The March 2005 Board of Management meeting was held in The Hague with the city lying under a lovely blanket of white snow--at least at the beginning of the week. In the five years during which we have held Board meetings at ICM Headquarters in this location, it was the first time I personally witnessed a 'winter wonderland' in the Netherlands, and I loved it! It must be my upbringing in Michigan, USA, which offers cold, snowy winters and long, hot summers, I am not sure my Australian colleagues, flying in from their own hot summer on the other side of the world, shared the same view of the snow, but they took it in their stride. The Board remained active for five days in all, focusing on the substantial work involved in preparing for the upcoming ICM Council and Congress in Brisbane in July 2005.
We were also very pleased to be joined for part of the time by Karlene Davis, ICM Vice President, who is also General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives (UK), the host association for the 28th Triennial Congress to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2008. Karlene explained the early preparations being made for this event and modelled the stylish pashmina made in a special Scottish tartan fabric which has been commissioned for the occasion! The RCM will be presenting promotional items and information about the 2008 congress at a stand in the exhibition at Brisbane.
The Treasurer and Secretary General gave an encouraging report on the recovery budget for 2004, with preliminary figures suggesting that we achieved our target of no deficit for the year. While this year-end report is cautiously optimistic, it is only the beginning of the projected four-year period of recovery to return to financial security. Everyone has 'tightened their belts' on expenses. The core staff have taken on additional responsibilities during the past year. Board members donated their time for the meeting and travel, as usual, and managed to cover some of their travel costs.
Representation was limited to priority activities with WHO, the Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health and the WRA, including contributions from these partners for some costs.
Seeing this combined effort of staff, board members and key partners to assist in strengthening the ICM and its global efforts was heartening and reassuring. It is a reminder of the generosity and resourcefulness of midwives and partners who are working for the health of childbearing women and...