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REPORT OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF MILITARY MEDICINE HELD IN WASHINGTON DC
ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2004 AT 1400 HOURS ON THE OCCASION OF THE XXXV WORLD CONGRESS ON MILITARY MEDICINE

Chairmanship: Chairman (Dr. William Winkenwerder) (allowed to vote), Secretary General (Dr. Jacques Sanabria), 2 Deputy-Chairmen LtGen Rinus Jansen van Rensburg and MajGen Timo Sahi (later ColGen Ivan Chizh) (allowed to vote) Chairman of Scientific Council (MajGen Andre Pasturel) (allowed to vote).

Members present and allowed to vote: 52

In alphabetical order:
Albania, Algeria, Angola, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, FYRO Macedonia, Germany, Holy See, Hungary, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Morocco, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia & Montenegro, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay.

New member present and allowed to vote: 1
Australia.

Members present but not permitted to vote: 10
Argentina, Bolivia, Cameroon, Chad, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Paraguay and the Philippines.

Observers: 6
Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Namibia, PAHO and WHO.

REPORT

1. Welcome of the new Chairman, Dr. William Winkenwerder, M.D. (USA).
(a) Nomination of new member (article 6 of the statutes): Australia. (Approved unanimously). The delegate of Australia entered the session and took here place.
(b) Nomination of Nations and International Organizations as Observers (article 14 of the statutes):
Canada, Colombia, Guatemala and Namibia. (approved).

2. Report of the previous Chairman, Lieutenant General Rinus Jansen Van Rensburg, M.D. (South Africa).
In this report, a concise overview was given concerning the activities of the ICMM during his chairmanship. He highlighted the concerns of the shrinking defence budgets throughout the nations and the importance gained in being a member of the ICMM. Furthermore, he emphasized the need to do away with dormant commissions and working groups and to encourage the establishment of other groups as proposed during the Sun City Congress.

3. General Secretariat Activity Report:

    a. Report of the Secretary-General, Dr. Jacques Sanabria, M.D. (ICMM) with the Chairman of the Scientific Council, MajGen Andre PASTUREL (ICMM). An overview of the activities of the Secretariat General was given. He outlined the ongoing regional initiatives, the activities of the international courses, the increased contacts between the members of the ICMM and the preparatory work for the 2004 Congress. In addition, Dr. Sanabria discussed the difficult financial situation, which will be addressed in more detail by Major General Marcel Merlin, M.D. (ICMM).
    b. Report of Brigadier General Ricardo Felip Imperatore, (Chile) - Pan American Congress on Military Medicine. General Felip provided an overview of the activities of the Pan American Congress held in Santiago, Chile in which 22 delegates from 17 nations attended. The 3rd Congress was a great success and the members agree to include Spain as a permanent honorary member, (Next congress probably in Argentina 2006).
    c. Report of the Maghreban Regional Group. Dr. Mongi Hassouna, M.D. (Tunisia) reported on the ICMM Maghreban meeting held in Tunisia and highlighted several parts of the programme. He also announced that Tunisia would host the ICMM World Congress in 2007.

    d. Report of the Pan African Meeting. Dr. Sanabria stated that LTC Dr. Pierre Neirinckx (ICMM) participated in the meeting held in Ghana as an ICMM observer. The Secretary-General hopes that the Pan African Organization will become a Statutory Permanent Working Group as soon as possible.

    e. Report of the Veterinary Commission. COL Robert Short (South Africa) provided a comprehensive brief regarding the 2nd International Course for Veterinary Officers. This year’s course included for the first time, para-veterinary personnel from 12 countries.

    f. Update on the Laws of Armed Conflict Course (LOAC).
    Major General Gianpiero Lupi, (Surgeon General, Switzerland) proved a report of the LOAC held in Spiez, Switzerland in August 2004. He stated that it was a great success with the participation of medical officers and attorneys from numerous nations. During this course, happened very frankly debates. He announced that the next course is scheduled for the 19-26 August 2005 in Spiez, Switzerland.

Dr. Winkenwerder noted that in spite of budgetary problems the ICMM had accomplished quite a bit in the past year and should be proud of all these achievements.

4. Confirmation of 36th World Congress on Military Medicine (Appointment of Deputy Chairman, Colonel General Ivan Chizh (Russian Federation). In accordance with Article 2 b of the statutes, the Chairman announced the appointment of Colonel General Ivan Chizh as the Deputy Chairman of the ICMM, which was a confirmation of the decision made in 2002 at the Congress held in South Africa. General Chizh announced that the Russian Federation would host the next ICMM Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia, 5-11 June 2005. Delegates were asked to note that this is a change from the previously announced date.

5. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - World Health Organization. Dr. Randy Hyer, Civilian/Military Liaison, World Health Organization (WHO) provided a brief on the update of the MOU between the ICMM and the WHO. General Marcel Merlin (ICMM) stated that this agreement was not a new agreement and that the original agreement was signed in 1952. The Director General of the WHO and the Secretary General of the ICMM signed the updated version of this MOU on 27 August 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland. A copy of this agreement was provided to all participants. A copy is attached to these minutes.

6. General Secretariat:

(a) Deputy Secretary General - Due to frequent absences of the present Deputy Secretary General, the General Assembly agreed that his responsibilities had to be been removed and that MajGen Timo Sahi (Finland) had been appointed as Temporary Deputy Secretary General to fulfill the responsibilities of this function until the 2005 Congress in St. Petersburg.

(b) Candidates: Chairman of Scientific Council, Deputy Chairman of Scientific Council and 3 Chairmen positions for the Technical Commissions.

In accordance with Articles 19/2, 3 and Article 20, members of the Assembly were asked to vote for second mandates for both the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Scientific Council, MajGen Andre Pasturel and MajGen Marcel Merlin, respectively.

In addition, the members were requested to vote on two Technical commissions Chairmanship positions which are Pharmacy led by Colonel Gerhard Bleimüller (Germany) as proposed by Admiral Ocker (Surgeon General, Germany) and LTC Dr. Nassih (Morocco) for the Dental Commission, as proposed by Gen. Archane (Surgeon General, Morocco. To date, there are no nominations for the chairmanship position of the Commission for administration.

7. Objectives 2005-2006:

In accordance with Articles 2 and 10, Dr. Sanabria discussed the 2005-2006 Objectives. Copies of these objectives were distributed to all members in Spanish, French and English. You will find a copy of the summary, attached.

8. Finances:

(a) Presentation of the balance sheet for 2003: The data was presented which indicated a deficit of US$ 25,325. This was the result of the two factors: the lack of payment of membership fees and the poor exchange rate between Dollars and Euros in 2003.
(b) Budget and Membership fees 2005: The Secretary-General presented the proposed budget for 2005 on basis of 145,000 US$. A copy of this budget was distributed to all members.

(c) General Merlin provided an overview of the budgetary problems for the ICMM. He stated that a new method of calculating membership fees was needed and several approaches have been proposed to resolve the deficit. He distributed new formulas, which are based on World Bank data and asked that representatives review the approaches and be prepared to discuss at the next Assembly meeting on Wednesday, 15 September 2004.

(d) Appointment of the Commission of Accounts: Dr. Winkenwerder asked for nations to volunteer to do a financial audit of the ICMM’s 2002-2003 budget. India; Nigeria and Tunisia agreed to conduct the audit and report their findings to the Assembly on Wednesday, 15 September 2004.

9A. Elections: Chairman of Scientific Council, Deputy Chairman of Scientific Council and two Chairmen positions for the Technical Commissions.

In accordance with Article 20, the members voted for 4-year terms for MajGen Andre Pasturel as Chairman of the Scientific Council (Approved: 55 votes, Opposed: 2 Votes) and for MajGen Marcel Merlin as Deputy Chairman of the Scientific Council (Approved: 54 Votes; Opposed: 3 votes).
Col. Pharm. Bleimüller is appointed (4 years) as Chairman of the Commission for Pharmacy (Approved: 54 Votes, Opposed. 3 votes).
LtCol Med. Nassih is appointed (4 years) as Chairman of the Dental Commission. (Approved:: 53 votes, Opposed: 4 votes).

9B: MajGen Andre Pasturel and LtGen Rinus Jansen Van Rensburg (deputy-chairman), propose the creation of 3 new technical commissions:

- Psycho-social Commission, inclusive of psychology, Social work and pastoral services.
- Nursing and operational Emergency care Orderlies Commission
- Military paramedics Commission.

Prior to voting (during the second session of the General Assembly) on the last proposal regarding the technical commissions, the Spanish delegate expressed some concerns that these subgroups may serve only to disburse the ICMM’s efforts and that these three technical groups are all part of the medical family and should not be separated.

10. Cooperation with the World Health Organization:

General Marcel Merlin (ICMM) and Dr. Randy Hyer (WHO) discussed the proposed draft resolution, which was also distributed to the members. Several members stated that although they are sent as national medical representatives and cannot speak on behalf of their nation from a diplomatic standpoint. Therefore, several proposed that the wording on the draft ICMM-WHO be changed to delete the words “Member states” and be replaced with “Members”. The Assembly agreed to vote on this change at the Wednesday meeting.

11. Miscellaneous Points: .No additional points.

The meeting was adjourned at 1730.
Washington D.C. 13 September 2004.