Firstly, I would like to extend warm greetings to all ICM member associations, their members and all readers of International Midwifery. On a personal note, I would also like to thank all of you for the good wishes I received following my appointment as ICM Director. I am also grateful for the support I have received from my colleagues on the ICM Board and the staff at headquarters. Together we are immersed in the important work that will result in the stability and security of our organisation in the future. We are building and solidifying a transparent organisation that represents midwives and midwifery globally and represents the profession of midwifery as the means of improving the health of childbearing women and their newborns throughout the world.
In 2005, ICM Council gave the Board a clear direction concerning the work to be carried out in this very important transition triennium. There was a mandate from Council that the focus of ICM over the next three years should primarily be on strengthening member associations in the following ways:
* Reviewing partnership and representation in the global arena
* Establishing a database of good practice
* Providing guidance on legislation issues
* Retaining a strong presence in the global arena
* Promoting the midwifery profession and the value of the midwife in keeping birth normal.
As stated during Council, the Board will be taking on a review of our strategic goals in order to set work and partnership priorities for the next four years. The Board will work through these goals to provide clarity to our members on how they may be incorporated into the above-mentioned Council mandate.
New governance structure
The ratification of the new deed of incorporation (Constitution) has resulted in ICM becoming a legal entity in the Netherlands, the country where we have been housed since 2000. The new ICM Constitution gives us the parameters for the new governing structure that is aimed to be more inclusive with more active representation from the ICM regions. It is now the task of the ICM Board and member associations to 'fine-rune' the governing structure so that it can be fully implemented by 2008 when we have our next Council held together with Congress, during the 28th Triennial Congress and meetings in Glasgow, Scotland. This will involve active participation from all parties and we will...