Minutes from IFSW General Meeting 2014 in Melbourne

International Federation of Social Workers Fédération Internationale des Travailleurs Sociaux Federación Internacional de Trabajadores Sociales


6th of July 2014 from 9am to 6pm 7th of July 2014 from 9am to 3pm


Lola Casal from Spain provided additional translation to assist René Schegg

Countries Present: Argentina, Armenia (Austria proxy), Australia, Austria, Bangladesh (UK proxy), Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia (Austria proxy) Cuba (Costa Rica proxy), Denmark, Finland, Germany, Georgia (Portugal proxy), Ghana, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (Austria proxy), Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia (Philippines proxy), Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey (Germany proxy), United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA (Canada proxy), Zimbabwe

Apologies Jeane Anastas (NASW, USA), Jane Maidment (ANZASW)

1. Opening of the General Meeting

Uncle Bill Nicholson welcomed the participants to Melbourne on behalf of the Wurundjeri people, the first owners of the land.

1.1. Opening of the General Meeting

The General Meeting was called to order by Gary Bailey (IFSW President)

1.2. Roll call of member organizations

The Secretary-General undertook a roll-call of countries and distributed voting cards.

1.3. Welcome from the Australian hosts

Dr Karen Healey AASW welcomed participants and acknowledged the traditional owners of the land. She outlined the Association’s activities and its overall role within Australia. She outlined the plight faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. Dr Christine King of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Association welcomed participants to the meeting and to this land. She outlined some of the history including the “stolen generation” concerns and the work of the international indigenous social workers.

1.4. Introductions, including observer organizations

The Secretary-General welcomed delegates and introduced the executive committee.

1.5 Introductions scholarship attendees

Introduction of the Jane Hoey scholarship recipients – Raed Amira representing Palestine and Arab delegation of Social Workers and Jorge Arturo Saenz representing Costa Rica

1.6. Voting rights at the General Meeting

It was noted that countries present and correctly paid-up should use their voting card, one vote per country. The tradition is to write the name of the country on the back of the card.

1.7. Appointment of Secretary for the meeting

Nigel Hall was appointed as Secretary.

1.8. Appointment of Parliamentarian for the meeting

Terry Bamford was appointed as Parliamentarian

1.9. Work structure and proceedings during the meeting

This was agreed. Simultaneous translation – English to Spanish
Live streaming occurred for the first time.
The papers for the General Meeting Papers were provided in the two volumes of books (hereafter referred to as GMP). One set for each country present.

1.10. Appointment of teller(s) for the meeting

The following tellers were appointed: Gabriele Stark (Germany) and Lucy Sanford- Reed (Aotearoa New Zealand)

2. Approval of agenda and timetable

Agenda and timetable for the meeting were agreed. Moved: Puerto Rico
Seconded: Portugal
The motion carried

3. Previous minutes

The Minutes from the General Meeting in Stockholm, 2012, had been approved by the Executive Committee, in accordance with the Constitution, and were noted and accepted by the General Meeting.
Moved: Austria

Seconded: Sweden Majority agreed One abstention
The motion carried

4. IFSW Membership
4.1 New Applications
There were six new membership applications (with 3 requiring coordinating bodies)

Tangata Whenua Social Workers Association

Motion to accept Tangata Whenua as a member of IFSW as part of a coordinating body with ANZASW.
Moved: Canada
Seconded: Norway

The motion carried

Syndicate for Social Professions in Egypt

This Association has applied for membership; there is a much smaller organisation representing social work educators that is interested in membership, so a coordinating body will need to be formed, but this has not been achieved yet. Motion to accept Egypt as a member of IFSW

Moved: Puerto Rico Seconded: Australia The motion carried

Grenada Association of Professional Social Workers

Motion to accept Granada as a member of IFSW Moved: Norway
Seconded: Costa Rica
The motion carried

Mexico (Asociacion de Trabajadores Sociales Mexicanos)

Motion to accept Mexico as a member of IFSW Moved: Denmark
Seconded: Sweden
The motion carried

The IFSW President thanked Laura Acotto for her work in bringing Granada and Mexico into membership.


Two separate applications from Romania were presented – the Romanian National College of Social Workers and the Social Work Association of Romania (Pro A.S.) under a coordinating body. This body will meet once a year and although there are still some challenges which were acknowledged, the two organisations agreed to work on outstanding issues.

Motion to accept Romania as a coordinating body as a member of IFSW Moved: USA
Seconded: Singapore
Yes 34

Abstention: 1

The motion carried

The Moroccan Association of Social Workers

Motion to accept Morocco as a member of IFSW Moved: Puerto Rico
Seconded: Zimbabwe
The motion carried

4.2 Members eligible for voting

The Elections Officer advised the meeting that late nominations from member associations for executive elections can be accepted until 4pm today will all relevant papers submitted.

5. Biennial Report of Activities 2010-2012

5.1 President’s Report

The IFSW President Gary Bailey spoke to his report reflecting on his work as President. He is particularly pleased to have helped steer the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development during this period. He particularly acknowledged Charles Mbugua and Fiona Robertson’s contribution until the new Secretary-General was appointed. He noted the work towards Social Work Day at the UN and the memorandum of understanding with IASSW. Work has continued in developing new strategic partnerships as they relate to global issues and his own personal contribution towards international HIV/AIDS work. Gary also indicated the importance in bringing in associations on the fringe of membership into IFSW.

5.2. Secretary-General’s Report

The Secretary-General Rory Truell spoke to his report. He noted that in 12 years the membership had nearly doubled (from 64 to 110 organisations) with many new members coming from Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific and many new voices and experiences enrich the Federation. He pointed out that this growth stems from many governments were realising the importance of social protection systems and how such systems had a major positive impact upon economies. He said that for every 1 dollar a government invested in social protections systems, there was a 3 dollar return to the economy. Social workers, he said, are at the heart of social protection systems and play a significant role within which provides the profession with a strong future. He said that our role in social protection structures was not passive but we ensure that all such systems support social justice and social equality. He noted a key concern for IFSW was countering austerity measures practice in Europe as enforced by the IMF and others. He said such cutting of public services puts back the ability for their recovery significantly. He noted that the 2014 Social Work Day poster was translated into 33 languages and that our message of Agenda message of Promoting Social and Economic Equalities had been extremely well received around the world. He also highlighted that the First Global Agenda Report will be launched at the conference on Wednesday and that we are experiencing new levels of international unity and solidarity with strong social work messages.

6. Finance 2013 and 2014

6.1 Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer Fiona Robertson presented her report to the meeting and then responded to a number of questions. There was a request for the spreadsheets which had been accidentally left out of the GMP to be distributed after the meeting, which was agreed. The Secretary-General responded to a question concerning other funding strategies – he noted the challenges involved in this and indicated that he had approached philanthropic organisations at the outset, but it was difficult to argue a case for funding at the global level. There had been a strategy to develop practice- focused books as an income-earning strategy; due to ill-health of our Publications partner the contract did not proceed. Rory is now negotiating with a number of publishing companies to work out a deal which is advantageous to IFSW.

6.2 Accounts and Audit reports

Presented to the meeting and referenced to the GMP and the additional spreadsheet (not included in the GMP).

6.3 Budget

The budget for 2014 to 2016 was presented. Of note it is planned to hold regular virtual Executive meetings rather than the one-yearly face-to-face meeting next year to reduce costs and improve outcomes by more regular meetings. Denmark and Sweden raised questions about the details in the forthcoming 2014-2016 budget. It was noted that the new executive will be meeting on Tues and would include provision to discuss this budget.

6.4 Investment Report

This is detailed in the GMP and indicates that IFSW has a healthy level of cash reserves.

6.5 Financing Regional Development

Germany and Denmark thanked the Treasurer for her work. Fiona responded to questions about membership fees concerning which countries are paying and which are not. She noted the difficulty in even claiming the minimum fees and indicated that 80% of the time is spent collecting fees results in about 20% collection of the fees. Rory noted that IFSW would like to establish some equitability with contributions, rather than the big organisations covering most of the costs.

As this was Fiona’s last Treasurer’s report she spoke to the concluding comments in her written report and she wished the new Treasurer well.

Financial Reports moved for adoption

Moved: New Zealand Seconded: Denmark The motion carried

6.6 Appointment of Auditor

A motion to appoint the following auditor for IFSW was noted: BDO 3400 Burgdorf, Switzerland
Moved: Germany
Seconded: Zimbabwe

The motion carried

7. Regional and Representatives’ Reports

The Treasurer had completed a review of regional development funding from its foundation in the 2002 Constitutional changes to the present. The report had been distributed to Executive with the recommendation of a full review of regional development funding as the funding was now seen as regional funding and had moved away from its original aims.

7.1. Africa

The African President Daniel Asiedu presented his report. He noted that Noel Muridzo of Zimbabwe is the Member-at-Large for Africa and Vice President of the African Region executive, with Joseph Kayinga of Tanzania as Secretary-General. Daniel thanked Switzerland for the help they have given to Ghana and requested further aid for African countries to help with payment of IFSW fees. He noted that there are 23 members, some dormant, but efforts to make them active are being taken. The regional vision is to establish an operational secretariat with a paid Secretary-General. Daniel covered other key achievements of the Africa region which are noted in his report and then invited questions or comments. Gary noted that he had attended a meeting in Kampala, Uganda, in July organised by the International Consortium for Social Development; he was also invited in September, but would not attend following the imposition of the anti-homosexuality law in that country. Gary feels it is important to engage pro-actively in the region.

7.2. Asia-Pacific

The report was presented by Mariko Kimura, Member-at-Large, with apologies for the Regional President, John Ang’s, absence due to church attendance. She highlighted the projects and workshops the region had undertaken to develop networking regarding disaster prevention in the Asia-Pacific region. She noted that there have been two regional symposia and one workshop in the past 3 years in Japan, Manila and Indonesia. Small scale workshops have been very effective. The region has also networked closely with APASWE, although regional workshops will no longer always be conducted jointly.

On his return to the meeting John thanked Mariko for her presentation, He noted the work being done to increase membership in the Middle East, in particular supporting Yemen and Palestine and Egypt, as well as support to other associations in Nepal, and Bangladesh and would like to see more support to other countries in the Asia Pacific region in paying their fees to IFSW. John noted the discussions underway towards forming an Arab regional association. Other developments are noted in the report and John ended by pointing out that Asia-Pacific would like to deepen person- to-person contacts in the region. He noted that he had completed his time in the position of Regional President, and received an accolade from the General Meeting members.

7.3 Europe

Regional President Cristina Martins presented her report for the European region and noted that her vision was to have more visibility for IFSW in the region, such as focusing more on networking, producing a quality newsletter and having employed a professional designer for this purpose. She presented the detailed work plan for the period 2013-2014 and noted that during 7-9 September 2015 there will be a Regional Conference in Edinburgh. She pointed out that the Europe Region plan to appoint an Honorary Secretary shortly and have been working on various campaigns and statements.

7.4 North America

This was presented by the Member-at-Large for North America, Morel Caissie, on behalf of the Regional President Dr Jeane Anastas. NASW-USA President, Dr Darrell Wheeler and NASW Chief Executive Officer, Dr Angelo McClain, were both present at the General Meeting. Morel noted that NASW has 130,000 members, down from a high of 150,000 ten years ago, but increasing again. Canada has experienced a similar loss of members due to the withdrawal of provincial members numbering 10,000, so recruitment and retention issues feature as priorities for both organisations. A key issue noted is advocating for social justice in Canada in favour of first nations. A formal apology regarding any role that social workers may have played in the discriminatory practices of residential schools had been made. NASW is also involved in various advocacy initiatives. Morel highlighted forthcoming conferences to take place. Gary noted the support from US senators to recognise National Social Work Month and World Social Work Day.

7.5 Latin America and Caribbean

The Regional President for the Latin America and Caribbean region, Laura Acotto, and the member-at-Large Rudolfo Martinez, presented their report to the meeting. Laura noted that there are now 14 members representing more than 200,000 social workers in the region. Among other regional achievements listed in the report, there were two regional conferences organised in Uruguay and also Chile. Other highlights were the work on the Global Observatory, interpretation of the Definition of Social Work, and working conditions in the region where research was carried out by the University of Puerto Rico. Two petitions were presented, one concerning a person imprisoned 33 years in Puerto Rico, another about a Supreme Court decision in the USA.

7.6 UN New York

It was noted that a very comprehensive report, authored by Dr Michael Cronin, Main UN Representative in New York, is available in the GMP. Among other achievements, a successful Social Work Day at the UN was held on April 28, 2014.

7.7 UN Geneva

Klaus Kühne, Main Representative to UN Geneva, spoke to his report highlighting the Social Work Days held together with IASSW and ICSW. The next Social Work Day will be with UNAIDS on the topic of promoting dignity. Klaus noted his contribution to a handbook on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights – the first draft has just been published and he would like country IFSW members to help with field testing of this. Additionally Klaus contributed to the work on the Social Protection Floor initiative which has been strongly promoted as an issue in the post-2015 Sustainability Development Goals.

7.8 UN Nairobi

The report by Charles Mbugua, the United Nations Main Representative to the UN in Nairobi, is available in the GMP. In particular is highlighted the key collaboration between IFSW and UN-Habitat and the establishment of the World Urban Forum, where IFSW can network with UN and other partners.

7.9 UN Vienna

The report was presented by Georg Dimitz, IFSW Representative at the UN and financial advisor in the CoNGO (Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations) board, both based in Vienna. Georg noted that two years of lobby work in the CoNGO Board assisted by the International Association of Applied Psychology have now led to IFSW being elected as member of the CoNGO Executive for the period 2014-2017, a great achievement.

7.10 UN Bangkok

There was no report available for the meeting.

7.11. UN Santiago de Chile

There was no report available for the meeting.

7.12. Amnesty International

Terry Bamford. IFSW’s representative to Amnesty International pointed out that even though it is now 30 years since the UN Commission on torture was set up, investigations have occurred in 115 countries in the last 5 years. Amnesty have continued their campaign against torture in 5 particular countries. Apart from a detainee in Bahrain that we campaigned for we have not had other examples of social workers being detained in the last 5 years.

7.13. IFSW Ambassador

Sue Dworak-Peck highlighted her work as IFSW Ambassador and the full report of her role and activities as Ambassador is included in the GMP.

7.14 IFSW Friends Report

Rory Truell made a verbal report on the status of the IFSW Friends Programme and the re-launching of the Friends programme. New benefits for IFSW Friends include being able to access the back file of Sage articles from International Social Work as well as other benefits

8. Report on joint work with IASSW on the Global Definition of Social Work

The President noted that IFSW has been involved in this process for some time and now have a new Definition that he hoped we could move to vote to adopt without alteration of the text. Rory noted that the Definition defines our profession and work on revising the Definition was started by Nicolai Paulsen 8 years ago, together with the IASSW (who are voting on this after the Conference). The revision has been an extremely complex task. We have moved from 64 members to over 110 and we need to include these new voices in the revised Definition. Rory encouraged members to vote for this.

Questions were invited from the floor – Klaus Kühne indicated the proposal from Switzerland regarding the Definition. They were not convinced that there needed to be a new one, but after discussion will support it, but propose some additional points for the next review. They propose that no part of the Definition should be construed in a way to interfere with other parts of the Definition. The second point is the point of amplification. It should be certain that with any amplification IFSW must be informed in advance to ensure that this does not contradict the Definition. The third point concerns further changes to Definition which should be a stable thing – the Definition should only be changed following precise evaluation of the need for this change.

Austria indicated that they would vote against the new Definition as at least one country (Croatia) has the current Definition passed into its laws and there is no justification to change it. Australia noted that the draft Definition is already included in their training and is used by their accreditation body; Palestine also supported the change to the new Definition, while Germany supported the Swiss motions. Switzerland noted that the motions only concern the commentary to the Definition.

8.1 Motion to accept the new Definition

Moved: Australia Seconded: Denmark Yes 29
Against 4 Abstention: 4

The motion carried

8.2 The 3 Motions by Avenir Social (Switzerland)

These motions were taken in turn:

Motion 1 “No part of this definition shall be construed in a way to interfere with any other parts of this definition”
Moved: Sweden
Seconded: Austria

Yes 32
Against 0 Abstention: 1
The motion carried

Motion 2 “Amplifications on national and/or regional levels shall not interfere with the meaning of the elements of the definition and with the spirit of the whole definition”. (Note; following discussion the sentence “They have to be submitted to the Global Executive Committee for comment before being approved” was deleted. Instead members are asked to keep to the Definition, but to inform IFSW global if amplifications are made.)

Moved: Australia Seconded: Switzerland Yes 34
Against 0
Abstention: 1
The motion carried

Motion 3 “As the definition of social work is the key element for establishing the identity of an occupational group, a future revision of this definition has to be initiated only after precise evaluation of the implementation process and the need for change. Adding further comments is to be first choice before altering the definition.”
Moved: Austria
Seconded: Puerto Rico
Yes 28
Against 1
Abstention: 8
The motion carried

Gary thanked all those involved in this process over the last 8 years, mainly the Secretary-General who has moved this forward together with Visanthie Sewpaul from IASSW.

9. Report on the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development

David N Jones reviewed the background to the Global Agenda process and pointed out that this is now a core strategy of our organisation and a very ambitious aim. He outlined the 4 themes to the Global Agenda, plus promoting a positive working environment for social workers. Every year the World Social Work Day theme is linked to this strategy and next year Tuesday 17 March 2015 will focus on Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples.

David outlined the Observatory role and work timetable, which had more or less been kept to, although there were fewer submissions than hoped for and a need for more resources to manage the process. The Observatory Report will be launched at this Conference and a printed copy will be made available to all the participants. The 3 organisations are inviting proposals for the creation of Regional Observatories and these are expected to include representatives from the profession, education, NGOs and service users with the process planned for completion by early 2015. The President commended David for his stewardship and vision in leading this process.

10. Election of Officers and Executive Committee

Report from Elections Officer

David N Jones the Elections Officer, provided his election report. He indicated that all nominees had met the requirements for IFSW elections and these had been reviewed by the Elections Committee. He then indicated the candidates who are standing for election.

Motion to accept the report Moved: Germany Seconded: Austria Majority agreed

The motion carried

A discussion took place regarding whether late-paying associations would be permitted to vote and the matter was then tabled as a motion.
Motion that the General Meeting accepts late payments from member organisations for the purpose of voting.

Moved: Australia Seconded: Puerto Rico Yes 31
Against 0
Abstentions 2
The motion carried

Late payments from Chile, Romania and Mexico were accepted, voting cards were issued to them and voting took place.

10.1 Global President

There were 2 candidates for Global President – Ruth Stark (UK) and Rudolfo Martinez (Argentina). Ruth Stark was elected (All ballot papers were accepted and the vote announced as 22 votes to 18).

Following the counting there was a motion to destroy the ballot papers Moved: Canada
Seconded: UK
Majority in favour

Abstentions 2

Motion carried

10.2 Global Treasurer

There were 3 candidates for Treasurer with Eva P Ponce de Leon (Philippines) elected (17 votes); Maria Moritz Austria (9 votes); Victor Ivan Garcia-Toro (13 votes)

Motion to destroy ballot papers Moved: Canada
Seconded: Australia
All in favour

Motion carried

10.3 Regional President Asia-Pacific

Mariko Kimura was elected as Regional President

10.4 Member-at-Large Asia Pacific

Rose Henderson was elected as Member-at-Large for Asia-Pacific

10.5 Regional President Latin America & Caribbean

Silvana Martinez was elected as Regional President Latin America & Caribbean. She thanked the outgoing President Laura Acotto for her work over 8 years in strengthening the Latin America & Caribbean region.

10.6 Member-at-Large Europe

Salome Namicheishvili was elected as Member-at-Large for Europe.

10.7 Regional President North America

Morel Caissie was elected as Regional President for North America.

10.8 Member-at-Large North America

Darren Wheeler was elected as Member-at-Large for North America.

10.9 Member-at-Large Africa

Election to take place in October and the Regional President asked the meeting to support the current Member-at-Large Noel Muridzo to remain in place until the election.
Motion to permit Noel to remain in this post until the next elections are held in October.

Moved: Ghana

Seconded: Singapore Unanimous
The motion carried

Award for outstanding social work

The Secretary-General announced that this award would be given to Nestor Ramos from the Philippines. In November 2013 Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines and killed approximately 10,000 people. Nestor was the Regional Director for Social Services at the time who in a dramatic rescue from a flooded building arranged for people to climb across a rope to another building. He was the last to leave. Nestor had worked every day supporting a team of 30 social workers all of whom were traumatised, but managed to hold the team together. Eva Ponce de Leon received the award on his behalf.

The second award was given to Khawla Al-Azvag from the Palestine Association. She has worked to challenge the idea of honour killings (the killing of women who are deemed have transgressed various norms), and has worked to draft legislation to make sure that honour killings treated the same as murder. This legislation is still not passed but in process. Raed Amira received the award on her behalf.

The third award was given to Ana Lima Fernandez, President of Consejo General del Trabajo (Council of Social Work in Spain) for her leadership role in the Orange Tide movement – which brings together social workers and service users to protest against austerity measures.

Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol Award

Fiona Robertson, IFSW’s outgoing Treasurer, was presented with this Award for her 14 years of service to IFSW. Gary noted her dedicated service to IFSW over this period, pointing out that she has always been willing to take on any role that might enhance IFSW, an example being her recent role in helping IFSW archive its historical materials. Fiona’s own experience of the Christchurch earthquakes and the destruction that this caused was a very strong motivating factor in her wish to see IFSW’s history preserved for future generations. As Gary pointed out “Fiona steps in and responds and does this with her own Kiwi indomitable spirit!” Rory added to the comments in tribute to the work Fiona had carried out for IFSW and the many roles and tasks she has undertaken.

11. Proposal for Constitution and By-Laws Review

There will be a review of the constitution and by-laws – at the New York Executive 2013 meeting it was agreed under Daniel Asiedu (who is both a social worker and attorney) to lead the review of the constitution and by-laws. The new Executive will decide who will assist him in the review. At the Seoul meeting 2016 a proposal will be coming forward to present constitutional and by-laws changes. The review will take into consideration the proposal from Palestine, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen to have a separate Arab Regions. New Zealand (through The Tangata Whenua Association) is also asking for consideration to be given to the establishment of an Indigenous Committee that can be directly represented on the Executive.

12. Reports from Commissions and Projects

12.1 Report from Human Rights Commission

Ruth Stark, the Human Rights Commissioner, noted comments in addition to her report in the GMP. She noted that we are getting increased numbers of social workers getting imprisoned and we have taken appropriate action with care that we do not make matters worse. There are also various other issues that members are concerned about which are detailed in the report.

12.2 Report from Permanent Commission on Ethics Issues

Richard Hugman, the Ethics Commissioner, indicated that there was no written report as he had suffered a period of ill health. Tasks had been to produce some edited materials on social work and ethics around the world, another task was to review procedures around the world where a member country has breached ethics. He indicated that in order for the Commission to function well it requires strong leadership which he has not been able to provide. Richard is not seeking further nomination for this position and has asked members of the Commission for nomination. Gary thanked Richard for his stewardship of the Ethics Commission.

12.3 Archives Report

A report of the Archives work was made to the General Meeting and it was noted that Fiona has accepted the role of Honorary Archivist. Gary commended Fiona’s initiative in taking on this task. A power point presentation by Fiona and Nigel Hall with the support of Sue Dworak-Peck and Rory was made to the meeting outlining the archival work completed to date.

13. Policy

13.1 New policies yet to be confirmed

Policy 1: Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression

Following discussion of a motion to adopt this policy it was generally agreed that the sentence under 1.1 “People whose sexual identity, sexual orientation or gender expression differs from the norm” should be changed to “People whose sexual identity, sexual orientation or gender expression is perceived to differ from the norm” Motion to accept the policy

Moved: Canada Seconded: Sweden Majority agreed
The motion carried

Policy 2: Guiding principles for social workers working with others to identify and protect children from all forms of sexual abuse
Following discussion it was agreed that social workers do not work in isolation and that the development of social policy in favour of protecting children from all forms of sexual abuse is required. Consequently it was unanimously agreed following a suggestion from Dr McLean USA that the 4th bullet point under “Campaign suggestions for IFSW members” (“Action needs to take place at local, national, regional and global level with clear strategies from the collective voice of social workers”) be moved to the first bullet point.

Motion to accept the policy

Moved: UK Seconded: Romania Majority agreed
The motion carried

Policy 3: Motion from Switzerland on social workers doing overseas assessments
The motion reads as:
This General Meeting acknowledges that

• all actions concerning a child shall take full account of the CRC and the concept of the best interest of the child enshrined therein
• in different States there are differences in laws and regulations that affect how the development of children into adults is perceived, culturally and legally

• regarding assessments social workers should be concerned with the whole person, within the family, community, societal and natural environments, and should seek to recognise all aspects of a child’s life
• cultural factors that include language and customs are very important in children’s lives since they stem from ancestral knowledge and traditions in numerous domains • working with local social services is crucial regarding international assessments and

calls upon IFSW Secretariat as a matter of urgency to publish a set of Guiding Principles for Social Workers concerning their role in the assessment of children’s cases that cross nation state borders.
For the elaboration of these guiding principles cooperation is to be sought with International Social Service (ISS) and IASSW, with UN Agencies such as UNICEF and UNHCR, and with NGOs working in this field

Moved: Switzerland Seconded: Puerto Rico Majority agreed
The motion carried

Policy 4: Motion from Switzerland on the role of social work in social protection floors
The motion read as:
This General Meeting acknowledges that Social Protection Floors as stipulated by ILO in its Recommendation 202 are an effective, feasible and affordable instrument to eradicate poverty, to realise the right to social protection (Article 22 + 25 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) and to promote economic and social equality as postulated in the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development and calls upon IFSW Secretariat as a matter of urgency to publish a set of Guiding Principles for Social Workers concerning their role in the development, implementation, administration, provision of services of Social Protection Floors. For the elaboration of these guiding principles cooperation is to be sought with ICSW and IASSW, with UN Agencies such as UNHCHR and ILO, possibly UNDP, WHO and with global NGOs such as Public Service International, ATD Fourth World, FES Moved: Switzerland
Seconded: Romania
One abstention

Majority agreed

The motion carried

14. Appointment of ISW Officers and Representatives

It was noted that the new executive will consider these appointments.

15. Forthcoming Conferences

15.1 Regional Conferences to be confirmed.

Austria noted that the next European conference will not be a joint conference with IASSW and suggested an IFSW Conference for the 2018 world conference. Rory notes this is an important point. However consultation with partners following Stockholm agreed that conferences would be jointly held until 2018 and the Global Agenda theme would be highlighted.

15.2 Korea 2016

It was noted that Seoul will be the venue for the 2016 Conference.

15.3 Call for bids for 2018

We are inviting bids from members by 31st December 2014 with 31st March 2015 for confirmation of the successful bid.

16. Any other business

There was no other business.

17. Date and place of the next GM

This will be in Seoul 2016 and the exact date and place to be confirmed.

18. Closing of the GM

David and Rory provided tributes to the outgoing President Gary Bailey: it was noted Gary was passionate about giving support for IFSW and giving voice to social work concerns. This had been recognised by the awarding of an honorary doctorate. Gary responded with an appreciation of having had the opportunity to work with everyone else and he had appreciated the expertise and ability of all those in IFSW. He thanked our hosts at Melbourne University, AASW, for the wonderful reception, He particularly thanked René Schegg very much for his work translating into Spanish, despite being ill, and Lola for stepping in to assist. He ended with a quote from Rabindrath Tagore: “I dreamed of joy and I acted and service was my joy”.

René Schegg who resigned as the Policy and Communications Officer from January 2014 was thanked for his time with IFSW and presented with a gift.

Outgoing Executive members John Ang, Maria Moritz, Laura Acotto and Fiona Robertson were presented with thank you gifts

The meeting was closed by Gary with thanks to all the participants attending and special thanks to the volunteers who assisted to make this a successful meeting.