Position Title (Draft subject to amendment by the IFSW Executive):
Commissioner of the IFSW United Nations (UN) Commission
The 2018 IFSW General Meeting agreed to form a UN Commission comprising a global Commissioner and five regional representatives (that would normally hold the role of Main IFSW UN Representative within the relevant UN regional or global headquarters). The Commissioner would ideally be situated close on one of the UN headquarters.
The Federation’s five geographic regions are: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, and North America. IFSW has held consultative status to the UN since 1959.
Terms of Office:
The Term of Office is two (2) years. The Commissioner may be re-appointed to the same position.
The Commissioner reports to the IFSW President and Secretary-General. The Commissioner directly supports the work of the representatives on the commission and indirectly the work of all IFSW UN representatives.
In addition, the commissioner occasionally participates in the IFSW Executive meetings and she/he is expected to make a report at each IFSW General Meeting. The Commissioner will when necessary work closely with IFSW regional representatives and members of the other IFSW Commissions as well as their peer in partner organizations.
The UN Commissioner must be an experienced social worker and hold a qualification in social work. The Commissioner must have a good understanding of IFSW policies and how these relate to UN strategies and policies. The Commissioner must have excellent public speaking skills and be an effective advocate in complex political environments.
It is recommended that candidates for Commissioner have had executive or board level experience within their member organisation or their employment positions. Candidates for this role must have the time, and the background/abilities, required to carry out the duties and responsibilities of this position.
Position Duties and Responsibilities:
- Maintains an active commitment to the goals and objectives of the IFSW
- Leads the IFSW UN Commission.
- Provides support for the Commission members, (IFSW Main UN Representatives)
- Facilitates and coordinates IFSW’s work across the UN sites.
- Provides leadership in preparing statements on UN issues and related matters,
- Representations IFSW in UN and other public forums.
- Disseminates information and literature regarding the UN and Social Work
- Develops an Action Plan for the UN Commission.
- Develop an organizational culture within the Commission of coworking, co-planning sharing information, developing and statements as a group.
- Maintains current awareness of relevant UN strategies and policies
Vision of the Commission
That the social work profession is fulfilling its obligations to its own policies in working strategically with other agendas to realise social justice, human and environmental rights and the dignity and worth of all. That IFSW members work jointly with UN agencies locally, nationally, regionally and globally bridging engagement between communities’ aspirations, the SGDs and other UN agendas. The strategic positioning of social workers within communities and the UN can lead to community discussion and action advancing self-led sustainable social development.
Key Objectives of the Commission
- IFSW is represented at UN headquarters and UN Regional Commissions.
- UN understands the role of social work in sustainable social development.
- Established collaboration between IFSW, UN agencies and partners to achieve the SDGs.
The Focus of the Commission
The IFSW UN Commission’s main focus is promote the IFSW objectives and policies in the UN. Many UN agencies historically have tended towards an ‘aid approach’ with multiple siloed strategies. The social work perspective focuses more on and holistic /systemic approach to development, community self-determination and social justice.
The Commission, in collaboration with Main Representatives and Representatives to the UN would therefore advocate and develop statements that bring together the multidimensional factors causing marginalization and poverty, discrimination and stigmatization. The commission would support IFSW members to act as facilitators and bridging the gaps between community’s aspirations and UN agendas.