General Assembly Declaration - Covid 19 Pandemic: Combating visible and hidden dimensions of human distress

Proposed at the ICSW General Assembly in its first virtual meeting in 2nd year of the centennial decade of the ICSW and adopted with revisions thereafter by its Supervisory Advisory Board on 25 November 2020

The International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) is one of the oldest international non- governmental organizations aimed at promoting social development, social justice and social welfare everywhere in the world. We, the members of the ICSW, are proud to be affiliated with this outstanding civil society organization that represents a great variety of stakeholders from around the world, an organization that is well-recognized and highly regarded nationally and internationally. Empowered by the objectives of ICSW enshrined its Constitution to “Promote forms of social and economic development which aim to reduce poverty, hardship and vulnerability, by striking an appropriate balance between social and economic goals and which respect cultural diversity by strengthening civil society throughout the world”, we stand together to achieve these goals at a time in the history where global cooperation and solidarity are of paramount importance more than ever before.

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Reflections from Solveig Askjem, ICSW President 2003-2008

Quazi Faruque Ahmed from Bangladesh was the acting president of International Council of Social Welfare in 2003.  He became unable to serve as president because of political control of him in his home country and he had to resign 2nd of September that year.

The story is: He was a clever lawyer and brought a lot of women’s cases to  court in order to support women’s rights. This was not accepted by the men in political power in Dhaka and they threatened him in different ways. The start was to cut his international contact lines such as email, his telephone line was cut off and at last, he ended up in prison for a while.

I was elected by the Executive Committee to take over as president of ICSW in September 2003. At that time I was the vice president of ICSW Global and European president of ICSW. I became elected global president by the GA in 2004.

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Press Release – Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development October 2020

As President of ICSW, I am delighted that that the Global Agenda initiated in 2010 has now become a global movement. During the past months ICSW has conducted extensive consultation through our Regional and National bodies and I'm glad that we have finally arrived at the Global Agenda for next decade, 2020-2030. The two ICSW members of the task force led by Abye Tassé, Tapio Salonen and P.K. Shajahan, have offered an important contribution to the definition of the general frame "Co-building social transformation" and of the first theme. The choice of Ubuntu is especially timely at this juncture because of the global socio-political tensions heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to the collaboration of the social welfare community to strengthen social solidarity and global connectedness through our joint effort.

Eva Holmberg-Herrström


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Press Release - Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development, October 2020 (PDF - 307kb)

ICSW NEA COVID-19 Webinar on - 29th July 2020

To enhance information and knowledge sharing, and to explore possible collaboration in regional/ global level to overcome COVID-19, ICSW North East Asia Region is going to host the “ICSW NEA COVID-19 Webinar on COVID-19: Welfare Challenges and Response” aiming to help the regional welfare sector to exchange valuable experience and identify good initiatives in response to the pandemic.

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Consultation Document - Global Agenda on Social Work and Social Development

To ICSW members,

Please find attached a Consultation Document on the Global Agenda on Social Work and Social Development. This consultation process should be finished by end July so the Tripartite Task Force can continue working on it in August to present a plan for the 3 organisations in September.

We hope that the ICSW membership will engage broadly in this process both now and as we move further into the new decade.

Please observe the special email address for contributions at the end of the attached document.

Thank you and stay safe

Tom Johannesen
Executive Director, ICSW

Strengthening the Global Agenda 2020-2030 During the Global Pandemic Crisis and Beyond - REVISED GLOBAL CONSULTATION (pdf)