INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS GENERAL MEETING MUNICH, GERMANY JULY 27-29, 2006 Minutes
Notes: 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 web-site – www.ifsw.org
1 Opening of the General Meeting
1.1 Opening of the General Meeting The President welcomed participants, thanked delegates, observers, committee members and Executive Committee members for attending. She extended warm thanks to Frau Hille Gosejacob-Rolf and her team from Deutscher Berufsverband fur Soziale Arbeit (DBSH) who have presented the jubilee conference and arrangements for the meetings. She also thanked interpreters and the on-screen typists whose work facilitated communication within the meeting.
The President asked the meeting to observe a minutes of silence for those IFSW people no longer with us – Lisbeth Mattsson Communications Officer, and Chauncey Alexander, former president of IFSW and President of NASW (USA).
1.2 Roll call of member organisations The Secretary General conducted a roll call of nations.
1.3 Welcome from Deutscher Berufsverband fur Soziale Arbeit DBSH
The President of DBSH Frau Hille Gosejacob-Rolf addressed the meeting. She emphasized the theme of the conference – seeking for a need to seek balance in the world. The Chairperson of the Conference Committee, Gabriella Stark Angermeier welcomed all to Munich and presented her best wishes for a successful meeting and the possibility of having some enjoyment and fun in Munich.
1.4 Introductions, including observer organisations All delegates present introduced themselves to the meeting.
1.5 Voting rights at the General Meeting
The Secretary General advised the meeting that 39 countries were present and 7 proxies. This was the highest number of delegates present at a General Meeting in IFSW history. Voting cards were distributed.
1.6 Appointment of Secretary(ies) for the meeting It was moved that Hilary Astor and Michael Cronin be appointed as Secretaries for the 2006 General Meeting
1.7 Appointment of Parliamentarian It was moved that Terry Bamford be appointed as Parliamentarian for the 2006 General Meeting Items 1.6 and 1.7 were moved en bloc Moved Austria Seconded Germany Carried unanimously.
1.8 Work structure and proceedings during the meeting The President introduced the agenda and outlined voting procedures.
1.9 Appointment of teller(s) for the meeting It was moved that Birthe Bille Hansen and Andrea Trenkwalder-Egger be appointed as Tellers for the 2006 General Meeting Moved Australia Seconded United States Carried unanimously
1.10 Social Program during the meeting The Secretary General outlined availability of refreshments and lunch during the meeting and the arrangements for the official reception at the Rathaus on 28th July.
Approval of agenda and timetable
It was moved that the agenda and timetable for the 2006 General Meeting be approved. Moved: Columbia Seconded: Canada
3.1.2 Minutes from the IFSW General Meeting in Adelaide, September 29- October 1, 2004
It was noted that the Minutes of the IFSW General Meeting in
Adelaide, September 29 – October 1, 2004 had been approved by the Executive Committee in accordance with Article 14 (g) of the IFSW Constitution.
4 Eileen McGowan Kelly Scholarship 2004 and 2006
4.1.2 Presentation of the Eileen McGowan Kelly Scholarship for 2004 and 2006
Fiona Robertson, Chairperson of the Eileen McGowan Kelly Committee introduced and briefly outlined the achievements of the scholarship winners for 2004 and 2006. Christina Borg from Malta, the winner in 2004, who was unable to attend the Adelaide Conference and the 2006 winner Monique Auffrey from Canada. The winners spoke of their work in their home countries. Christina Borg thanked IFSW for allowing her to attend 2 years after her scholarship was awarded and outlined the health reasons for this. She thanked IFSW, including Lisbeth Mattsson for their help during the difficult complications with her pregnancy. Monique Auffrey worked with asylum seekers and land mine victims and emphasized the importance of the global community and the themes of the conference. The President congratulated both winners and wished them well for the conference their and careers.
5 Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol Memorial Medal
The President noted that the presentation ceremony of the Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol Memorial Medal 2006 was to be held at the IFSW Friends reception on August 1st.
6 IFSW Membership
6.1 Membership report The Secretary General reported that membership has expanded from 80 to 84 member organisations. The Austrian Association noted that it has developed a close relationship with Slovenia and asked whether an application been received. The Secretary General noted that Slovenia has been in touch with the office but no application has been received to date. It was moved that the IFSW Membership report be accepted.
Seconded Canada Carried unanimously
6.2 New members to IFSW are Armenia, Rwanda, Sudan and Swaziland.
6.3 Applications. The application from Moldova awaits a recommendation from the region.
6.4 Suspensions, terminations and provisional membership There were no suspensions at this General Meeting and there are currently 9 provisional members
6.5 Reinstatements – nil
6.6 Special assessments- nil
6.7 Observer Status – Partner organisations The President reported that in Adelaide in 2004 authority was given to the Executive Committee to invite certain organisations into partnership with IFSW. The Commonwealth Organisation for Social Work (COSW) and Social Work in Health and Mental Health Conferences had been formally invited under terms of partnership arrangement. She had also written letters to IASSW and ICSW, our two sister organizations, confirming the relationship. Both will be represented at the 50th anniversary celebrations at the conference. COSW had accepted the invitation and Jeannette Conway is the representative at this meeting. The Social Work in Health and Mental Health Conferences are pleased to receive the invitation and are finalising the formal response. They had hoped to have an observer at the meeting but this was not possible.
7 Elections: Process and calls for nominations from the floor
The Elections Officer Eugenia Moreno from Canada outlined the positions open for nomination and those office holders who can re-nominate. The Nominations received to date were presented. She issued the formal call for late nominations that could be received until 5.55pm 27 July 2006.
At 6.00pm on 27 July the Elections Officer reported that one additional nomination had been received for Member at Large Asia Pacific – Robin Corrigan from Aotearoa New Zealand. The Secretary General advised the meeting that late nominations must be adopted with a three quarters majority of those present.The late nominations are
Elvira Craig da Silva – Member at Large North America
Laura Acotto – Vice President Latina America & Caribbean
John Ang – Member at Large Asia and Pacific
Robin Corrigan– Member at Large Asia and Pacific
It was moved to accept the late nominations
Moved: Israel Seconded : Austria Carried unanimously.
8 Constitutional Matters Briefing Session
The President noted that in 2002 major changes to the constitution had been approved. Since then issues have emerged in practice. Some were simple and easy to resolve and some new clauses have been needed. The proposed changes were presented in a power point presentation which included a way of managing the debate the following day. The President invited member organisations to raise any concerns.
9 Biennial Report of Activities 2004-2006
The President introduced the report. Comprehensive reports have been distributed in writing and authors were available to answer questions. The size of the report – over 60 pages illustrates the amount of work conducted in the past 2 years by dedicated and energetic group of volunteers. She thanked them for their contribution to IFSW and to the report. The President noted a few typographical errors. At the time of writing the report there were 80 members and we have now grown to 84. She noted that this is an important and challenging time for the profession and that social work has a great contribution to make as a profession and part of civil society.
The President opened the floor for comments.
China congratulated the President and Secretary General for a commendable job over the past 2 years with limited resources and expressed deep gratitude and appreciation for their work and that of representatives. China expressed two concerns.
The 1st concern related to Amnesty International. China suggests that IFSW should be more prudent and careful regarding our work and reporting in this area because Amnesty and its values are controversial. China noted that we share some values with Amnesty e.g. protection of women and children. But some values like the death penalty, arms control and disarmament are highly political. China spoke about what they perceived to be the legitimate concerns of social work and cautioned not to intervene into the rights of a particular country.
The second concern related to the IFSW relationship with the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) because the actions of ICSW goes against the UN General Assembly resolutions regarding China by view of the fact that Taiwan is included on its web site. China stated that there is no country in the world called Taiwan and unless this grave mistake is rectified China will oppose ICSW as one of the major organisations for world congresses, including in Hong Kong in 2010.
The President called China to order because of time limitations speaking to the meeting.
The President noted the concerns of China.
Terry Bamford, IFSW representative to Amnesty International reported that he had spoken with China. He noted that his report reflects that IFSW has been consistent in its opposition to the death penalty in line with UN Convention on Human Rights. Regarding arms control we have to recognise what IFSW or Amnesty can do is limited. There is concern about the way conflicts are fueled and supported by arms from G8 countries. This is consistent with the stance the IFSW has taken previously.
As China’s time was previously curtailed and no other questions or comments were forthcoming the President opened the floor to China once more. China asked if the meeting was to endorse the Biennial Report. The President replied in the affirmative. China expressed strong reservation about ICSW being one of three partners for conferences.
The USA noted that on the right to choose and right to life debate there were some complicated semantics. The USA continues to campaign for women’s right to choose
It was moved to adopt the Biennial Report of Activities 2004- 2006 Moved by Bulgaria Second by Switzerland
In favour: 40 Against: 0 Abstentions: 0 Carried
10 Finance 2004-2005
10.1 Treasurer’s Report The Treasurer’s written report has been provided in advance and Fiona Robertson spoke briefly referred to the accounts for 2004-5 which have been audited. Germany inquired about any income from the Jubilee Appeal. The Treasurer noted that there has been income and this will be accounted for in the 2006 accounts
10.2 Accounts and Audit reports 2004
10.3 Accounts and Audit reports 2005
It is moved that the Accounts for 2004 and 2005, and the Treasurer’s Report be approved Moved by Fiona Robertson Seconded by New Zealand
The President referred to the investment report which contains a recommendation which is explained in the relevant paper. It was moved to adopt the recommendations contained in the paper. Moved by Finland Seconded by Hong Kong Carried unanimously
The President thanked Fiona Robertson for her very hard work as IFSW Treasurer noting Fiona’s dual qualifications as a social worker and accountant
11 Constitutional Matters
11.1 Proposed Constitutional Changes The President noted a requested change to new Article 10 Partner organizations. As this was the only change it was agreed to vote en bloc the other changes.
Article 10. USA spoke to their concern that the language was not definitive enough and proposed an amendment:
It is moved that Article 10A II There is no direct intent to compete with the Federation or its activities be changed to There is no competition or conflict of interest with the Federation or member organisations
Moved Russia Seconded NZ
The UK spoke against the motion expressing concern that this change may impede organisations working with others. The USA proposal remained unchanged and the motion was put
For 24 Against 3 Abstentions 9 Motion carried for amendment to Article 10
The amended Article 10 was then put to the General Meeting for adoption requiring a 2/3 majority. Moved Faeroe Island Seconded Germany
For 33 Against 3 Abstentions 3 Motion carried for Article 10
It was moved to adopt the remaining changes to Constitution en bloc (except article 10 which has already been adopted)
Moved Denmark Seconded China
For 37 Against 0 Abstentions 0 Motion carried
11.2 Proposed changes to the IFSW By-Laws It was moved that the IFSW General Meeting ratify proposed changes to by -laws Moved Finland Seconded Kenya
For 37 Against 2 Abstentions 0 Motion carried
The President thanked all present for the efficient way in which the changes had been adopted.
12 Election of President IFSW 2006-2010
The Elections Officer Eugenia Moreno announced the results of the election for President. David N. Jones (United Kingdom) was elected by acclamation. The Elections Officer noted that this resulted in a vacancy for the position of Vice President Europe and that a call for nominations for this position would close at 12.25 this day.
The President expressed her congratulations to David and her appreciation to him while he was first Vice President. She noted that further remarks would be made by both at the conclusion of the meeting but expressed her strong confidence in David as the new President.
David Jones expressed his thanks to the General Meeting for the trust, confidence and honour that had been given him.
13.1 Report from Policy Committee John Ang Convener reported on the work over the period noting that the major activity had been in the development of the draft statement on poverty alleviation and the revision of
HIV/AIDS. He noted the proposed new structure. He thanked all who had worked on policy during the period. He expressed a desire that students will make greater use of IFSW policies.
It was moved that the report of the Policy Committee be adopted. Moved Austria Seconded Hong Kong
Motion Carried unanimously The President thanked John Ang
13.2 HIV/AIDS The President advised the meeting that they were only voting on the policy statement and not the preamble/introduction
The USA introduced the final draft. USA thanked UK, Norway, France, Nigel Hall, Luisa Lopez, Melvin Wilson, Evelyn Tomaszewski and Arne Groenningsaeter for their work on this document. Gary Bailey (USA) guided the meeting through the changes to the document.
The President reminded the meeting that the Executive Committee may endorse a policy prior to a final vote at next General Meeting and that the new policy commission would manage the moving forth of the policy pending final editing and formatting after General Meeting endorsement.
It was moved that the revised draft of the IFSW Policy on HIV/AIDS be adopted Moved USA Seconded UK
Motion carried unanimously
The President thanked the USA for leading the work on this policy.
13.3 Poverty Alleviation The President advised that the draft policy on poverty alleviation was distributed for comment and the resulting feedback is now with the Poverty Alleviation Committee who will work with the new Policy, Advocacy & Representation Commission to revise and produce a further draft. It is hoped to endorse a new policy prior to 2008, preferably at the 2007 Executive Committee.
The Secretary General Advised the meeting of the availability of the DVD “Hard Realities in the Slums” which had been prepared for the World Urban Forum presentation in Vancouver. It is recommended to member organisations for potential use in training and presentations. The DVD was played during refreshment breaks in the meeting.
13.4 Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training David Jones reported that the final revisions to the document, taking account of comments at the GM in Adelaide, had been completed and the document had been approved by IASSW and IFSW. It was available on the IASSW website. The document would be kept under review.
13.5 Proposal to establish Policy, Advocacy & Representation Commission David Jones presented highlights from the document proposal and noted that the Executive Committee recommends the document to the General Meeting for adoption.
It was moved that the Policy, Advocacy & Representation Commission be established and that the recommendations in the paper be endorsed. Moved – Ireland Seconded – Sweden Motion carried unanimously The President thanked Monica Egan and David Jones for their work on this document.
13.6 Other Policy Statements, Proposed revision of policy on Health The President addressed the meeting and noted that the current policy statement is outdated. The Social Work in Health and Mental Health Conference group has an extensive Health Information Network. Prof. Bywaters, convenor (UK) has offered to work on the revised policy using the Network as an expert consultative group. The Executive Committee recommends accepting this offer and notes that IFSW has been working closely with this group since 1997. It was confirmed that the process will include extensive consultation with member organisations.
It was moved that the Health Information Network of the SW in Health and Mental Health Conference Group be invited to
coordinate the review of the IFSW policy on Health Moved Israel Seconded Australia
Motion carried unanimously
13.7 Other Policy Matters It was noted that the Policy, Advocacy and Representation Commission will review all policies on a rolling programme. No other matters raised
14 Human Rights
14.1 Report from Secretary HRC The Secretary of the Human Rights Commission, Elis Envall, reviewed the main focus of the work of the committee which is separately recorded in the Biennial Report. Major developments during the period include management of the Human Rights page at the IFSW Website, Statement of Principles on Human Rights and Social Justice, the revision of IFSW Training Manual on Human Rights and case matters. He noted the establishment of the new Commission and the regional and national contact persons, the development of job descriptions for position holders.
With regard to the Statement of Principles on Human Rights and Social Justice he noted the similarity with the IFSW statement on Ethics of Social Work – Statement of Principles. The Commissioner recommended that the current statement be approved, and that it be merged with the statement on Ethics of Social Work – Statement of Principles and the Definition of Social Work in 2010.
It was moved that the report of the Human Rights Commission be adopted. Motion Lithuania Seconded Colombia
Motion carried unanimously The President expressed appreciation to Elis Envall.
Human Rights & Social Justice Statement of Principles
The Draft Statement of principles was put to the meeting with the Executive Committee recommendation for adoption by the
There was considerable support for the draft but a recommendation to change the footnote reference to copyright. This has an unintended effect of limiting its use which would not, in practice, be the goal of the IFSW.
An alternative wording was proposed. It was also noted that the new wording will be added to other documents.
It was moved to amend the footnote to read “free use of the text in this document is permitted with the acknowledgement of its source” Moved USA
Seconded Canada For 41 Against – nil Abstentions 1
It was moved that the Statement of principles be adopted as amended Moved Colombia Seconded Malta
Motion carried unanimously
15.1 Report from Convener Arne Groenningsaeter: The Convener of the Permanent Committee on Ethical Issues, Arne Groenningsaeter, provided a summary of his report which is included in the Biennial report. He noted that the Ethics of Social Work – Statement of Principles document will be published in several languages in a forthcoming issue of the International Social Work Journal. He also noted that the document was scheduled to be reviewed in 2008, but it is now recommended for review in 2010 in line with the review of the Definition of Social Work. The Convenor also noted the need to work on the difficult issue of ethical challenges in the diversity of social work around the world and that this will be a theme for the next 2 year work plan. He also urged Member Organisations to use the document as a guide for national codes and to report back to on the use of the IFSW documents in ethical codes. There remains a need to establish a mechanism for managing complaints.
It was moved to adopt the report of the Convener of the Permanent Committee on Ethical Issues Moved Spain Seconded China
For 40 Against 0 Abstentions 2 Motion carried
16 Definition of Social Work
The President reminded the meeting that the definition would be reviewed regularly and that this must commence this year. She referred to the recommendations about process in the joint IFSW/IASSW document which is recommended by the Executive Committee for adoption.
The UK proposed that the proposal be amended to complete the review by 2008 because of the importance of the issues to IFSW and the need to confirm an agreed definition urgently.
The President noted that it had been agreed with IASSW that this review would occur on a 10 year cycle and any change would need to be discussed with IASSW. Further we will not meet with IASSW in joint conference until 2010.
It was moved that the conclusion of the review of the Definition of Social Work be brought forward to 2008. Moved UK Seconded Portugal.
Arguments for and against the motion were put. For the Motion – Germany and Argentina. Against – Sweden, Austria, Lithuania, France and New Zealand.
Brazil proposed that in 2008 in the conference in Brazil incorporate a debate on the definition with proposals that could be incorporated by IFSW at the earliest possible time.
The motion was put.
For : 15 Against: 22
Abstentions 3 Motion defeated.
Motion to adopt the process as proposed in the joint paper with IASSW, to be completed by 2010 Moved: Hong Kong Seconded: Romania
For : 25 Against : 6 Abstentions: 3
17 Regional Meetings
The General Meeting adjourned at 2.15 pm in order to allow each Region to conduct its meeting and elections.
18 Concurrent sessions
At the commencement of Day 3 of the General Meeting the meeting divided into working groups to discuss policy issues.
18.1 Poverty Alleviation Working Party Michael Cronin reported on a lively discussion incorporating 16 participants from all of the five regions of IFSW. The discussion will inform further work on the revision of the policy statement on the role of social work in poverty alleviation. The concurrent session provided a great deal of information to inform the policy. The working group had endorsed a proposal by Justina Leung of a framework 5 P’s:
• Policy – critical analysis of what exists and how it is formulated
• Participation – highlight popular participation including people in poverty
• Provision of services – in all read education employment health
• Practice -Role of social work at all levels • Priority setting – looking at most vulnerable groups –
children women those affected by conflict and war.
The session also facilitated the development of a network of social workers and organisations interested in continuing the work on poverty alleviation. The President thanked Michael Cronin for his report.
18.2 Human Rights Elis Envall reported on the outcomes from the concurrent session which had included a discussion about the relationship between ethics and human rights. The possibility of merging the two documents into a single statement had been discussed. It was recommended that there be work towards linking the definition of social work with the ethics and human rights documents.
The IFSW has been considering possible links between the International Criminal Court processes and the Role of Social Workers. The concurrent session recommended a consultation with Uganda, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Congo and the Republic of Central Africa to explore possible avenues for IFSW action.
The group recommended that there should be a change in the focus of IFSW’s human rights work from political to economic, social and cultural rights and that this needs to be reflected in IFSW documents.
The revision of the Human Rights & Social Work Training Manual will be undertaken in the coming period and it was recommended that this be done in collaboration with IASSW, and that with IASSW support Schools of Social work be actively encouraged to use the revised materials. Exploration of funding would be necessary.
Case work remains a key element of the IFSW Human Rights Commission and the session agreed that cases should not be bound to timelines. Further that there is a need to focus on groups as well as individuals in regards to social and cultural rights.
Brazil noted the situation in a juvenile incarceration center in their country where young people had been tortured. The association had been able to denounce this fact to the international human rights institutions and asked what role the IFSW could play. Elis Envall noted that if the Commission is given information from a Member Organisation, it can review the material and consideration can be given to issuing a call to member organisations for support in a specific campaign.
The President thanked Elis Envall for his report
18.3 Promotion of the Profession a. promotion/image of profession
Monica Egan, Convener, reported on a robust discussion in the group. The USA had offered materials to share with other organisations. There was agreement in the group that one word, HELP could be used as the cornerstone for promotion as it had already been translated in may other languages. Our message should be clear and based on IFSW principles of social justice.
Brazil recognized use of the word ‘help’ had significance in North America, but in Latin America/ Brazil was seen as a dated concept. The word ‘rights’ is preferred.. This was noted.
The president thanked Monica Egan for her report.
b. Regulation, registration and licensure Don Brand reported that several countries had reported on their arrangements in regard to regulation. There had been discussion of problems that had been experienced and the lessons learned. The underlying philosophies of regulation had also been debated.
The basic question for IFSW is whether the Federation should adopt a formal position on regulation. Some of those present in this session felt it would serve as a support to many member organisations, whilst others thought this required further discussions with a clear statement of principles and a justification for such a policy.
It was recommended that a document on regulation should be prepared for discussion in 2008.
The President thanked Don Brand for agreeing to do this work for IFSW and coming to the meeting to present the session and his report.
It is moved that the work of the Promotion of the Profession Committee continue in line with the work plan outlined in the action plan and as amended and taking account of the working group discussion and that the work on regulation and registration continue on line of recommendation resulting
from the concurrent session of this meeting.
Moved Ireland Seconded New Zealand Motion Carried unanimously.
18.4 IFSW Policy on Health Workshop Prof Paul Bywaters, Coordinator of the Social Work in Health and Mental Health Network Group, presented the feedback from the concurrent session. He provided his contact details and that of the Network. Website www.warwick.ac.uk/go/swhin Email:
He reported that a planned consultation process on the revised policy is planned leading to the General Meeting in 2008 in Brazil.
Stage 1 of the process starts now through to April 2007 and will involve consultation with the Member organisations of the IFSW, within the framework of the new Policy, Advocacy and Representation Commission. The review group will commission background papers which will be published in a book. Consultation will also include the ICSW & IASSW. Stage two of the process will commence in April 2007 through to September 2007 when the first draft of a Policy statement will be produced. The third stage will last from October 2007 to April 2008 when member organisations will be asked to respond to the revised draft. The final document is scheduled for presentation to the General Meeting in Brazil 2008.
Key health issues to be included are health as an element of human rights and social justice; the patterns and experiences in health reflecting inequities; the social determinants of health including inequalities between and within countries, and rural and urban populations; inequalities in access to health care services between and within countries; ethical issues are emerging as the use of technology widens (e.g. the sale of human organs, genetic screening, euthanasia, etc); the Oslo Charter and other instruments; environmental issues; the relationship between social work and other health care professions and the occupational health of social workers.
The President thanked Paul Bywaters for his work and for leading the discussion at this meeting.
19 Report Back from Concurrent sessions(see above)
20 Action Plan 2006-2008
The President noted that the plan will be amended to reflect decisions taken at this General Meeting. As soon as it is finalised it will be available on the IFSW website.
It was moved that the IFSW Action Plan as amended be approved.
Moved Columbia Seconded Romania Carried unanimously
21 Appointment of IFSW Representatives
The President noted that the original documentation circulated contained the names of all members of the Teams. This was an oversight as the General Meeting only elects the main representatives and the President and Executive Committee approve other representatives. A revised document showing the main representatives was displayed on the screen. The names are listed below in items 21.1 – 21.11.
21.1 Job Descriptions for IFSW Representatives The President advised that the Executive Committee has adopted Job Descriptions for all positions held in the IFSW.
21.2 Human Rights Commission, Secretary – Elis Envall – Sweden
21.3 Permanent Committee on Ethical Issues, Secretary – Arne Groenningsaeter – Norway
21.4 United Nations, Geneva Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol – Switzerland
21.5 United Nations, New York Michael Cronin – United States of America
21.6 United Nations, Vienna – Georg Dimitz – Austria
21.7 United Nations HABITAT, Nairobi – Charles Mbugua – Kenya
21.8 UNICEF – Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol – Switzerland
21.9 Amnesty International – Terry Bamford – United Kingdom
21.10 IFSW Ambassador – Sue Dworak Peck– United States of America
21.11 Sage Publications – Nigel Hall – United Kingdom
21.12 Other appointments – None
It is moved that the appointment of IFSW Representatives as listed be endorsed. Moved United Kingdom Seconded Switzerland
22 Finance 2007 – 2008
22.1 IFSW Task Force on Membership Fees
22.1.1 Report from the Task Force on Membership Fees The Secretary General spoke to a one page document summarizing the outcome of the Task Force meeting held immediately before the Executive and General Meetings. At the 2004 General Meeting changes were approved relating to the calculation of membership fees. 3 new basic principles have been introduced
1) Member organisations membership fee income forms the basis for the calculation of fees
2) No organisation is to pay more than 5% of fee income to IFSW
3) Special rules exist for countries with an per capita income under US$10K.
In 2004 a 1.5% increase in the standard membership fee was approved. The experience so far is that this system is working well. It is an improvement on the previous negotiated solution for individual member organisations. However there has been only one year of practical experience under the new system and it was felt that it would be better to assess its impact with more than one year of data. While there is an argument to increase fees at this meeting the task force recommends waiting until the 2008 General meeting when a full report including an evaluation of the impact of the 2004 changes will be prepared.
22.1.2 Action on Member Fees It was moved that the report of the Task Force on Fees be received and that the General Meeting notes that a proposal on fee increases will be presented in 2008.
Moved USA Seconded Colombia Carried unanimously
22.2 IFSW Task Force on Non Membership Dues
22.2.1 Report from the Task Force on Non Membership Dues The President referred to the written report which had been tabled. A major feature of the Task Force work has been the Jubilee appeal which will continue through to the last regional conference in 2007. The President asked for continued support throughout the appeal. She expressed appreciation to member organisations and all others who have supported the appeal in any of the following ways;
• Advertisements in the Jubilee brochure which will be in all conference bags;
• Contribution to the Tabula Gratulatoria included in Social Work Around the World IV;
• Preparation of Social Work Around the World IV which will be available at the conference.
She noted that the goods for merchandising were available at the meeting and conference and would be available through the IFSW Web Page. She noted that web advertising will be introduced subject to the IFSW ethical principles.
The growth of the Friends of IFSW has been supported through the appointment of Friends coordinator Andrea Trenkwalder Egger. The President also noted the support of the SAGE foundation which provided funds that allowed Charles Mbugua and a team of four from Kenya and the Philippines to attend the
World Urban Forum III in Vancouver. Finally she thanked the Task Force Members and in particular the CEO of National Association of Social Work (USA) Betsy Clark and her staff who had absorbed the costs associated with development of the jubilee logo and related matters. She also thanked all who had contributed and the Task Force members. She expressed the special thanks of all present to the IFSW Treasurer Fiona Robertson for her tireless work on the Task Force.
It was moved that the report of the Task Force on Non Dues revenue be accepted and that the Task Force continue its work in line with its action plan Moved Ukraine Seconded Finland Carried unanimously
22.3 Budget 2007 The Secretary General reported on the budget proposals for 2007 and 2008. In relation to conference income, he reported that the IFSW’s general experience has been that conference income had not been reliable as several had made no surplus. It was therefore proposed not to include any conference income in the budgets for 2007 and 2008, although it is expected that there will be conference income in both years. The President reported that there had been income from Adelaide 2004 and will be from Munich 2006. Despite these successes a conservative approach to conference income was advised.
22.4 Budget 2008 See above
It was moved to approve the budgets for 2007 and 2008 Moved Switzerland Seconded Sweden Motion carried unanimously
22.5 Financing Regional Development The President briefed the General Meeting about the first round of regional development funding which was provided to Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific & Latin America & Caribbean. The call for a new round of funding has just been issued.
The funds for regional development have come from savings made by the 2002 decision to reduce the size of the Executive Committee from 17 to 12.
22.6 Approval of auditors 2007 – 2008 It was moved that ATO Treuhand & Daten Service AG be appointed the IFSW Auditors for the period 2007-2008 There were no questions.
Moved Austria Seconded Finland Motion carried unanimously
22.7 Other financial matters None
23.1 United Kingdom – Resolution on Fertility Tourism
The UK spoke to the resolution which had been previously distributed. The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has campaigned in the past for people to know their identity and origins and noted that this are a complex issues linked to poverty and exploitation. BASW expressed their willingness to take a lead role in developing an IFSW policy proposal in this area and proposed to compile questionnaires to send to member organisations to explore their experience and views on the question of fertility tourism.
Canada in seconding the motion expressed an interest in further research and will also provide support to BASW’s work.
It was moved that the British Association of Social Workers be asked to develop a policy proposal on the issue of fertility tourism and to prepare relevant recommendations to the IFSW.
Moved UK Seconded Canada
Against 0 Abstaining – United States Carried.
The following joint resolution on the victims of violent
conflicts was presented from Israel, USA and New Zealand.
IFSW RESOLUTION ON THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CONFLICTS
Jane Addams in 1931, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and global pioneer social worker said: We believe that war, seeking its end through coercion, not only interrupts but fatally reverses the process of cooperating good will, which if it has a chance would eventually include the human family itself.”
Therefore: Due to the global escalation of conflicts and worldwide oppressive political activities, IFSW expresses its dismay at the threat to the well being of the world’s most vulnerable citizens: women, children, the elderly, the disabled and the poor, who are disproportionately affected by these conflicts.
To that end we encourage nations to find non-violent humanitarian solutions, using the principles enshrined in the IFSW Principle on Ethics in Social Work and instruments of policy member organizations are urged to act to inform their respective governments of the IFSW’s commitment to peace and the observance of Human Rights and Social Justice.
Furthermore we urge member organizations to support and advance the United Nations in their peace keeping role. : • IFSW urges all nations and groups to achieve self determination through the use of non-violent, humanitarian solutions.
• IFSW emphasizes the right of all peoples to live in an environment in which essential human rights and social justice are respected. • IFSW reiterates its commitment to the principals expressed in the code of ethics for human rights, dignity and social justice.
Presented by Israel – Brian Auslander
United States – Gary Bailey New Zealand – Buster Curson
In speaking to the motion the USA noted that it was the hope of the three member organisations to bring a resolution not focused solely on one conflict but one that looks at victims of all violent conflict. Currently violent conflict was occurring on almost every continent and impacts on lives of people social work serves.
The motion was displayed on the screen and read by all three organisations, who read out sections in turn. All three member organisations sought to move the motion, however after advice from the Parliamentarian it was evident that this would not be possible. However it is recorded formally that had such a process been available to the meeting it would have been accepted.
The UK spoke in support of motion but would prefer something shorter such as ‘indiscriminate bombardment of civilians has no place in a civilized society’. Kenya would also like motion to be aimed at those places where conflicts are most likely to occur or are apparent. The General Meeting, while noting the recommendations/comments from the floor, adopted the resolution unchanged and with acclamation.
It was moved that the resolution on the victims of violent conflicts jointly proposed by Israel, United States and New Zealand be adopted. Moved Iceland
Seconded Russia. Carried unanimously
24 18th IFSW World Conference (2006)
The Chairperson of the 18th IFSW World Conference Munich, Gabrielle Stark- Angermeier and DBSH Chairperson International Committee Barbara Molderings noted that the first ever student meeting/ conference started yesterday with75 students and professors from 20 countries discussing
topics relating to the conference theme. A copy of the student conference program was circulated to the General Meeting.
The 500th Jubilee Conference will start tomorrow with approximately 1,500 delegates;
• 704 delegates from Germany • 495 from Europe without Germany • 229 Asia Pacific • 143 North America • 28 South America • 57 from Africa.
They spoke about the support provided to delegates from developing nations and were happy to enable attendance for some people who would not ordinarily be able to come.
They spoke about the special highlights of the opening ceremony including a talk show with some who had been present in 1956 and a presentation to Irena Sendler who saved 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. The program includes 400 sessions and 573 presenters. They addressed the concurrent themes, field visits and social events. They made particular note of the closing event with Jacob von Uexkull as the Conference key note Speaker and David Jones as the incoming President of IFSW addressing visions for the future.
The President thanked Gabriele Stark-Angermeier and Barbara Molderings for the tremendous work of the Conference planning committee and expressed great confidence and anticipation for the coming days. The General Meeting received the report with acclamation.
25 19th IFSW World Conference (2008)
Elisabete Borgianni, President of the Brazilian Association presented a report on the preparations for the 2008 World Conference to be held in Salvador de Bahia. She outlined the themes of the conference, the countries and organisations which will organise the conference noting that close cooperation with other Latin American Member organisations will be a feature of this conference. The development of social work in the region was outlined and the fields in which it presently operates were set out. The achievements of Brazil in
social work were set out and its contributions to social work in the region. Brazil called for colleagues to join in a journey of reflection to combat destructive trends currently experienced in the world and extended a warm invitation to all present to come to Brazil in 2008.
. The President thanked Elisabete Borgianni and her Brazilian Colleagues for an excellent presentation and encouraged those present to make their plans to attend the Brazil Conference
26 20th IFSW World Conference (2010)
The President outlined the process for decision making for the 2010 Joint World Conference which has been awarded to Hong Kong.
In the past the General Meeting decided on the final location for world conferences. However because we have moved into agreement with ICSW and IASSW to return to joint conferences it was decided by the General Meeting in 2004 that the final decision would fall to the Joint Planning Committee of those 3 organisations, in consultation with their respective executive bodies. That process has been put unto effect for the first time. The President noted the reservations of China expressed earlier in the General Meeting that ICSW has as a member Chinese Taipei and that IAASW also has links in Chinese Taipei. She noted that they are our sister organisations with links going back to 1928. She further noted that this is a sensitive issue which has been with us for many years now. IFSW will discuss these issues with our sister organisations and she was confident that a solution can be found.
Regarding the 2010 conference, the joint planning committee has recognised that it will be necessary for the establishment of a clear and consistent structure between the Hong Kong Conference Committee and the three international bodies. It has been agreed that one of the three international bodies would take responsibility for each conference and would nominate a person to be the co-ordinator. For 2010 conference it has been agreed that IFSW will take on the co-ordination role. The Executive Committee of IFSW has nominated Imelda Dodds for that role which she has accepted.
China welcomed and fully supported holding the conference in 2010 in Hong Kong and has full confidence in colleagues in
Hong Kong. China did not repeat the concern expressed earlier – but re-iterated it now. It may be a potential hurdle to the success of the conference. China noted that the President referred to Chinese Taipei – this is a term used in Olympics – if ICSW agrees to use this term then China believed the problem would be solved. China expressed the hope this sensitive problem is amicably resolved.
Hong Kong then made a presentation on the 2010 conference. A tentative date of mid June 2010 has been suggested and preparation has started. The proposed theme is Envisioning Social Welfare Services in a Globalised World. They hope that the conference will be an opportunity to rethink the role of social work and supporting social work across the world.
27 Reports on Regional Conferences
27.1 The President of Africa Region Charles Mbugua spoke about the 2007 regional conference which would take place on 20-24 May next year in Uganda. It will be a unique conference because it has regional and international components. About 15 African countries will be represented.
27.2 The President Asia & Pacific Region Justina Leung, noted that the region is changing its tradition and will host a smaller scale symposium and workshop in 2007. Further details will be sent as they come to hand.
27.3 The President European Region Nicolai Paulsen reported on the Parma conference to be held 15-17 March 2007. The theme is Social Change And Social Work. The three sub themes are family and individuality, diversity and integration and managerialism: from state to market. There is now a call for abstracts – October 1st is the deadline. Web page www.socialwork2007.com.
Laura Acotto, President, Latin America & Caribbean spoke to a proposal to convene a meeting that joins together Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. It will be a parallel function with the Brazilian conference. From 28th October to 2nd November.
28 Other business
28.1 International Social Work Day 2007
The President outlined the proposed process for International Social Work Day and invited Regional Presidents to report if any progress had been made on a theme. There was a lengthy discussion involving a number of member organisations. Some concern was expressed about plans that were already well advanced for days in 2007 and beyond. The President Elect clarified that member organisations and Regions retained the option to celebrate the day or not in 2007 although the ideal would be for this to occur.
It was moved that the theme Social Work – Making a World of Difference be adopted for the 2007 International Social Work Day.
Moved by US Seconded by Germany Carried unanimously
It was moved to adopt the procedure as outlined in the paper presented to the General Meeting
Moved Australia Seconded Lithuania Carried unanimously
28.2 IFSW Risk Assessment report The President spoke to the report provided to General Meeting The Executive Committee has systematically examined the areas of IFSW activity and to look forward areas where future problems may arise. The Executive Committee will continue to monitor this paper.
It is moved to accept the report on Risk Assessment Moved – Kenya Seconded – Russia Carried unanimously
29 Election of Officers and Executive Committee
29.1 Report from the Elections Officer Eugenia Moreno, Elections Officer commenced by thanking her fellow election officers. Eila Malmstrom acted as Election Officer in the European region, and Evelyn Balais Serrano acted as Election Officer in the African region and the Elections Officer oversaw the Asia & Pacific regional elections Results Europe –Nicolai Paulsen (Denmark) President IFSW Europe Barbara Molderings (Germany)Member at Large
Asia Pacific – John Ang (Singapore) Member at Large Africa – Charles Mbugua (Kenya) President IFSW Africa Daniel Asiedu (Ghana) Member at Large
Latin America & Caribbean – Laura Acotto (Argentina) President IFSW Latin America & Caribbean
North America – Veronica Marsman (Canada) President IFSW North America Elvira Craig da Silva (USA) Member at Large
The President thanked Eugenia for the report and thanked those who stood and were not elected noting that it was a clear indication of their commitment that they were willing to be considered and undertake the work of an Executive Committee member. She congratulated those who were elected.
30 Election of Elections Officer and Alternates
The President thanked the outgoing elections committee (Eugenia Moreno, Eila Malmstrom and Evelyn Balais Serrano) who have served the IFSW since 1996 in Hong Kong. She noted that that this has been a very long term of service and that they were not seeking re-nomination having done a sterling job for 10 years.
The floor was opened for nominations.
Henning Breinholt, Denmark was nominated as Election Officer Moved -Sweden Seconded Canada Elected by acclamation.
It was moved that Buster Curson be elected as 1st alternate Elections Officer
Moved Australia. Seconded USA Elected by acclamation.
It was moved that Sue Dworak Peck be elected as 2nd alternate Elections Officer Moved Canada, Seconded USA
Elected by acclamation.
31 Date and place of the next General Meeting
Secretary General reported that the meeting will be on 13-15 August 2008 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.
32 Closing of General Meeting
The Secretary General called the next Executive Committee to a first meeting on 2nd August 2006 in Munich.
The President announced the death of Maryann Mahaffey who passed away on Thursday in Detroit, Michigan. She was an NASW President and Vice President IFSW with Chauncey Alexander. She was President of Detroit City Council for many years.
32.1 Remarks by President The President presented the incoming President David Jones with flowers and then addressed the meeting.
32.2 Remarks by President Elect The President elect made a presentation to Imelda Dodds, the outgoing President. He thanked his colleagues in his own association, The British Association of Social Work, who have helped him in his journey. He thanked his colleagues in Europe for their work and support. He offered continuing support to Nicolai Paulsen, incoming European President. He thanked outgoing members of the Executive Committee and especially those who had stood down. Ellen Oliver from Canada had resigned during the last period and he asked colleagues to convey thanks to her. He described Juan Manuel Latorre Carvajal is a puma or perhaps a Condor – a man of passion and commitment who has never lost his fire and kept a flame alight in Latin America. He stated that Gary Bailey (outgoing Vice President North America) has played an immensely important role in IFSW and thanked him for his passion and commitment to social work and for all the work he has have done. He expressed his sincere thanks to Monica
Egan, the member at large and Honorary Treasurer in Europe. Monica comes from a small country and a small association and has supported her association at home as well as working tirelessly at the global level and on the promoting the profession and policy committees.
He thanked his family, in particular his wife Rachel, for their tolerance and support in the past and that which they will give to him in the future. He closed his address with the following words.
“Unifying social work in an age of uncertainty is a difficult challenge. Change is a constant and the literature and our knowledge has expanded exponentially. However peoples’ basic needs and behaviour are remarkably constant. Individuals, families and relationships are constant. International bodies have to find a way – through difference – to find our shared values – this a necessary and noble endeavour. It is a practical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual endeavour. The spiritual element is often what brought us into this work yet we hardly talk about it. Social workers are special people – we try to combine these qualities in way that other professions do not.
All of us present in this General Meeting are the global leaders and we have to rise to that task. We have to take message out, to listen, persuade and influence. To do this we need allies and partners. Most important of these partners are those who represent service users and social movements. We made this alliance in Nairobi with UN Habitat – not talking about but talking ‘together with.’
We talk a lot about our high values but are they helpful to guide the interventions of practitioners ? We need to be honest about the tensions in applying our ethical principles in daily work. We will have this discussion in the review of our ethical principles.
To achieve our goals we need a stronger organisation. This requires more funding, which is a big challenge for the next four years.
Why do we bother? We do it because social work is part of humanitarian vision, so needed in the world. David said that he sees a renewed confidence in social workers – but also a hunger for leadership and vision. IFSW aims to meet that challenge of providing our leadership and building our profession. We are committed to being united as a profession and to uniting to with those we work with.”
Imelda Dodds officially handed over the gavel and bell to David Jones who closed the meeting at 6.00pm.