a warm welcome to the representatives of the World Scout Committee who have been extremely supportive during this transition period of setting up the new office. As you know, the Scout Movement is a volunteer-based movement and volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Your dedication is incredible and we need more people like you, especially adult volunteers, to ensure that we grow this vibrant movement from 40 million members today to over 100 million members in less than 10 years’ time. And I know that we are all connected in sharing this vision of better scouting for more young people.
When I said that Kuala Lumpur and Scouting were both diverse and inclusive, just look around you at the World Scout Bureau staff present that I also welcome warmly. The diversity of our staff is a key strength to ensure that we best support our 162 National Scout Organizations with respect, integrity, trust and excellence in service. These are the values, based on the Scout Promise and Law, that I would like each and every one of us as staff members to live by each and every day. If we live these values in our daily work, we will achieve our mission and my vision of better support to our customers.
As you know, the mission of World Scouting is to contribute to the education of young people, in particular through non-formal education. To achieve this mission, we also need partners and let me acknowledge all our partners present here today.
Thank you for your support. In particular, let me acknowledge the Government of Malaysia and the World Scout Foundation that have provided greatly needed financial assistance to us in opening this new office!
So today, the dream of opening the World Scout Bureau, Kuala Lumpur Office has become a reality.
To achieve this also requires dedicated support from local experts. Here my sincere thanks go to the Scout Association of Malaysia who organised a task force to help us with logistics of not only moving files and equipment but particularly moving our people to Kuala Lumpur. They were most kind and generous in helping with their time, expertise and energy to ensure our staff felt quickly at home.
Let me also thank YTL, the developers of Sentral Vista. I appreciate the significance of their role in starting our office and their patience in dealing with our requests to make so many changes to the basic floor design. Needless to say, my friend Wai Hin must be particularly happy to see our building exercise completed!
There are a large number of people that could not join us here today, but who have sent their best wishes. I’d like to share excerpts from three letters we have received:
"Even though I am unable to be at the Grand Opening, I will definitely be there in spirit. It is a bold and foresighted step that will help take Scouting forward into the future, a move that I am sure we will bare great fruit in the years to come." Suk Won Kim – Past Chairman of the World Scout Foundation
"We wish you, the staff and the entire World Scout Bureau – Kuala Lumpur Office a great day for the Grand Opening and to our future actions together." Dr. Andrea Demarmels – Chairman and David McKee – Director, European Scout Region
"I want to wish you for tomorrow a great and terrific Grand Opening. I will be thinking of you and others there." Regards, Luc Panissod, Secretary General – Retired
Last I wish to extend a personal message to my family, but everyone here is allowed to listen-in! Thank you for allowing me to enter this final chapter of my Scouting career. I’ve missed birthdays, anniversaries and most holidays without any complaints from any of you. Your support allows me to fulfil a calling to help young people. You see, my career is a personal passion that drives my vision for the future of this Movement and I recognize that it is the personal sacrifice by each member of my family that allows me to do what I love so much seven-days a week and for as many hours in a day as I want. Marty, you’re the greatest.
Ladies and Gentlemen, from the bottom of my heart, thank for the support you have given to my staff and to me personally. World Scouting is pleased and honored to be part of the greater Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian community.
My name is Scott Teare.
I am a Scout.
I am a Messenger of Peace.
I am proud to serve as your Secretary General!
Enjoy your afternoon!
Scott A. Teare
Secretary General, World Organization of the Scout Movement