10-12 July 2002, Geneva, Switzerland
I. Please see Appendix 1 for a list of delegates, observers, guests and staff.
II: In the Minutes, member associations are often referred to by the name of their country.
III. All documents not attached to these Minutes have been disseminated to member organisations and others either before or at the General Meeting. Documents are available from the IFSW Secretariat on request. Most of them are available at the IFSW website.
1. Opening of the General Meeting
1.1. Opening of the General Meeting
The IFSW President, Imelda Dodds, extended a very warm welcome to all present at the meeting. She expressed sadness that because of the political situation in Zimbabwe, the meeting had to be moved to Switzerland. In doing so she also thanked the Swiss association for their support to the Secretariat in preparation for the meeting. She thereafter declared the General Meeting opened.
1.2. Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol in Memoriam
The President reminded the meeting that 2 years ago our beloved Honorary President Dr. Andrew “Andy” Mouravieff-Apostol was with us in Montreal. She then invited the President of the Kuwaiti Association of Social Workers, Mr. Al-Sarawi, to say a few words in memory Andy, who died in August 2001. Following this everybody rose for a moment of silence in memory of Andy.
1.3. Roll call of member organisations
The IFSW Secretary General, Tom Johannesen, performed a roll call of the member organisations.
1.4. Welcome from the Swiss Association of Social Workers
Corinne Panchaud, Secretary General of the Swiss Association of Social Workers warmly welcomed all the participants to Geneva and Switzerland.
All present introduced themselves.
1.6. Voting rights at the General Meeting
The Secretary General informed the meeting that all organisations present had the right to vote, since they had settled their fees to the Federation. He also stated that there was a quorum – the necessary number of organisations present to make valid votes. Seven proxies had been received: From Cuba to Colombia, from Iceland to Sweden, from Faeroe Islands to Denmark, from Malaysia to Singapore, from Nicaragua to Colombia, from Nigeria to Kenya, and from Peru to Colombia. The proxy from Faeroe Islands was declared invalid because of lack of payment of membership fees. As no member can act as a proxy for more than one other member, Colombia was asked to decide which proxy to use, and informed the meeting that they wanted to use the proxy form Cuba. Consequently, four proxies were approved.
1.7. Appointment of Secretary(ies) for the meeting
Lisbeth Mattsson was appointed secretary of the meeting.
(Moved by Austria, seconded by Mauritius)
1.8. Appointment of Parliamentarian
Terry Bamford was appointed Parliamentarian for the meeting.
(Moved by Russia, seconded by Israel)
1.9. Work structure and proceedings during the meeting
The President and the Secretary General informed the meeting about the work structure and proceedings (translations, business meetings etc) during the meeting.
1.10. Appointment of teller(s) for the meeting
Nicolai Paulsen from Denmark and Isadora Hare from the USA were appointed tellers for the meeting.
(Moved by Norway, seconded by New Zealand)
1.11. Social Program during the meeting
Corinne Panchaud, Switzerland, outlined the social program during the meeting (boat trip on the Lake of Geneva Thursday evening and City tour of Geneva Saturday morning).
2. Approval of agenda and timetable
The agenda and timetable were approved.
(Moved by USA, seconded by Switzerland)
The Minutes from the last General Meeting in Montreal, Canada 25-27 July 2000 had been approved late 2000 according to new procedures, and was therefore only referred to at the General Meeting.
4. IFSW Membership
4.1. Membership report
The Convenor of the Membership Committee, Eugenia Moreno, and the Secretary General presented the membership report.
4.2. New members
Since the last General Meeting in 2000, the Association of Social Workers, Bangladesh, the Japan Psychiatric Social Workers’ Association and the Moroccan Association of Social Workers have been admitted as full members through postal ballots.
The application from the Association of Social Workers in Turkey was approved, and full membership granted.
The application from the Croatia Association of Social Workers was approved and full membership granted. It was noted that the European region would
immediately contact the association in order to clarify additional issues such as participating in the European regional structure and activity (commitment and mutual expectations)
The applications from two Indonesian organisations were not approved at this time, but pending while more information is collected.
4.4. Suspensions or terminations
The membership of the Union of Social Professions of Egypt was terminated due to lack of payment of membership dues.
The membership of Union Professionnelle Francophones d’Assistantes Sociaux was terminated due to lack of payment of membership dues.
There were no reinstatements
4.6. Special assessments
The provisional membership was prolonged for a further two years at the same terms as decided by the General Meetings 2000 for the Latvian Association of Professional and Care Workers and the Union of Municipal Social Workers in Latvia.
The provisional membership was prolonged for a further two years at the same terms as decided by the General Meetings 2000 for the Lithuanian Social Workers’ Association.
The application from the Serbian Association of Social Workers was but aside, as it has not been possible to get in touch with the organisation.
4.6.4. South Africa
The provisional membership for the Interim Committee for Social Workers’ Associations, South Africa was suspended, as it has not been possible to establish a structure to sustain full membership, and the maximum period for provisional membership has elapsed.
4.6.5. Kyrgyz Republic
The Association of Social Workers of the Kyrgyz Republic, at present in provisional membership, was granted full membership.
The Mongolian Association of Social Workers, at present in provisional membership, was granted full membership.
(Moved by Denmark, seconded by Austria)
4.6.7. Transfer to Provisional membership in case the proposed changes to the Constitution and By-Laws are approved (this item was dealt with after item 8 on the Agenda)
The Executive Committee is authorised to assess transfer to provisional membership for member organisations not fulfilling the criteria for full membership according to the proposed changed Articles 6 and 7 of the IFSW Constitution. The assessment shall be made not later than by 31 December 2002.
(Moved by Mauritius, seconded by Switzerland)
5. Biennial Report of Activities 2000-2002
5.1. President’s report
5.2. Secretary General’s report
5.3. Reports from Regions
5.4. Reports from Representatives and other International Relations
5.5. Report from the Human Rights Commission
5.6. Report from the Permanent Committee on Ethical Issues
5.7. Report on the Friends program
5.8. Report on IFSW Publishing Activities
5.9. Report on Conferences
5.10. Report on Projects
5.11. Report on Co-operation with Other Organisations
5.12. Report on Other Activities
5.13. Other reports
The report was received.
(Moved by Austria, seconded by Mauritius)
6. Finance 2000-2002
6.1. Treasurer’s Report
6.2. Accounts and Audit reports 2000
6.3. Accounts and Audit reports 2001
The Treasurer’s report and the Accounts and Audit reports for 2000 and 2001 were approved.
(Moved by Iceland, seconded by Germany)
7.1. Report from Policy Committee
The Convenor of the Policy Committee, David Jones gave a report on the work of the Policy Committee.
7.2. Introductory Statement to Policy Statements
The General Meeting noted that the Introductory Statement will be developed by the President, Convenor of the Policy Committee and Secretary General.
7.3. Statement on Globalisation
David Jones and Juan Manuel Latorre Carvajal presented the recommendations from the Executive Committee on further procedures concerning the Policy Statement on Globalisation.
The General Meeting approved the proposal that further work be undertaken in order to bring a paper to the 2004 General Meeting, including strengthened sections on the environment and the social work response to globalisation.
(Moved by the United Kingdom, seconded by Switzerland)
The General Meeting was invited to consider the current draft of the document (5 minutes brainstorming), to provide comments in writing to the Policy Committee both during the meeting and immediately after it.
In addition Colombia, Russia, Sweden and New Zealand all offered to make contributions in writing.
The General Meeting approved that consideration be given to publish a pamphlet or book with papers on social work and globalisation, noting the special issue of Canadian social work journals covering this issue presented to delegates at the IFSW General Meeting in Montreal 2002
After a minor change in the formulation of bullet point four to “Respect for the UN Convention on Human Rights including the Convention on the Rights of the Child”, the General Meeting indicated that the draft was an acceptable basis for the final stage of the work, and approved the adoption of an interim statement, which can be used in international consultations pending approval of the final policy statement. (Appendix II)
(Moved by Hong Kong, seconded by Norway)
7.4. Statement on Displaced Persons
Juan Manuel Latorre Carvajal introduced the proposed Policy Statement on Displaced Persons and the General Meeting approved the statement.
(Moved by Colombia, seconded by the United Kingdom)
7.5. Statement on Occupational Social Work
The General Meeting asked the IFSW Executive Committee to develop a document on Occupational Social Work to the General Meeting in 2004.
(Moved by Sweden, seconded by Singapore)
7.6. Statement on Children
The General Meeting recommended the IFSW Executive Committee to develop an International Policy Statement on Children.
(Moved by the United Kingdom, seconded by Norway)
7.7. Other Policy Statements
David Jones encouraged all member organisations to take an active role in the review of the other policy statements.
The United Kingdom reminded the General Meeting that the policy statement on HIV/AIDS is 12 years old and needs to be revised. UK also suggested that the problem of HIV/AIDS be taken into the statements on Children, and on Occupational Social Work.
The General Meeting agreed that this policy should be reviewed and the UK offered to be involved in such a review.
7.8. Other Policy Matters
No other policy matters were raised.
8. Constitutional Matters
Imelda Dodds, in her role as Convenor of the Structure and Operations Committee, gave a history of the proposed constitutional changes. She noted financial reasons, desire to strenghten regional structures and to facilitate more active participation from member organisations and to make the quality of the work better.
Constitutional changes requires 2/3 majority of the votes. The tellers were called. At some vote counts some of the countries were not present and this is reflected in the figures.
The General Meeting first voted on the motions from member organisations:
8.2. Proposed changes from member organisations: Canada/USA, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Motion from Canada and USA concerning Article 15
The motion carried.
Yes 30, No 0, Abst 6
(Moved by USA, seconded by Canada)
Motion from the United Kingdom concerning Article 15 a
United Kingdom withdrew the motion and no other member organisation opposed the withdrawal.
Motion from the United Kingdom concerning Article 5 a
USA proposed an amendment to the motion, seconded by Kenya, that the word “core” be put between “whose’ and ‘members’ in the first sentence of Article 5 a instead of the formulation proposed by the United Kingdom.
The motion carried.
(Yes 23, No 6, Abst 4)
The amended motion from the United Kingdom was put to vote
(Moved by United Kingdom, seconded by Ireland)
The motion carried.
Yes 30, No 0, Abst 3
Motion 1 from Switzerland concerning Article 5
The motion carried.
Yes 29, No 0, Abst 2
(Moved by Switzerland, seconded by Israel)
Motions 2 and 3 from Switzerland concerning Article 6 and 7
The motions were voted on en bloc and carried.
Yes 34, No 0, Abst 0
(Moved by Switzerland, seconded by Denmark)
Motions 4 and 5 from Switzerland concerning Article 15 and 20
The motions were withdrawn by Switzerland. No other member organisation opposed the withdrawal. The issue raised in the motion was dealt with as a non-constitutional matter (see agenda item 13.2)
The General Meeting was then invited to vote on the proposed Constitutional changes from the Executive Committee as amended.
8.1. Changes in the Constitution and By-Laws
Resolution No 1
Carried with YES 34, NO 0, Abst 0.
(Moved by Norway, seconded by Sweden)
Resolution No 2
Carried with YES 33, NO 0, ABST 0.
(Moved by Denmark, seconded by Switzerland)
Resolution No 3
Carried with YES 33, NO 0, Abst 1.
(Moved by, Sweden, seconded by Australia)
Resolution No 4
Carried with YES 24, NO 12, Abst 0)
(Moved by Finland, seconded by Iceland)
Resolution No 5
Did not carry with YES 22, NO 11, Abst 3.
(Moved by Denmark, seconded by Mauritius)
[Note: This vote did not reach the required 2/3 majority of those present at the meeting including proxis. Abstentions must be considered in the total of those present.]
Resolution No 6
Carried with (YES 36, NO 0, ABST 0
(Moved by Australia, seconded by USA)
The General Meeting accepted a deadline set to by the opening of the meeting Friday 12 July concerning nominations from the floor.
(Moved by Iceland, seconded by Finland)
(YES 36, NO 0, ABST 0)
When the meeting opened Friday 12 July Elections Officer Eugenia Moreno announced that John Ang was no longer was a candidate as Vice President for Asia-Pacific, only as Member-at-Large. The nomination was closed after that.
(Moved by New Zealand, seconded by Austria)
9. Global Standards for Social Work Education
David Jones presented a discussion paper on Global Standard for Social Work Education developed together with the International Association of Schools of Social Work. A number of comments were presented which David Jones will present during the further development of the paper. The General Meeting expressed its support for the work and a final document will be presented to the General Meeting in Adelaide 2004.
10. Action Plan 2002-2004
10.2 Human Rights
10.7 Editorial and Publications
10.8 External Relationships
10.9 Co-operation with other organisations
10.10. Other Activities
In the discussion about the proposed Action Plan 2002-2004, The General Meeting specifically concentrated on the following topics
10.2. Human Rights
Aims, Goals and Strategies for the Human Rights Commission
The General Meeting approved a proposal from the Executive Committee on reformulation concerning Aims, Goals and Strategies for the Human Rights Commission (Appendix III)
(Moved by Australia, seconded by Switzerland)
Joint IFSW/IASSW Human Rights Commission
The General Meeting approved a proposal from the Executive Committee to form a joint Human Rights Commission with the International Association of Schools of Social Work.
(Moved by USA, seconded by France)
Conference Fee Arrangement
The General Meeting approved a revised system for sharing surpluses from international conferences between IFSW, the International Association of Schools of Social Work and the national organisers. (Appendix IV)
(Moved by Iceland, seconded by Australia)
The motion carried with three abstentions
10.9 Cooperation with other organisations
Tri-lingual Translation and Interpretation
The General Meeting discussed a document presented by the Executive Committee, and referred it to further discussion with the International Association of Schools of Social Work in the IFSW/IASSW Joint Planning and Action Committee.
After making the above amendments, the General Meeting accepted the Action Plan 2002-2004 as a whole.
(Moved by Mauritius, seconded by Nigeria)
11. Appointment of IFSW Representatives
The General Meeting appointed en bloc the following representatives:
11.1. Human Rights Commission, Secretary
Lynne Healy, USA
11.2. Permanent Committee on Ethical Issues, Secretary
Arne Grønningsæter, Norway
11.3. United Nations, Geneva
Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol and Corinne Panchaud, Switzerland
11.4. United Nations, New York
Michael Cronin, Karen Clark, John Cosgrove, Winifred Kagwa and Robin Mama, USA
11.5. United Nations, Vienna
Monika Vyslouzil. Austria
Ellen Mouravieff Apostol, Switzerland
11.7. Amnesty International
Terry Bamford, United Kingdom
11.8. IFSW Ambassador
Susanne Dworak-Peck, USA
11.9. Sage Publications
Karen Lyons, United Kingdom
11.10. Other appointments
Immediate Past President
Elis Envall, Sweden
(Moved by Kenya, seconded by Kuwait)
The President was authorised to appoint other representatives if and when necessary. Representation at the UN Nairobi and Bangkok will also be considered.
12. Finance 2003-04
The Treasurer presented the proposed dues formulas and indicative budgets for 2003 and 2004. The standard fee of 1.40 CHF per member in the member organisations per year has not been changed since 1997 and is proposed to be increased to 1.45 in 2003 and 1.50 in 2004.
She also presented the following “Principles for Determination of Minimum Membership Fees or Special Arrangements for Membership fees IFSW”:
The Executive Committee recommends to the General Meeting that a special Task Force be set up to provide advice to the principles which should guide the setting of membership dues. The Task Force is required to report to the Executive Committee in 2003.
Principles for Framework for Determining Formula
That the process of determining the membership dues payable be transparent and consistent and related to financial needs for IFSW.
That the responsibility of member organisations is the payment of dues.
That the social work values of solidarity, participation, inclusion and commitment are included in considerations in developing the formula.
That in developing the formula, the GNP of the country alone is not sufficient basis of measurement. Factors which need to be taken into consideration are:
The economic situation of the country
The economic situation of the social work organisation(s)
The stage of development of the social work organisation in the county
That the systems used by other organisations, for example the United Nations, Commonwealth and European Union be considered in developing formula.
The increased standard fees and the “Principles for Determination of Minimum Membership Fees or Special Arrangements for Membership fees for IFSW” were approved with 1 No and 2 abstentions.
(Moved by New Zealand, seconded by Finland)
The Treasurer then presented then indicative budgets for 2003 and 2004. She noted that the budget proposals were based on the old Constitution and needed to be reviewed in light of the decisions made at the meeting.
The General Meeting approved the budgets for 2003 and 2004 with authorization to the Executive Committee to make necessary adjustments reflecting the new Constitution.
(Moved by France, seconded by Australia)
13. Resolutions of Member Associations
13.1. Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children (UK)
The General Meeting adopted the proposal from the United Kingdom that IFSW should join the Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children. The initiative was launched in April 2001 and aims to speed up the end of corporal punishment of children across the world.
(Moved by United Kingdom, seconded by Portugal)
13.2. Evaluation of Regions (Switzerland)
The General Meeting asked the Executive Committee to evaluate the present definition of regions as described in Article 21 in the Constitution, and present a report to the General Meeting 2004.
The motion carried.
(Moved by Switzerland, seconded by Russia)
The General Meeting adopted a resolution from the United Kingdom concerning HIV-AIDS. (Appendix V)
(Moved by the United Kingdom, seconded by the USA)
13.4. Prisons of war in Iraq – Kuwait
The General Meeting approved a request from Kuwait that IFSW intensify its efforts to put pressure on the Government of Iraq to set free the Prisoners of Wars from Kuwait, including the former Secretary General of the Kuwait Association of Social Workers, Mr. Feisal Al-Sane.
(Moved by Kuwait, seconded by United Kingdom)
14. 17th IFSW World Conference (2004)
Australia presented a report on the preparations for the 17th IFSW World Conference in Adelaide, Australia 2-6 October 2004 and brochures were distributed in the three official IFSW languages.
15. 18th IFSW World Conference (2006)
The invitation from Germany to hold the IFSW World Conference in 2006 was accepted, and the General Meeting confirmed that the 2006 18th IFSW World Conference be held in Munich, Germany.
Germany reminded the General Meeting that 2006 marks the 50th Jubilee of the modern IFSW, established in Munich 5 August1956, and that the tentative theme for the Conference is “Globalisation and Economisation – the Consequences for Social Work”
(Moved by United Kingdom, seconded by Austria)
16. World Conferences 2008 and beyond
Brazil, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom all expressed interest in hosting the IFSW World Conference in 2008. The President expressed her thanks to the three countries and informed that the bidding process starts next year at the Executive Committee meeting.
17. Reports on Regional Conferences
Denmark is hosting the European Seminar in Copenhagen 26 – 29 May 2003.
Theme: Social Work in Future Europe
The 2005 regional seminar will be held in Cyprus.
Asia & Pacific
Japan is hosting the Asia-Pacific Conference in Nagasaki, 7 – 9 July 2003
The Theme is Peace, Justice and Social Work – A Vision for Asia Pacific in the 21st Century.
In 2005 Korea will host the Conference pending a decision by the Asia Pacific Association of Social Work Educators.
North-America does not have any tradition of regional conferences, but USA will seek to make its national event in 2005 a North American Conference in co-operation with Canada. USA also indicated that they wish to invite the Executive Committee to hold its meeting in USA 2005.
Latin-America and the Caribbean
No common seminar is planned for the region, but each sub-region has planned conferences. Seminars are planned for Cuba in September 2002, Argentina in October 2003 for the Conosur region, and Colombia is planning an event August 2003 for the Andian region.
Lesotho had earlier expressed interest in hosting a Pan-African conference in 2003, but due to lack of communication no more information is available. New efforts will be made to contact Lesotho. An alternative, if Lesotho do not respond, is Kenya. There are also discussions in Mauritius for a possible conference in 2005.
18. Other business
18.1. The Celia B. Weisman International Lecture
The Secretary General presented a proposal for a lecture at World Conferences in memory of late Dr. Celia B. Weisman, IFSW’s former Main Representative to the UN, New York.
The General Meeting approved the proposal.
(Moved by USA, seconded by Kuwait)
18.2. Memorial Medal Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol
The Secretary General presented a proposal to struck a medal to commemorate IFSW’s former Secretary General and Honorary President, Dr. Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol. The medal shall be presented to an individual or organisation that over time has made a significant contribution to international social work.
The proposal was approved.
(Moved by Switzerland, seconded by Russia)
18.3. Social Work Day
The meeting agreed to let Australia progress the question of an international Social Work Day and to return with a report at the General Meeting in Adelaide.
19. Election of Officers and Executive Committee
The President at this point left the chair to the Elections Officer to conduct the elections.
19.1. Report from the Elections Officer
IFSW Elections Officer, Eugenia Moreno gave practical information about the procedures for the elections. According to the new Constitution the Plenary of the General Meeting should elect only President and Treasurer, while the regions in separate meetings elect their Vice-Presidents and Members-at-Large.
Concerning article 15 of the new constitution, Singapore proposed that in the future the elections of the Vice-Presidents and Members-at-large should take place during the General Meetings and time and rooms set aside for this.
(Moved by Singapore, seconded by Switzerland)
(YES: 26, NO: 8, ABST: 2)
The results of the IFSW Elections 2002 were:
President – Imelda Dodds, Australia – Elected for four years (2002-2006)
Treasurer – Fiona Robertson, New Zealand – Elected for two years (2002-2004)
Vice-President for Africa – Kishore C. Ramgoolam, Mauritius – Elected for two years (2002-2004)
Vice-President for Asia & Pacific – Justina Leung, Hong Kong – Elected for two years (2002-2004)
Vice-President for Europe – David Jones, United Kingdom – Elected for two years (2002-2004)
Vice-President for Latin-America & the Caribbean – Juan Manuel Latorre Carvajal, Colombia – Elected for four years (2002-2006)
Vice-President for North-America – Gary Bailey, USA – Elected for four years (2002-2006)
Africa – Charles N. Mbugua, Kenya – Elected for four years (2002-2006)
Asia & Pacific: John Ang, Singapore – Elected for four years (2002-2006)
Europe: Monica Egan, Ireland – Elected for four years (2002-2006)
Latin America and Caribbean: Joaquina Barata Teixeira, Brazil – Elected for two years (2002-2004)
North America: John Mould, Canada – Elected for four years (2002-2006)
The President resumed the chair.
20. Election of Elections Officer and Alternates
Eugenia R. Moreno, Canada, was elected as Elections Officer
(Moved by Canada, seconded by USA)
Eila Malmström, Finland was elected 1st Alternate Elections Officer
(Moved by Finland, seconded by Nigeria)
Evelyn Balais Serrano, Philippines, was elected 2nd Alternate Elections Officer
(Moved by Finland, seconded by Singapore)
21. Date and place of the next General Meeting
The next General Meeting will take place 29 September – 1 October 2004 in Adelaide, Australia.
22. Closing of General Meeting
Corinne Panchaud from Switzerland thanked everybody for coming to Geneva.
Anne-Marie Martinez from France thanked the Swiss Association for all their wonderful hospitality during the General Meeting
The President thanked the participants, observers, the Elections Officers, the Tellers, Michael Cronin, Güler Celic, Suzanne Dworak-Peck, the ILO- interpreters and the Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Russian whispering interpreters in the plenary and the Swiss Association for the cooperation and assistance during the meeting.
She also thanked out-going officers – Herbert Paulischin and Tan Ngoh Tiong – members-at-large – Brian Auslander, Buster Curson, Patricia Luna. Joe Mathe, Valdete Barros Martins, Terry Mizrahi and Anne Worning for their contributions to the work in the Executive Committee the last two years and representative Jim Ife for the work as Secretary of the Human Rights Commission. She thanked Terry Bamford for his assistance as Parliamentarian and the IFSW Staff Tom Johannesen and Lisbeth Mattsson for the preparations and work before and during the General Meeting.
Thereafter the President closed the General Meeting.
Imelda Dodds, IFSW President
Tom Johannesen, Secretary General