Dear Colleagues, We are here with another exciting volume of Social Dialogue online magazine. The last quarter was marked by several significant activities of IASSW. I would like to highlight the initiatives relating to World Social Work Day.
The 2017 world Social Work Day has been celebrated in diff erent part of the world with many initiatives focusing on the third pillar of the Global Agenda: Working toward environmental and community sustainability.
Social Work day in Geneva - IASSW and IFASW in collaboration with United Nations agencies, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland - Social Work, Geneva (HETS) and UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNIRISD) have organized the "Social Work and Sustainability" conference with the participation of many representatives of UN agencies, academics and NGOS. This was held on March 21 and 22, 2017 at the prestigious Palais des Nations, Geneva.
The key note address was presented by Lena Dominelli (Durham University, UK and former IASSW President). Reflecting on "Green social work, environmental justice and the global agenda", Lena Dominelli emphasized the human impact of climate change and environmental disasters and the roles that social work needs to play in prevention, mitigation and sustainable development.
The conclusions were prepared by the combined eff orts from Rory Truell, Anne Lavanchy and myself underling some commitments and possible cooperation between IASSW, IFSW and UN Agencies:
- Increasing the knowledge and visibility of social work approaches and capacity within UN Agencies (eg. form a body / network of social workers working with and within the UN agencies)
- Creating joint guidelines on how social work organizations can successfully engage with UN national and regional offices.
- Building into social work education and practice related policies information on the role of UN agencies, the SDG's and bridging this with social work approaches
- Establishing joint strategic research that enhances the role of social work in fulfilling the SDGs.
- Providing information on the role of social work in fulfilling the SDGs and creating job descriptions to support joint workforce development strategies
At the end of the 21st meeting there has been a launch of the book Getting to Zero. Global Social Work respond to HIV, chief edited by Mark Henrikson. This joint initiative IASSW/UNAIDS was undertaken by Vimla Nadkarni (Immediate Past President of IASSW) and Mark Henrikson after the WSWD in 2014.
The book can be download for free at : http://www.unaids.org
Social Work Day at the UN Headquarters - New York
34th World Social Work Day was celebrated on April 4, 2017 at the UN Headquarters New York, which focused on "Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability". The presentations underlined diff erent experiences and refl ections on the topic from a variety of positions: the Bangladesh Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent UN Representative of the Mission of Bangladesh; John Ennis, Chief of Information and Outreach in the Offi ce of Disarmament Aff airs-UN; Terri Klemm, Associate Professor and BSW Program Director, Centenary University; Elizabeth Gustafson MSW Student from the University of Connecticut, Roberto Borrero, NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous People. Shirley Gatenio Gabel (IASSW) served as co-chair of the event with Robin Mama (IFSW).
As IASSW President, I had the task to wrap up the discussion and provide concluding remarks.
The WSWD was attended by almost 400 people: professionals, students, teachers and the event was video recorded by the UN. http://bit.ly/2t63cjs
This celebration was followed by the Student's Forum on "World Water Rights: Promoting Environmental Justice in a Globalized World". These initiatives are very important to strengthen the link and the cooperation with UN, but also to make visible the social work commitment in the society. We are looking forward to receiving documents about initiatives that have been undertaken in diff erent countries so that regional observatories can prepare a comprehensive report about the engagement of social work in promoting environmental and community sustainability.
We are working hard to have future World Social Work Day celebrations also in UN Bangkok and Nairobi headquarters. We hope to have more representatives globally and make it truly international.
I will be writing more updates in the next volume of Social Dialogue magazine, hope you will enjoy reading this volume.
With warm regards,