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Prof. Annamaria Campanini
President, International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)

President's report

Dear Colleagues,
We are still living in a very difficult period. The COVID 19 pandemic is affecting many countries around the world and some of them are going through the second wave of contagion. Difficulties in facing this pandemic are increasing. Social work, in its different components, professional and academic, has been and still is at the forefront with an incredible engagement.

We have received a lot of information about what social work academics, researchers, students and practitioners have been doing to safeguard the health and well-being of the communities during this pandemic, but also how teaching and learning methodologies have been innovated using online tools.

A comprehensive and interesting document has been edited by Lena Dominelli and others, collecting 16 reports from different countries and a very extensive addendum from China.

In this difficult time, our team has worked very hard to accomplish the task of defining the next ten years’ Global Agenda and I’m delighted to announce that the document has been published by the three organisations at the beginning of this month.

As President of IASSW I'm really pleased that the GA process launched in 2010, during the Hong Kong conference, has now become a global movement. The 4 pillars of the past Agenda have been the focus of many different activities during the World Social Work Day; the regional observatories have prepared the reports at the end of each two years (you can read it on our website) and academics have introduced in their teaching and research many elements of the Global Agenda. During the past months, IASSW has conducted extensive consultation through our regional and national bodies and I'm glad that the IASSW members of the task force led by Abye Tassé, Angie Yuen and Antoinette Lombard, have offered an important contribution to the work.

They have collected results of fruitful discussions, although it has not been possible to have a specific momentum during the Rimini conference as originally planned. The general frame "Co-building social transformation" expresses a recognition and a commitment to celebrating the strengths of all the people and promoting their active roles in leading sustainable development. The three international organisations are engaged in working together to co-design and co-build thriving communities and societies for people and the environment, fostering the active participation of all voices, particularly those often marginalized.

The role of the social work in advancing and creating new platforms and spaces for all people is of paramount importance for developing social agreements between governments and the populations they serve, to facilitate universal rights, opportunities, freedom and sustainable well-being for all people nationally and globally. The Global Agenda is composed of five themes (a theme every two years) for the next decade and the choice of Ubuntu, as a first pillar, is especially timely at this juncture because of the global socio-political tensions heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new process will be developed for articulating the four other themes and I look forward to the collaboration of the social work community, especially those from social work education, to participate in this process and to strengthen social solidarity and global connectedness through our joint effort. I want to end my notes with two important pieces of information.

Due to the difficult situation related to the COVID19, we have been forced to cancel the Rimini IASSW and ICSW conference - “Promoting Human Relationships: Bridging the future!” (www.swesd2020.org).

We don’t want to lose the richness of the contributions that we have received (more than 1000 abstracts had been accepted), as well as the keynote speeches included the

We don’t want to lose the richness of the contributions that we have received (more than 1000 abstracts had been accepted), as well as the keynote speeches included the “Eileen Younghusband lecturer” (Prof. Angelina Yuen) and Prof. Leila Patel as recipient of the “Katherine Kendall award”. We are working on a plan to make it possible to share knowledge and experiences that are present in all these contributions.

Finally, the IASSW Elections have been concluded and results announced at the online General Assembly on Monday 13th July and published on our website. Personally, I want to thank you all for trusting me and I hope to be able to fulfill my role to your expectations during this mandate. I want to greet Barbara Shank, re elected secretary, and I’m sure that our strong cooperation will continue for the next 4 years. Furthermore, I welcome the newly elected members at large: Alexandra Mustafà from Brazil and Jessica Jönsson from Sweden and I express my gratitude to Ute Straub and Faisal Aziz for their contribution to our Association.

We don’t want to lose the richness of the contributions that we have received (more than 1000 abstracts had been accepted), as well as the keynote speeches included the

I wish good health to all of you and your loved ones and hope that we will go through these challenging times while maintaining our supportive engagement towards our communities.

In the meantime I congratulate all the contributors to this latest edition of social dialogue which has some wonderful articles on looking at social work through a black feminist lens.

Annamaria Campanini