The General Assembly is the highest decisional body in the network and as such every year it brings important changes in the life of the network, to answer the needs of the member organisations and the young people and communities they work with. Apart from being the moment when the network develops its future strategies, the GA also represents a deeply participatory and democratic process that allows all the organisations and their delegates to take active part in decision-making and in shaping the policies of the network.
The GA 2016, that took place in Petnica Science Center hosted by Young Researchers of Serbia, brought some relevant changes in the network.
The strategic Plan of Action 2017-18, that summarizes all the initiatives, activities and campaigns of the network for the next two years, was discussed and adopted. Several decisions were made by the members about important updates in the network life:
Migration continues to be the focus theme also for 2017, due to the identified need to keep working on this topic as network. The mandate of the Global Action task force has also been renewed for one more year, to coordinate the response of the network and the activities of the Working Group on this topic.
Solidarity among organisations and communities that face difficulties, has been confirmed a major priority for the Alliance. In the spirit of international cooperation and devising shared strategies to face common challenges, the assembly has decided to create a Volunteer Engagement Strategy Task Force that will work on ways to collectively address a trend affecting the whole IVS and workcamp movement: the decreasing number of volunteers participating in workcamps worldwide.
A new Working Group was formed at the GA: the Gender Equality Working Group! Among the several actions foreseen, a new campaign "Not in my camp!" against gender-based discrimination in workcamps will be launched for the season 2017.
The assembly confirmed the need for increased cooperation with sister IVS network, that is reflected for example in the approval of the Freedom of Movement position paper and in the allocation of specific support for the participation of members in the Global Human Rights Week 2017.
New members of the Executive Committee have been elected! We welcome Yulia Utenkova from World4U Russia in the position of Vicepresident, Philipp Melijyan from HUJ Armenia in the position of General Secretary, and Lasse Jensen from MS Denmark in the position of Additional Member. The new Management Committee of Working Groups coordinators was also appointed by the GA.
Last but not least, we welcome a new Full Member of the Alliance: De Amicitia from Spain! The assembly also took decisions about the partner and guest organisations that members wish to cooperate with and meet at the Technical Meeting 2017.