The year 2003 marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations University Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP), as the agreement on its establishment was made between the UNU and the Government of Iceland in 1978. The first two UNU Fellows came to Iceland in 1979, and since then the 6 month courses have been held every year. The anniversary was celebrated in many ways. The Foreign Minister of Iceland, Mr. Halldor Asgrimsson, and the Rector of the UNU, Professor Hans van Ginkel, attended the Opening Ceremony of the 25th annual session, and addressed the Fellows, as well as the Director of UNU-GTP, Dr. Ingvar B. Fridleifsson. The Conference of Directors of the institutions of the UNU (CONDIR) was also held in Reykjavik during the opening week, and the Directors and the senior staff of the UNU met with the UNU Fellows at a seminar held at the UNU-GTP premises at Orkustofnun.
The main celebrations were held in connection with the International Geothermal Conference, IGC2003, organized by the Geothermal Association of Iceland in Reykjavik 14-17 September, 2003. The title of the conference was “Multiple integrated uses of geothermal resources”. Amongst 200 participants from 32 countries, were 24 UNU Fellows studying in Iceland at the time, and 20 former UNU Fellows who came from all continents to Iceland to participate in the conference and the 25th anniversary celebrations. Of the 80 papers presented, over 30% were authored by former UNU Fellows.
The conference was opened by addresses from the President of Iceland, Dr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, and the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Gunnar Snorri Gunnarsson, and special presentations were by the Rector of the UNU, Prof. Hans van Ginkel, and the Director of the UNU-GTP, Dr. Ingvar B. Fridleifsson. One of the conference sessions consisted of five papers on the contribution of the UNU-GTP to geothermal development in Africa, Asia (apart from China), Central America, China, and Central- and Eastern Europe, respectively. The closing session was addressed by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mrs. Valgerdur Sverrisdottir, and a presentation was given by the President of the International Geothermal Association, Dr. Guido Cappetti. The conference was preceded by a three day international course on the Sustainable Use and Operating Policy for Geothermal Resources.
IGC2003 concluded with a banquet, with Benedikt Steingrimsson from ISOR as the master of ceremonies. There the Deputy Director of UNU-GTP, Ludvik S. Georgsson, presented an unforgettable collection of photos from various years of the UNU-GTP with emphasis on the old and new UNU Fellows, staff and teachers, present at the banquet that evening. The reaction of many of the 44 UNU Fellows and the many teachers and supervisors was really unforgettable.
The papers in the Proceedings directly related to the UNU-GTP were published separately on a CD by the UNU-GTP. Individual papers are available from publications.