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ICM Board meets in The Hague, looks forward to Trinidad and Brisbane: Joyce Thompson, director of the ICM Board of Management, reports on the January 2004 meeting, with positive news in a challenging environment.

As I look out at the clear, glistening snow covering my yard in Michigan, USA, I am reminded of the fresh, invigorating discussions that arose during the most recent ICM Board of Management meeting, held in January" 2004, in the headquarters office in The Hague.

We warmly welcomed Kathy Herschderfer to her first meeting as Secretary General of ICM, and quickly initiated her into the multiple demands of the interface between board members and staff. Kathy is a wonderful person whose extensive research, management, organisational and midwifery skills are already being put to good use within ICM.

ICM budget

The Board agenda was filled with many items and issues, beginning with the realisation that the projected budget deficit at the beginning of 2003 turned out to be much greater than originally anticipated.

The major reasons for this deficit included:

* unexpected expenses from the Vienna congress

* the need to cover the costs of recruitment and handover for the Secretary General position

* additional legal fees for review of the Constitution and By-Laws

* a change in accounting practices.

Board members are confident that the ICM is financially solvent, but acutely aware of the need vigorously to seek additional funds for projects, while curtailing representation and staff costs. The staff and board have worked hard to make sure 2004 will be financially healthy.

The good news is that ICM has received an additional three years of core funding from the Dutch government; and, in addition, some of our partner agencies and member associations have pledged support for the Young Midwifery Leaders project, along with other sponsored activities planned for the mid-triennium meeting in Trinidad.

Throughout these discussions, the Board and staff kept the core mission of ICM first and foremost in their decision making, along with maintaining service to our member associations.

Future meetings: Trinidad and Brisbane

A good portion of the Board agenda was focused on the detailed plans for the upcoming meetings: Trinidad, in April 2004; and Brisbane, in July 2005.

In Trinidad, the executive committee will be finalising the draft Constitution and By-Laws for presentation at the International Council meeting in Brisbane, based on the comments received from member associations.

The organising committee in Trinidad is working hard with the Regional Representatives to make this first-ever mid-triennium meeting in the Americas a resounding success. Likewise the Brisbane organising committee is working feverishly to entice thousands of midwives from all over the world to the warmth of north-east Australia next year. The Call for Abstracts for the scientific programme will be out soon. See you there!


Our last day was spent in detailed discussions with our representative from WHO. It is satisfying to recognise how the importance of ICM as an organisation is viewed by the global community. We are heard as a strong voice for midwives and for Safe Motherhood.

In fact, the ICM representative work carried out by Board members continued well after the close of the meeting when the Director flew to New York City to resume the role of co-chair at the second meeting of the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health; meanwhile the Deputy Director flew to Washington to provide midwifery input as a member of the Decision-making Committee of the White Ribbon Alliance. Summaries of those meetings will be puiblished in future issues of International Midwifery.

Global demand for midwives and midwifery

I close with the realisation that this is one of the most important times for midwives and midwifery in recent history. We are in demand, globally, for:

* our professional midwifery education, based on core competencies

* the high quality standards we follow in practice

* and ICM's leadership in the global health arena.

Midwives are increasingly recognised by the major players in childbearing services as key to the welfare of healthy women and newborns.

Keep up the good work, midwives, and he proud of your profession, your national association and your global organisation!
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Title Annotation:Institute for Complementary Medicine
Author:Thompson, Joyce
Publication:International Midwifery
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:Celebrations!
Next Article:The unifying symbol of the White Ribbon: ICM Deputy Director Judi Brown reports from the Zambia, November 2003, meeting of the Decision Making...

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