Welcome Message from the NASW (SA) President

Friends, Colleagues and Fellow Practitioners

It is with the greatest of pleasure and privilege that I extend an invitation to the social work fraternity and the related practitioners and experts across the globe to participate in the 1st Joint World Conference. This esteemed occasion will be hosted by the National Association of Social Workers – South Africa, NASW (SA) and the International Federation of Social Workers on the 25th – 27th September 2013 in South Africa at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

The decision by the IFSW to approach NASW SA to host a conference of this magnitude is indeed a vote of confidence in the leadership of NASW (SA), especially in its foundational years. I am hopeful that this endeavour will strengthen our Association to grow in leaps and bounds as a true voice of the South African Social Work professionals, and that this will also go a long way to establish and sustain solidarity with similar organisations within the African continent and across the globe.

The theme of the conference is: “Voice for Development: Social Workers and People’s Perspective on Sustainable Development”.

The conference, which is anticipated to serve as but one of the series of broad platforms of engagement, was borne out of the quest to respond to the UN recognition of the importance of inclusion, participation and interaction of civil society groups, NGOs, and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). Additionally, it is in overall geared at fostering solidarity and enabling on-the ground social workers and communities within the countries targeted by the UN development policy, to raise their views, practical experiences and make recommendations in respect of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when these expire in 2015.The said platform will also afford an opportunity for the exploration of how social workers are and should be contributing to the four pillars of the Global Agenda.

The National Association of Social Work South Africa NASW (SA) and the International Federation of Social Workers would like to thank the Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, for being the Patron of this extremely critical world conference and for agreeing to deliver an Opening and Welcome address at this conference.

A warm South African welcome is also extended to the entire leadership of the International Federation of Social Workers, the IFSW Africa Region, the Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa (ASSWA), delegates from the world over including, the Africa residents and the members of executives of the social work associations and organizations as well as fora of various countries.

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) members under the leadership of the National Executive Committee of the NASW (SA), are working around the clock to ensure that this becomes the most stimulating and memorable conference. I have no doubt that the said preparations will provide us with the opportunity to deliver on findings and presentations under the best conditions.

Let us join social workers from the world across to contribute to a global evaluation of the MDGs, taking into account their successes, shortfalls and harvest best practices. This will surely enable us to collectively bring to the fore our ideas and recommendations for capturing in the planning for the forthcoming policy framework for the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda.

On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the NASW (SA) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC), we look forward to wholeheartedly welcoming you to South Africa in September 2013 and anticipate your participation and immense contributions, which should make this esteemed conference a huge success.

I wish you a pleasant stay in South Africa.

Ms Civil Legodu
NASW (SA) President