Reform at August Meeting 2013

Reform at August Meeting 2013

Reform, Reform, Reform. This past IFMSA General Assembly was all about reform, from president sessions to standing committees sessions, to various small working groups. The process was started back in March 2013 in Baltimore (USA) by many national member organisations, that saw in reform a possibility to strengthen our beloved Federation and to ensure the sustainability and viability of the IFMSA we want. I got pretty involved in the process, as I refused from the start to stand as an observer. I strongly believed that IFMSA-Quebec could play a crucial part in the several discussions and in decision-making process – and I still do. We have young, passionate, dedicated, motivated and creative students that are willing to provide the world with what they know best. That leads us to the past IFMSA August Meeting, where I organised the official IFMSA Reform Pre-General Assembly named “To ensure IFMSA Excels”, in collaboration with two colleagues.

Jason Van Genderen (IFMSA-The Netherlands), Benjamin Skov Kaas-Hansen (IMCC-Denmark) and I aimed to give IFMSA this well-run pre-GA that would allow the Federation to grow stronger in the reform process. Together with our dedicated participants from different countries and IFMSA officials, we developed a pathway for a cohesive, aligned and formalised IFMSA reform. Every day, we engaged with members that weren’t able to physically attend the workshop and we sought for input from all NMOs. Our motto was to think outside of the box, to be creative and innovative, and not to fear positive change.

Most of our work was divided into three main streams: leadership structure, serving our members and IFMSA conferences. We were able to discuss various points in depth, to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses and to exchange ideas. The outcomes were better than what anyone had expected. We addressed IFMSA’s leadership structure and developed a viable alternative that would address members’ needs and respect the spirit of the Federation. The whole group agreed that the size of the IFMSA international team (team of officials) needs to be reduced and simplified to increase transparency and efficiency. We also recommend that IFMSA should play a more proactive role in the global health arena, especially regarding advocacy and youth issues, while not forgetting about our exchange program. We were happy to see that the budget of the 2013-2014 term reflected the necessity of having a hired staff secretariat to carry out the administrative work and to ensure institutional memory. Finally, different conference models were proposed to NMOs during the August General Assembly, models that underpin the IFMSA mission and which would ensure financial sustainability.

During the GA, we welcomed the opportunity to share the discussions of the preGA with other colleagues from all over the world. I appreciated the time we dedicated to the strengthening of our Federation. I enjoyed sharing ideas and points of view in the most respectful way.

A few weeks later, I’m happy to see IFMSA moving forward with the Santiago Resolution. I believe we are more united than ever toward the strengthening of our beloved Federation. I will closely follow the developments in the upcoming months and I encourage all individuals to do the same.

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