« Si les Comités Inter-Pays n’existaient pas, il faudrait les inventer »
President of Rotary International Frank Devlyn in Lille 25 March 2001
Created in Europe after the two world wars between France and Germany, Inter-Country Committees rely on the bilateral relations between Rotarians to provide more opportunities to the global understanding, friendship and promotion of peace.
At the Rotary International Convention of Vienna in Austria in 1931 past governors Otto Boelher (RC Vienna, Austria) and Georges Benardot (RC Paris, France) laid the foundations of the “little French-German committee”. But this first committee was forced to finish its activity in 1937 due to the prohibition of Rotary clubs in Germany and Austria by the Nazi power.

After World War II, on May 23, 1950 in Strasbourg, at the conference of Rotary district 70 the governors Robert Haussman (RC Stuttgart, Germany) and Roger Coutant (RC Lille, France) officially create the first Inter-Country Committee between France and Germany.
In that conference a resolution against the aggressions to human rights was also adopted by the 24 German clubs partecipants. That day, Robert Haussman stated that «Rotarians must be from now on at the forefront of the peace ideal».
After the creation of United Nations in October 1945 founded by 51 nations promoters, the year 1950 is emblematical: starting from the “Fifties”, the international and intergovernmental institutions, as expected, actually began to work, in order to ensure the expression of humanist values on which civilizations are based, for establishing between the peoples of different nations a climate of comprehension and solidarity for peace.

With this same spirit and with the same goal of consciousness raising the French and German Rotarians established the first Inter-Country Committee.
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20 May 1950 - Statement made by Robert Haussman at District 70 Rotary Conference at Strasbourg (F)

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“ Building Roads to Peace ”
After the charter of the ICC between France and Germany in 1950 a network of ICCs developed in Europe and worlwide.

Starting with the twinning of clubs across countries, international contacts between Rotarians increased in a spirit of tolerance and comprehension.
Soon Rotarians, clubs and districts from the two countries of an Inter-Country Committee realized that only working together on common projects, actions and initiatives could further promote peace through improved communications and mutual understanding.
Today Inter-Country Committees are active far beyond Europe. More than 400 Inter-Country Committees in Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America, Oceania are country based activities for direct bilateral humanitarian and peace efforts, using all Rotary International programs and initiatives with a priority on those, which can prepare the ground for peace between countries and within them.
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Chairs of ICC Executive Council since 1958