Minutes of the IFSW General Meeting 2008

IFSW General Meeting 2010 – Item 3
Day 1, August 13
Opening of the General Meeting
1.1    Opening of the General Meeting The President welcomed participants, and informed that Interpretation is available in Spanish, Portuguese and English. The President asked for one minute of silence in memory of IFSW officials who have passed away since the last General Meeting: Gayle Gilchrist James, Canada, former IFSW President, Hansjoerg Keller, Former President Swiss Association of Social Workers and member of the European Executive Henning Breinholt, Denmark, IFSW Election Officer, President Danish Association of Social Workers Brit Rostvaag, Norway, IFSW Correspondent
1.2    Roll call of member organizations The Secretary General conducted a roll call of nations. A quorum was reached. The list of attendees can be found in the attachment.
1.3    Welcome from The Brazilian Federal Council for Social Services The President of the Brazilian Federal Council for Social Services, Ivanete Salete Boschetti addressed the meeting and welcomed everybody to Salvador. The President of IFSW thanked her for the excellent organization of the conference. More than 3000 registered for the conference, 300 of them from countries other than Brazil.
1.4    Greetings from AIEJI and IASSW The President of AIEJI and delegate of Denmark, Benny Andersen, addressed the meeting. He pointed out that social workers and social educators are related in many ways and that often there is no difference in the work they perform. Both act in a social and political setting and both become political actors. Collaboration is therefore very important and both organizations should work together. He invited everybody to attend the AIEJI World Congress in Copenhagen in May 2009. Vishanthie Sewpaul greeted the General Meeting (GM) on behalf of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), and apologized that the IASSW President, Angie Yuen, was not able to attend. She expressed IASSW’s satisfaction with the development of the Cooperation with IFSW.
1.5    Introductions, including observer organizations Vishanthie Sewpaul conveyed greetings from the South African Association of Social Workers.
1.6    Voting rights at the General Meeting The Secretary General advised the meeting that 30 countries were present at the opening of the meeting. All had voting rights. Voting cards were distributed.
1.7    Appointment of Secretary(ies) for the meeting Angela Voegele was appointed as Secretary for the 2008 General Meeting
1.8    Appointment of Parliamentarian Terry Bamford was appointed as Parliamentarian for the 2008 General Meeting.
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Carried unanimously
1.9    Work structure and proceedings during the meeting The President introduced the agenda and outlined voting procedures. He pointed out that everybody is affected by the global food crisis and said that the availability of water and power are sources of great conflicts resulting in migration and major challenges for social workers. He hoped that the General Meeting would help make IFSW more effective. He further pointed out that the sick leave of the Secretary General in 2007 had had an impact on the Executive. The President advised participants to use clear and careful language in order to facilitate communication during the meeting. The agenda was endorsed unanimously
1.10    Appointment of teller(s) for the meeting It was moved that Mimi Kvisvik from Norway, Andrea Trenkwalder-Egger from Austria and Nigel Hall, IFSW editor, be appointed as Tellers for the 2008 General Meeting. Carried unanimously
1.11    Social program during the meeting The Secretary General announced that there is a reception after the meeting on the first day.
2    Approval of agenda and timetable
Denmark asked for more specific information about the membership fee income in 2006/07. The Treasurer and Secretary General responded that this information would be provided.
The agenda and timetable were approved.
3    Minutes General Meeting Munich 2006
It was noted that the Minutes from the IFSW General Meeting in Munich, Germany, July 27-29, 2006 had been approved by the Executive Committee according to the IFSW Constitution.
Request from China to speak briefly about the disaster in China
Xu Liugen from China addressed the meeting and talked about the earthquake that affected China in 2008. He thanked all the partner organizations for their support in this time of crisis.
4    Eileen McGowan Kelly Scholarship 2008
Presentation of the Eileen McGowan Kelly Scholarship for 2008 Barbara Molderings, Chairperson of the Eileen McGowan Kelly Committee, introduced and briefly outlined the achievements of the scholarship winner for 2008, Elizabeth Horevitz from the USA. The President congratulated Elizabeth and welcomed her to the meeting. The winner thanked everybody for the opportunity to participate in the meeting and spoke of her work. She specialized in migrant health, gender and inequality issues and medical social work and emphasised the importance of cultural competence and working across borders.
5    Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol Memorial Medal
The President introduced the recipients of the Andrew Mouravieff-Apostol Memorial Medal 2008, Carlos Eroles from Argentina and Terry Bamford from the UK. Carlos Eroles was unfortunately not able to attend; the medal was received on his behalf by Laura Acotto, President of the Argentinian Association of Social Workers. She presented a letter from Carlos Eroles, who expressed his deep regrets for not being able to attend the meeting. The medals were presented to the candidates by Ellen Mouravieff- Apostol. Terry Bamford spoke to the meeting and talked about his involvement with IFSW since 1974. He expressed his deep gratitude for the award and thanked everybody for the friendship and support he found through IFSW.
6    IFSW Membership
6.1    Membership report The Secretary General reported that IFSW now represents more than 735,000 members due to increased membership numbers in member organizations.
6.2    New members No new members have been approved since the General Meeting in Munich in 2006
6.3    Applications New membership applications were introduced by the regional Presidents.
6.3.1 Zambia Zambia is recommended by the African region. The United Kingdom asked whether Zambia has a code of ethics and whether this is required for membership. The Secretary General answered that a member organization can abide by the IFSW code or has its own code of ethics. It was moved that Zambia is accepted as member of IFSW. Moved: Kenya Seconded: Ghana Carried unanimously
6.3.2 Liberia Liberia is recommended by the African region. It was moved that Liberia is accepted as member of IFSW. Moved: Kenya Seconded: Ghana Carried unanimously
6.3.3 Fiji Fiji is recommended by the Asia & Pacific region. Bulgaria asked whether Fiji has a minimum training of two years for social workers. The regional President replied that she is confident that this requirement is met. It was moved that Fiji is accepted as member of IFSW. Moved: Hong Kong Seconded: New Zealand Carried unanimously
6.3.4    Sierra Leone Sierra Leone is recommended by the African region. It was moved that Sierra Leone is accepted as member of IFSW. Moved: Kenya Seconded: Ghana Carried unanimously
6.3.5 Serbia The European region asked that the application from Serbia be dealt with later, since some clarifications needed to be made.
6.3.6 Libya The application from Libya was moved to Agenda Item 6.5 reinstatements.
6.3.7    South Africa South Africa is recommended by the African region. It was moved that South Africa is accepted as member of IFSW. Moved: Kenya Seconded: Ghana Carried unanimously
6.4    Suspensions, terminations and provisional membership There were no suspensions or terminations. The following countries are provisional members: Greece, India, Lebanon, Lesotho, Macedonia, Mongolia, Netherlands Antilles, Niger, and Slovakia. They can be provisional members for a period of 6 years. Their provisional membership will end on July 1, 2009.
Bulgaria inquired about the application from Moldavia. The Secretary General replied that the request has been made two years ago and that further information is needed.
Motion to transfer the following countries to provisional membership due to a lack of communication: Bahrain, Hungary, Latvia, Morocco, Poland, and Zimbabwe. Nigel Hall explained that the association in Zimbabwe has collapsed and will hopefully be recreated.
Moved: Hong Kong Seconded: Israel Carried unanimously
6.5    Reinstatements Libya has applied for reinstatement. It is recommended by the African region. It was moved that Libya be reinstated as member of IFSW. Moved: Kenya Seconded: Ghana Carried unanimously
6.6 Special assessments – nil
7    World Social Work Day
7.1    Report 2008 The Regional President for North America Veronica Marsman introduced the report. 36 countries had reported activities to IFSW concerning the second World Social Work Day in 2008. The President thanked everybody who took part in the event and commented on the growing significance of the day as a way to promote the profession and demonstrate global solidarity.
7.2    Future of the World Social Work Day, Introduction Veronica Marsman introduced the plans for future World Social Work Days, to be decided upon later in the meeting.
8    Elections Committee Report, including Call for possible nominations from the floor No members of the Elections Committee were present. It was therefore necessary to appoint an Elections Committee for the meeting.
It was moved that Eugenia Moreno from Canada be appointed as committee head. Moved: Australia Seconded: Austria Carried unanimously
It was moved that Eila Malmstroem from Finland and Bob Lonne from Australia be appointed as election committee members. Moved: Bulgaria Seconded: Kuwait
Carried unanimously
It was pointed out that, according to Constitution, it is possible to present nominations at the meeting. The Secretary General advised the meeting that late nominations must be adopted with a three quarters majority of those present.
It was moved that the last possible time to make nominations is at the opening of the meeting on August 14 at 9:00 am. Moved: Austria Seconded: Denmark
Carried unanimously
It was moved to apply the same procedure for the IFSW Commissioners for Human Rights, Ethics and Policy. Moved: Germany Seconded: Finland
Carried unanimously
Requirements of nomination are: Nomination of member organisation Statement of nominee CV
Profile of nominee
9    Biennial Report of Activities 2006 – 2008
9.1    President
9.2    Secretary General
9.3    Africa
9.4    Asia and Pacific
9.5    Europe
9.6    Latin America and Caribbean
9.7    North America
9.8    UN, New York
9.9    UN, Geneva
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9.10    UN, Nairobi
9.11    UN, Vienna
9.12    Amnesty International
9.13    IFSW Ambassador
9.14    Promotion of the Profession
9.15 Publications
9.16    IFSW Friends report
Those responsible spoke briefly to their reports, which all were received by the General Meeting
10    Finance 2006 – 2007
10.1    Treasurer's Report The Treasurer’s written report had been provided in advance and Fiona Robertson spoke in detail about the report. The trends noted were: Increased income in membership fees in 2006 Reduction of income of Friends programme. Surplus in 2006 and 2007 due to reduced staffing of secretariat
The United Kingdom asked about the 2006 surplus and why the budget line Translation had not been used fully when there is a need for more translation. The Secretary General informed that volunteers were available to translate in Munich and that this had saved money. The President pointed out that the executive is looking to improve translation.
The United Kingdom suggested that the financial report should be available on the website. The Secretary General stated that some of the information in the financial reports related to salaries and commercial transactions which should not be generally available. The President thanked Fiona Robertson for the report and her extraordinary help.
10.2    Accounts and Audit reports 2006 Denmark suggested postponing the approval of the Accounts and Audit reports until later in the meeting when more material had been made available. This was agreed
10.3    Accounts and Audit reports 2007 – deferred until later in the meeting
Close Day 1
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Day 2 August 14
The President declared the deadline for late nominations closed. The Elections Officer announced that no new nominations had been received. The Secretary General announced that the nominations of Brian Auslander, Israel (Ethics) and James Kelly, USA (Human Rights) as commissioners had been withdrawn by their respective organizations.
11    Constitutional Matters
12 Policy
12.1 Report from the Policy, Advocacy and Representation Commission (PARC) The Commissioner Gary Bailey presented the work that has been done since Munich 2006.
12.2    Policy on Health Paul Bywaters presented the work that has been done since Munich 2006. The President pointed out that the vote is on the statement, not the whole paper. The rest is supporting background content.
Motion to change the wording in the last sentence of the introductory summary from ‘to work’ to ‘to demand and work’ Moved: United Kingdom Seconded: Canada
Carried with one abstention
Vote on the Statement
Carried unanimously
The President thanked Paul Bywaters and his team for their excellent work.
12.3    Policy on Cross Border Reproductive Services Eric Blyth (UK) presented the work done in accordance with the resolution on this subject passed in Munich 2006. Germany inquired about the role of social workers in this area and about the action that can be taken. Eric Blyth replied. South Africa wanted to know why the focus was on cross border services. Eric Blyth replied.
The United States moved an amendment to delete ‘including’ from the first sentence of the Policy position. Seconded: New Zealand
The United Kingdom moved an amendment to the amendment to delete ‘including human sperm, eggs and embryos’. Seconded: United States
China declared that the wording would not be clear enough in this case.
South Africa moved to only drop ‘including’. Seconded: Canada
The United Kingdom withdrew the amendment to the amendment Vote to withdraw the amendment to the amendment.
Carried unanimously
Vote in favor of the amendment to delete the word ‘including’ from the first sentence of the Policy position Carried (1 against, 3 abstentions)
Eric Blyth pointed out that the policy paper gives clear guidance on how social workers can act in this area.
Vote on statement as revised
Carried (22 in favour, 5 against, 5 abstentions)
The President thanked Eric Blyth and his team for their excellent work.
12.4    Policy on Poverty and the Role of Social Workers
Gary Bailey explained that this paper was presented for discussion and not for voting in this General Meeting. It was intended to present a paper for approval at the next General Meeting in 2010. It was noted that the paper is intended, in part, to replace the policy on rural communities, which has now been withdrawn.
South Africa stated that the 2008 ILO Report emphasizes that decent employment is a new target for the Millennium Development Goals, and the present IFSW document does not include this.
Brazil pointed out that social workers want more than alleviation of poverty. They want to fight poverty not alleviate.
Charles Mbugua, who is leading the project group, noted the comments and asked member organizations to send additional comments to him.
12.5    Policy on Genocide
Gary Bailey presented the policy to the General Meeting by reading an introductory letter that explains the policy paper. The policy has been out for consultation.
South Africa moved an amendment to add a reference to the International Criminal Court Seconded: Austria Carried unanimously
South Africa asked why the advocacy section was removed. The President answered that there are existing IFSW guidelines on action and advocacy statements and therefore the original text in this paper is not required.
Vote on policy statement as amended (including the reference to the International Criminal Court) Carried (1 abstention)
12.6    Policy on Ageing and Older Persons
Gary Bailey introduced the policy to the GM. Denmark expressed appreciation to have this paper. No proposals for amendments were made.
USA moved that the policy paper be approved (pages 11 to 30). Seconded: Denmark Carried unanimously
12.7    Policy on Women This paper was presented for discussion. It was intended to present a paper for approval at the next General Meeting in 2010. Gary Bailey introduced the paper. The United Kingdom expressed concern about a paragraph that covers women’s sexual health and her right to control her own body, a right that is not universal all over the world. The United Kingdom also stated that the rights of women can only be considered in the context of the rights of other groups, such as children.
12.7    Other Policy Statements Gary Bailey acknowledged the receipt of a policy statement drafted by Austria and Norway about Homelessness. It will be passed on to the Executive Committee. This paper was approved some time ago by the European Region and is referred for considered at the global level. The paper will be considered by PARC.
12.8    Other Policy Matters
Nil. The President thanked everybody involved in the development of policy papers for their excellent work
13    Election of Treasurer IFSW 2008-2012
The Elections Officer presented the candidate, Fiona Robertson from New Zealand. She was elected by acclamation. Fiona Robertson thanked the General Meeting for their confidence.
14    Human Rights
The Human Rights Commissioner Elis Envall presented his report to the General Meeting, and also announced that he is resigning his position.
The United States thanked Elis Envall for his outstanding work.
The President commented on Elis’ long service to IFSW in many roles including President (1994-2000) as well as his long service as Human Rights Commissioner. The meeting responded with prolonged applause.
The report was received.
15 Ethics
The Ethics Commissioner, Arne Groenningsaeter, was unable to attend the meeting. The President presented the report. The President also informed the General Meeting that Arne Groenningsaeter is stepping down from his position and commented on Arne’s long service to IFSW in many capacities, especially his long service as Secretary of the Ethical Committee. The meeting responded with prolonged applause.
The report was received.
16    Definition of Social Work
The Convener, Nicolai Paulsen, presented a report to the General Meeting, pointing out that it was decided at the General Meeting in Munich 2006 to review the Definition of Social Work. A working group has been identified and the group is ready to work on the task in order to present results at the General Meeting in Hong Kong in 2010.
The report was received.
17    Briefing for concurrent sessions
The President introduced three concurrent sessions.
18    Concurrent sessions
18.1    Definition of Social Work Convened by Nicolai Paulsen.
18.2    Ethics Convened by Veronica Marsman (in the absence of members of the IFSW Permanent Committee on Ethical Issues). The President thanked Veronica for taking on this task at a short notice. Veronica Marsman explained that the participants of the session will be invited to look at the current guidelines and see what provisions need to be done in preparation of the revision scheduled for 2010.
18.3    Process of preparation for World Conference 2010 Convened by Gary Bailey, Justina Leung and David N. Jones. Gary Bailey presented a paper setting out the proposals and guidelines for policy development in preparation for the World Conference in Hong Kong 2010.
19    Report back from Concurrent sessions
Leslie Chenoweth from Australia presented the outcome of the session: Ethical principals are absolutely crucial to social work. The impact of evolving social policies is challenging social work practice (for example
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in the area of biotechnology). The separation in practice of principles from action and implementation is frustrating. IFSW should play a lead role in promoting the practical interpretation and implementation of ethical principles.
Hong Kong 2010
Gary Bailey presented the outcome. Points to consider are: Equal weight should be given to practice, education and policy. The role of students and the role of the future of the profession need to be considered. The younger generation interacts differently, using new technologies which change patterns of communication. One has to learn from the history by looking at previous evaluations, for example what worked and what did not work at the Munich conference. Role of ethics Review of the experience and outcomes from the recent Hong Kong conference on health and mental health The opportunity to promote contact with the large number of schools and social workers now emerging in mainland China Role of science and technology Professional identity
10 points to look at were identified: Globalization and its impact on social work Assessment of different national perspectives and their visions for the future Economic and environmental development – role of social workers Working conditions and the social work workforce The role of IFSW as a large global social work organization? Using new IFSW policies as themes Review of previous conferences Using new technologies, like web chat Linking to global funding institutions
. Role of regulatory bodies
Definition of social work
Nicolai Paulsen presented the outcome. The session identified the following points for further consideration:
Does the definition match everybody’s views? What is the meaning of a ‘definition’? What purpose is it intended to serve? Can we have only one definition?
Do we need a definition? Is the process more important than the result? What should be included? Is social work cooperative work rather than individual work? Should there be more ethical issues included? Should social workers be informers about social conditions? Do we need a re-conceptualization? Can we have more dialogue and participation via Internet? We need to include the views of younger social workers.
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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10
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A number of national correspondents were identified and more will be invited to join.
The President thanked the presenters. He emphasized the significance of the Hong Kong 2010 process and the need for all member organizations to involve their members and committees in the consultation on the future agenda.
Close Day 2
Day 3 August 15
20    Regional meetings
Regional meetings took place in the morning. The General Meeting resumed at 12:00 pm.
21    Action Plan 2008-2010
The President explained that the Action Plan is a working paper for the Executive Committee. A shortened version has been distributed to the General Meeting. The Executive Committee will review the Action Plan. The President invited delegated to make comments. No comments were made.
22    Risk Assessment for IFSW
The Treasurer explained that the Risk Assessment plan is reviewed by the Steering Committee and the Executive Committee. The President invited delegates to make comments. No comments were received.
23    Appointment of IFSW Representatives
The Secretary General announced the candidates. Their being only one candidates for each position, the meeting was asked to adopted the nominations en bloc.
The GM voted on adopting the nominations.
Carried unanimously
23.1    Human Rights Commissioner Ruth Stark, United Kingdom
23.2    Ethics Commissioner Richard Hugman, Australia
23.3    Policy, Advocacy and Representation Commissioner Gary Bailey, United States
23.4    United Nations, Geneva Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol, Switzerland
23.5    United Nations, New York Michael Cronin, United States
23.6    United Nations, Vienna Georg Dimitz, Austria
23.7    United Nations, Nairobi Charles Mbugua, Kenya
23.8    UNICEF Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol, Switzerland
23.9    Amnesty International Terry Bamford, United Kingdom
23.10    IFSW Ambassador Suzanne Dworak-Peck, USA
23.11    Sage Publications Nigel Hall, United Kingdom
23.12    Other appointments
There were no other appointments
10. Finance 2006-2007 (Continued from Day 1) 24. Finance 2009-10
Denmark moved that the General Meeting approves the financial accounts for 2006-07 and delegate the approval of the audited accounts for 2006-07 to the Executive Committee, and that the audited accounts for 2006-07 be distributed to the member organizations.
Germany seconded this.
Carried (1 abstention)
Denmark moved that the membership organizations shall receive a copy of the audited accounts and balance sheet, a membership fee report showing the fee assessment and actual fees received and an explanation of any variance at least 30 days ahead of each General Meeting.
Seconded: Portugal
Carried unanimously
The United Kingdom moved that the auditors be invited to make a comment on any arrangements with member organisations and that they are required to provide a report on the justification on any variation in membership fees income. Seconded: Austria
Australia suggested to change the wording as it is difficult to direct an auditor within the time frame. New Zealand supported this.
Austria remarked that auditors will come from Switzerland and should be able to expedite reports and make comments.
Canada asked for clarification about the process for approval of special arrangements with member organisations in respect of fees. The Secretary General Secretary answered that the Steering Committee approves it.
Turkey suggested clarifying the membership report and separating it from this proposal. The motion from the United Kingdom was voted upon
Carried (24 in favour, 8 against, 3 abstentions)
Denmark requested that the Executive Committee implements this motion.
The President summarized that accounts have been cleared and procedures for future audits are set.
24.1    IFSW Task Force on Membership Fees The Secretary General presented the report on the IFSW Task Force on Membership Fees.
Denmark moved that the Executive Committee continues to quickly implement the new
system approved at the General Meeting in Adelaide 2004. Seconded: France Carried (2 abstentions)
Bulgaria asked whether there is a special agreement with Korea regarding membership fees. The Secretary General explained that new membership information had only just been received. Past payments were based on their previous membership numbers.
Austria pointed out that the United States have special arrangements regarding membership fees, because of the regulation that an organization should not pay more than 25% of the IFSW membership fees income, and asked the Executive Committee to consider this special arrangement.
The President confirmed that the Executive Committee will follow this up.
Germany moved to increase membership fees by 1.5% in 2010. Seconded: Canada Carried (2 abstentions)
24.2.1 Report from the Income Development Committee The Treasurer reported about the work of the Committee. She focused on the successful experience with funding of a project in cooperation with the UN-Habitat. She further underlined that personal relationships, partnership with others and financial accountability are the key to successful fundraising.
The report was received
24.3-4    Budgets 2009 and 2010 The Treasurer apologized that the budget papers had been handed out late.
Denmark moved to approve the budgets for 2009 and 2010 subject to revision by the Executive Committee. Seconded: Hong Kong Carried (2 abstentions)
24.5    Investment Policy The Treasurer presented a document on the IFSW Investment Policy.
The report was received.
24.6    Financing Regional Development The President referred to the report.
The report was received.
24.7    Approval of auditors 2009 – 2010 Norway moved to approve ATO Treuhand to be the auditors subject to meeting the new requirements and that the Executive can change company if that is not possible. Seconded: Sweden Carried (1 vote against)
24.8    Other financial matters There were no other financial matters.
25    World Social Work Day 2009-2010
Veronica Marsman presented her report. South Africa requested that there should not be reference to ‘seasons’ when speaking about World Social Work Day as they vary between the Southern and Northern hemisphere.
The President informed the General Meeting that the Executive Committee recommends the third Tuesday in March for the next two World Social Work Days.
There was discussion about the need for a clear decision about the future date of World Social Work Day. It was argued that the date should not change because this is confusing for member organisations and others involved in planning, including the media. It was noted that the date has been difficult and that until the World Day was created, Europe held a European Day in November.
China moved that the World Social Work Day will be on every third Tuesday in March until year 2020. Papua New Guinea seconded. Carried (7 abstentions)
26 Resolutions
26.1    Cooperation with AIEJI (Proposed by Switzerland) Switzerland informed the General Meeting about its cooperation with AIEJI, the global association that represents social educators. A paper about the cooperation was presented to the General Meeting.
Switzerland moved to give a mandate to the Executive Committee to explore closer cooperation with AIEJI and to give a report to the General Meeting in 2010. Seconded: Denmark
The United Kingdom asked about the organizations which represent social educators. South Africa asked about cooperation with IASSW.
The Secretary General stated that the Strategy Group is looking at the further development of cooperation with other organizations and that this will be reflected in their report.
Canada supported cooperation with other organizations and asked for more information about the work of social educators.
The President of AIEJI was invited to inform the General Meeting about the work of social educators. It was noted that there is also a European organization for schools of social educators. The President of AIEJI welcomed further cooperation between AIEJI and IFSW.
The President stated that the Executive Committee will look into this matter.
The resolution was carried
26.2    Other resolutions United Kingdom moved to pass a resolution to work in solidarity with the Burmese people. Seconded: South Africa Carried (1 abstention)
27    19th IFSW World Conference (2008)
Ivanete Salete Boschetti (CEFESS) presented information about the conference. More than 3000 participants had registered, of which 300 were from overseas.
28    20th IFSW World Conference (2010)
Delegates from Hong Kong Hong Kong presented a video about the preparation for the World Conference in 2010 and encouraged everybody to attend.
29    21st IFSW World Conference (2012)
It was reported that the 2012 conference would be held in Stockholm, Sweden. Sweden reported that preparations for the conference are already underway and that they look forward to hosting this event.
30    Reports on Regional Conferences
Regional conference in Africa is set for May 10-13, 2009. The location has not yet been decided. Regional conference in Asia & Pacific hosted by New Zealand from November 10-13, 2009 in Auckland. Rose Henderson from New Zealand presented a video about New Zealand and encouraged everybody to log on to the conference website for more information.
Regional conference in Europe hosted by Croatia from 26-29 April 2009 in Dubrovnik. Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 24-26, 2009 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Black Social Workers in Canada.
31    Other business
31.1 Strategic Direction for IFSW Veronica Marsman presented a report about the strategic direction of IFSW. The President noted that the review was in the context of the need to plan for the retirement of the Secretary General in 2011. The Hong Kong General Meeting will therefore need to make decisions about the future arrangements prior to the appointment process. A survey will be sent to all member organizations, and a report will be prepared for 2010.
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32    Election of Officers and Executive Committee
Results of Elections
The Elections officer announced the results of the elections for the Executive Committee: Regional President for Africa, 2008-12: Charles Mbugua, Kenya Regional President for Europe, 2008-12: Nicolai Paulsen, Denmark Regional President for North America, 2008-10: Jim Kelly, USA
Member at large for North America, 2008-10: Veronica Marsman, Canada Regional President for Asia Pacific, 2008-12: John Ang, Singapore Vacant position, 2008-10: Member at large for Asia & Pacific Member at large for Latin America & the Caribbean, 2008-12: Ivanete Salete Boschetti, Brazil
The President thanked the Elections Committee and congratulated all the nominees. He also announced that he does not intend to stand for the President position in 2010.
33    Election of Elections Officer and Alternates 2008-10
Nigeria moved to to elect Bob Lonne from Australia as Elections officer, Buster Curson from New Zealand as 1. Alternate and Suzanne Dworak-Peck from the United States as 2. alternate. Seconded: New Zealand
Carried unanimously
34    Date and place of the next General Meeting
New Zealand moved that the next General Meeting shall take place in Hong Kong from June 16-18, 2010. Seconded: South Africa Carried unanimously
35    Closing of General Meeting
Remarks by the President
The President acknowledged the achievements of the meeting and expressed his appreciation of the good attendance. He welcomed the active participation of attendees and was pleased that more time had been spent looking outwards on policy and activity rather than on internal issues. He emphasized the importance of policies and strategies and welcomed serious discussions about governance, progress and accountability of IFSW. He pointed out that transparency is important and that any debate about it is important in order to make efficient use of resources.
He further stressed the importance of the World Conference in Hong Kong in 2010 and the World Social Work Day. He urged all member organizations to promote both events
in their countries. He explained that there will be several important decisions in Hong Kong, including the revision of the Definition of Social Work and of the Ethical Principles as well as the agenda setting process. Hong Kong 2010 will set the agenda for the social work profession into the next decade.
The President suggested we should find new ways to engage with service users and with other partner organizations based on confidence, commitment and determination. He noticed that social workers often feel undervalued and misunderstood. IFSW, working with national member organizations, has a key role to play to appreciate and promote the important contribution that social workers make in local, national and international settings.
Farewells were made to Elvira Craig de Silva, Justina Leung, Joaquina Barata Teixeira, Arne Groenningsaeter, and Elis Envall.
The President thanked everybody who attended the meeting, and also those who made the meeting possible by assisting in different ways.
The meeting closed with applause.