21 June 2010
An ambitious global process to develop and promote a global action agenda for social work and social development was endorsed by the 3 leading global organisations on social work and social development on 14 June 2010 in Hong Kong, China. It was welcomed by more than 2,000 delegates to the 2010 world conference on social work and social development.
During the closing session, delegates applauded the Hong Kong Agenda presented by the Presidents of the 3 organisations which had jointly promoted the conference and the 3 Chief Rapporteurs who had steered the consultation through the 5 days.
‘The global consultation on the Hong Kong Agenda will support our continued lobbying world-wide to promote the achievements of the social work profession, which will continue with added energy’, said David N Jones, outgoing President of the International Federation of Social Workers and Gary Bailey (newly elected IFSW President), speaking jointly at the end of the conference. The IFSW campaign will be taken forward by Gary Bailey. David Jones will support the President in a new role as President’s Special Representative on the Agenda.
Hong Kong Agenda
The Agenda statement emerged from 4 days of plenary presentations, workshops and debate involving almost 3,000 participants at this first ever joint conference on social work and social development organised by The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW). Leading up to the conference, the organisations had published discussion papers and encouraged discussion within the networks and with other stakeholder groups, such as global bodies and service user representatives.
Mr Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations, making the keynote address, emphasised the global significance of the conference and the agenda process for the UN and the world. He issued a call to action to social workers and professional organisations and for partnership between IFSW, IASSW and ICSW and United Nations.
The 3 Presidents are David N Jones (IFSW 2006-2010), Angelina Yeung (IASSW) and Christian Rollett (ICSW). The 3 Chief Rapporteurs were Gary Bailey (newly elected IFSW President), Abye Tassé (IASSW) and Charles Abbye (ICSW).
Among the aims for the conference were
To claim/reclaim the priority of ‘political’ action and to develop a collective voice for social development and social work practitioners and social work educators;
To start a collective process of elaborating and setting a common agenda for years to come that can unite the profession at large;
To develop mechanisms for the implementation of common global actions and ways to monitor our efforts.
The Agenda statement
The consultation process identified 4 main themes which will be developed and elaborated in the coming months. They will also form major strands in the programme for the next global conference being promoted by the 3 organisations in Stockholm in July 2012.
Economic and social inequalities within countries and between regions
Dignity and worth of the person
Importance of human relationships
Leading up to the forthcoming Stockholm conference in 2012, the 3 organisations committed themselves to the following action plan:
A second draft Agenda by October 2010 – will be developed and sent to all membership bodies for their first comments
A third draft Agenda will be developed by February 2011, taking feedback into account
World Social Work Day – 15 March 2011 – world-wide discussion of the agenda – all social work agencies, social development organisations, regional and national bodies will be encouraged to debate the agenda together with all classes in schools of social work
World Social Work Day – 20 March 2012 – Agenda will be officially submitted to the United Nations Secretary General, and
Every Region will submit the final Agenda to regional organisations (such as African Union, ASEAN, European Union, Mercosur), and
National groupings will submit the final Agenda to their governments, taking national circumstances into account
Global organisations will develop an efficient information and communication strategy to give increased publicity to the priorities for social work and social development
“Social work, both at the local and global level provides a major contribution to solving human problems, supporting people facing immense difficulties and challenges, promoting peace and positive human relationships, yet this is largely unknown,” said Bailey, who previously served as a member of the IFSW Executive committee, more recently, chaired the Policy, Advocacy and Representation Commission (PARC) He served as the IFSW Chief Rapporteur to help create the Agenda statement.
“The global Agenda process shows that the profession is committed and determined to work with other interested parties to ensure that the contributions of social work are recognized and that social work has a significant role in responding to the global economic and social crisis affecting people everywhere.”
For further information contact the International Federation of Social Workers +41-22-548-3625
NOTE FOR EDITORS
IFSW is the global federation of national social work organisations in more than 80 countries representing over 500,000 social workers. IFSW has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and is also accredited to the International Labour Organization, UNICEF and the Council of Europe. IFSW is a UN Habitat partner organisation.