I have just learned, sadly, that one of my predecessors as EESC Secretary-General, Simon-Pierre Nothomb, has passed away at the age of 79, following an accident. Nothomb was appointed Secretary General in 1992, at a time when the Committee was still a sort of annex to the Council of Ministers and hence when SGs were appointed by the Council, rather than by the Committee itself. Scion of a Belgian political and literary dynasty (Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb was his brother, Amélie Nothomb his niece), Simon-Pierre was one of the youngest volunteers to fight in the Korean war (he was just 19) and would later become an ambassador for South Korea and Korean culture. He went on to study in Paris, Leuven and Geneva and was Director of Communications at Leuven University in the 1960s when it was decided to split the University. Indeed, Nothomb was the author of the title of the new university, Louvain-La-Neuve. A committed internationalist and European, Nothomb was behind several initiatives to create European university networks and his efforts led to him being awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the University of Coimbra.