Positive change to make a difference for midwives, women and newborns: Joyce Thompson, Director of the ICM Board of Management, describes future plans for Safe Motherhood and a greater voice for members within the ICM.

Author:Thompson, Joyce

Greetings at this time of year when everyone hopes for peace and love in the world, while also being aware that many individuals and families face the opposite in their corner of the globe. Indeed, the world is a composite of contrasting images, and midwives in many countries work in those areas of conflict. At ICM our hope is that all midwives, and the families they care for, will achieve a life of fulfilment, peace and safety in the very near future. Blessed greetings to all.

Securing legal status

The concept of change is all around us, including within the Confederation. Change is ever-present, and positive change can make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, groups and nations! The November Board of Management meeting continued our efforts to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the present, to envision future needs and to proactively plan for these--strengthening midwifery care and making Safe Motherhood a reality for all women in the world. Such changes can only be facilitated by a strong ICM organisation and midwifery leadership.

As delegates of member organisations present at the Vienna Council in April 2002 heard, a major goal of this Triennium will be to establish firmly the legal status of the Confederation within the Netherlands: The Executive Committee will be meeting in March 2003 to continue the exploration of this legal status and to draft a Constitution and associated Bye Laws that meet Dutch legal requirements.

This process is both a challenge and a wonderful opportunity for ICM and its members.

* The challenge will be to retain those parts of the current Constitution that underwent major revision in Manila, 1999 (e.g. membership criteria) and which are acceptable within Dutch association laws.

* The opportunity is to be proactive in making changes that will allow for a greater voice for members in the leadership and governance of the Confederation.

One possibility is to carry this out through expansion of the Executive Committee membership and functions. There are many other challenges and opportunities that will arise from the legal review of the Confederation--so `stay tuned' for progress reports.

Strengthening and expansion

Change is also evident in the manner in which the Board of Management is expanding its leadership and visionary responsibilities, in addition to its ongoing governance function. With drive and input from present and former elected officers, along with the Secretary General, ICM is...

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