Welcome Message from the President - IFSW Africa

More than a decade ago, various governments committed themselves to achieving an admirable task – the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. These goals and targets come from the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries. Now popularly and fondly referred to as the MDGs, these goals have at their core, a developmental agenda which aims to address eight critical social and economic priorities.

The 2012 report on the progress of reaching the MDGs indicated that three of the MDG targets have been met, well ahead of the target date of 2015. According to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, meeting the remaining targets will be challenging but not impossible provided the initial commitments of governments are sustained. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will succeed the MDGs when they expire in 2015.

The IFSW is a social work organisation which comprises in excess of 80 national associations consisting of more than 750,000 individual social workers. These affiliated social workers have experience with regards the implementation of the MDGs and the IFSW, in collaboration with its Africa region, has therefore thought it wise to preview the SDGs even before they succeed the MDGs in 2015. The IFSW remains true to its focus and belief that development should not only be sustainable but also be able to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

The VOICES OF DEVELOPMENT conference will afford frontline social workers and other development partners the opportunity to meet and discuss the SDGs and make proposals regarding the effective implementation thereof.

My fellow social work colleagues and development partners, I welcome you to become a part of this essential conference and invite you to add your 'Voices of Development' in this collective opportunity offered this year, in Johannesburg.

You are warmly welcome!!