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IFSW announces new members elected to executive committee

The International Federation of Social Workers announced Dr Ruth Allen as the new President for IFSW Europe, alongside Oluwatoni Adeleke as President for the Africa region, at the General Meeting in Panama.

10/04/24

IFSW announces new members elected to executive committee

New regional presidents and vice presidents for the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) have been announced at the organisation’s General Meeting in Panama.

Dr Ruth Allen, Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), was elected as the new President of the European region, succeeding outgoing president Ana Radulescu.

IFSW praised Dr Allen’s long commitment to international social work, adding that her “passion for advocacy, equality and social justice, and her visionary, inclusive leadership style provide an excellent foundation for her leadership of IFSW Europe.”

Dr Allen said she was “deeply honoured” to have been elected to the role.

“I look forward to working closely with all our members and partners to advance our organization’s mission.

“We need to work together across Europe to promote the vital role that social work plays in building just and equitable societies. I aim to build more connections between social workers across Europe and globally, to promote the sharing of knowledge and solidarity across our profession, and to raise up the voice of social work as a force for good across all our societies.”

Dr Allen succeeds outgoing President Ana Radulescu who congratulated her upon the election.

“It is an honor to pass the torch to someone who is dedicated and passionate about promoting the values and principles of social work. I wish you all the strength and wisdom you need to lead IFSW Europe to new heights of excellence and innovation. I am confident that you will continue to make significant contributions to the promotion of human rights, social justice and solidarity among social work professionals.”

Ruth will be joined on the IFSW Executive Committee by Vice President Andreas Pedersen Kikvik, also elected at the General Meeting.

Mr KIkvik is a member of the Norwegian Union of Social Workers (FO), and serves as a senior policy advisor in the organisation, playing a key role in shaping the discourse on health care and social policy. IFSW said his extensive experience in government consultation processes has been invaluable in advocating for policies that enhance the well-being of individuals and communities.
As Vice President, Andreas will play a key role in promoting the goals of IFSW Europe and strengthening the voice of social workers across the continent.

In addition to his responsibilities within IFSW Europe, Andreas is directly involved in the preparation of the upcoming IFSW Europe conference in 2025, which will be held in Oslo.

Elsewhere, Oluwatoni Adeleke was announced as the new President for the IFSW Africa region, taking over from Dr Noel Muridzo. In an announcement post on social media, IFSW congratulated Toni, calling on her to “like a true eagle let the African region soar to greater heights and serve humanity through our calling as social workers.”

The announcements came following IFSW’s General Meeting and the Joint Social Work & Social Development (SWSD2024) conference held in Panama last week.

Over 1,500 social work professionals from 81 countries across five continents came together under the theme of respecting diversity through joint social action. The week-long event, held at the Anayansi Theater in ATLAPA, Panama City, saw a vibrant exchange of knowledge and experiences., workshops, poster sessions, keynote addresses, and paper presentations fostering a spirit of inclusivity and mutual learning.

Kenia Batista, President of the Panamanian Association of Social Workers, in her closing remarks, expressed her deep emotions as she reaffirmed the core values that she said unites the global social work community: respect for diversity, collaborative action, and ‘buen vivir’ – the pursuit of a ‘good life’ for all.

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