IFSW Global President Remarks at the Opening of the 5th International Congress of Social Work in Spain (CIFETS 2024).

Esteemed colleagues and congress delegates, warm greetings from the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). My name is Joachim Mumba, President of the International Federation of Social Workers and I am excited to welcome you all to this 5th International Congress of Social Work in Spain (CIFETS 2024). The congress is being held under the theme: “The Con-science of Social Work”. The Congress aims to address current challenges and promote sustainability and social justice. I note that congress delegates are drawn from academics, practitioners and students. As IFSW, we pray that this congress will help strengthen collaboration and internationalization in the field of social work as well as enhance learning and networking. IFSW is very happy to be a part of this congress and to collaborate with innovative projects in social services and social work in Spain, contributing to placing the challenges faced by welfare systems on the public agenda.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am here today, to share with you about who we are as IFSW and the indispensable work of the Federation. The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is the global body for the profession. Established in 1928, IFSW and its national members strive for social justice, human rights and inclusive, sustainable social development through the promotion of social work best practice and engagement in international cooperation. We are a global body for the social work profession with a membership of 153 country members as at the 2024 General Assembly. IFSW provides a global voice for the profession and does this through Partnerships, Action, Policy and Advocacy. Founded on principles of social justice and human rights, the Federation serves as a beacon of hope for millions around the globe. At its core, the IFSW champions the rights of the marginalized, advocates for social change, and empowers individuals and communities. Through collaboration and policy guidelines, it equips social workers with the tools needed to navigate complex social issues and effect meaningful change.

However, as we look towards the future, the social work profession faces daunting challenges. In an increasingly interconnected world, social workers must grapple with issues ranging from poverty and inequality to mental health, growing trends of nationalism, conflict and climate change. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical role of social workers in responding to crises and supporting vulnerable populations. Yet, amidst these challenges lies opportunity. By harnessing the power of technology, embracing diversity, and strengthening partnerships with local communities, social workers can overcome obstacles and contribute to co-building a more just and equitable society.

In closing, I call upon each one of us to join hands in furthering the ideals upheld by the International Federation of Social Workers. Together, let us work tirelessly to co-create a world where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered to live a life of dignity and purpose, a world where no one is left behind.

Thank you.