Prague was the venue for the 30th Triennial Congress. There was massive interest and great anticipation about the Prague Congress following ICM's hugely successful 2011 event in Durban, South Africa. Thousands of midwives from a record of 126 countries attended this unique forum to share excellence in practice and knowledge, learn about the challenges facing midwifery across the continents, and enjoy mutual support amongst colleagues.
Origins of Congress
Congresses have become the major, regular focus for midwives’ global business, professional and scientific meetings. In addition, regional meetings and conferences are often held in the years between Congresses. The venue for each Congress is decided six years ahead, and the event is co-hosted by ICM and one of its Midwives Associations. Venues over the past 50 years have included Jerusalem, Kobe, Manila, Santiago, Sydney, Vancouver and Washington, as well as numerous European cities.
Midwives Associations are given an ICM-approved specification document and guidance for bidding to host a Congress. A timetable is provided and bids are sent in to ICM to meet the deadline date. These are reviewed by the Congress Manager and a recommendation is made to the Executive Board which makes the final decision on the three shorlisted bids to make presentations to the ICM Council. Successful associations are notified and they have about six months to prepare a 15 minute presentaion to Council (using resources and advice from tourism and convention organisations in their own country). The congress manager visits each venue and following each presentation to Council, presents conclusions from the site visits.
Aims of a Congress
To provide a forum where the advances in maternity, newborn and women’s health care can be shared, evaluated and monitored
To provide an environment where midwives from around the world can draw on the skills, knowledge, and experience, of colleagues for application in their own countries
To focus on the development of midwifery knowledge and skills which will address the needs of women and their babies in the diverse health systems across the globe
To highlight discrepancies in the provision of maternity care especially in the least developed nations and the strategies which could be employed to achieve improvements in maternal, neonatal, and women’s health outcomes
To celebrate midwifery as a profession in all its global diversity
To generate funds to sustain the global work of ICM