IOF General Assembly concludes in Prague

The XXIX IOF General Assembly took place today in Prague, Czech Republic. This biennial event is the highest decision-making body of the IOF and consists of the Member Federations. This year, delegations from 35 Member Federations were present.

Both members and council may make proposals for the General Assembly to vote upon. Six member proposals had been received.

Member Proposal from Norway: JWOC Programme

One proposal from the Norwegian Orienteering Federation concerned the programme for JWOC. Their proposal read as follows:

“The Junior World Orienteering Championships is an annual event. The programme shall include a single-race Sprint competition, a Sprint Relay in the format WMMW, a single-race Middle distance competition, a single-race Long distance competition and a Relay as well as an opening ceremony, a closing ceremony and adequate rest and model events. The programme shall be kept within no more than 7 days.”

Upon receiving this proposal in June, the IOF Council immediately undertook to look further into the matter. The IOF FootO Commission were tasked to conduct a review, and they also conducted consultation with JWOC coaches regarding the programme. However, the results of the review were inconclusive, as time was very short. Therefore, the IOF Council asked that the General Assembly take a principle decision to include the Sprint Relay, but give the IOF Council the mandate to evaluate further the exact specifications of the overall programme.

When put to the vote, however, the General Assembly elected to carry Norway’s proposal verbatim. This decision will come into effect from JWOC 2022, since JWOC organisers until then are already in place.

General Assembly Resolution

The General Assembly also came together to make a common resolution, as stated below.

The members of the International Orienteering Federation resolve to:

  • Uphold the orienteering values of inclusiveness and ethical behaviour by encouraging our own members to show respect for individual differences and preferences.
  • Abide by the IOF Policy on Sexual Harassment and Abuse and educate our own members about the same.
  • Adhere to the IOF Code of Ethics and embrace the good governance of our sport.

The discussion was prompted by the Ethics Panel case concerning JWOC 2018, where breaches of the IOF Code of Ethics occurred related to the topic of sexual harassment. The General Assembly stressed that issues of integrity, ethics and values are of utmost importance, and a fundamental part of orienteering.

IOF Council Elections

A very important part of the General Assembly is the election of the IOF Council, who are appointed by the Member Federations to carry out the work as set out in the Strategic Directions and Activity Plan. This time, there were two candidates for the two vacant positions as Vice President. Thus Tatiana Kalenderoglu (RUS) and Mike Dowling (AUS) were swiftly elected for these positions. In the elections for Council Member there were considerably more candidates. Seven candidates stood for election for three available positions. After a closed ballot vote, Dusan Vystavel (CZE) and Hannu Kottonen (FIN) were elected as new Council Members, whilst Dominic Yue (HKG) was re-elected for Council Member. At their first meeting, the new Council elected Astrid Waaler Kaas (NOR) to continue in the role as Senior Vice President.

The IOF Council for the congress period 2018-2020:

Leho Haldna – President
Astrid Waaler Kaas – Senior Vice President
Michael Dowling – Vice President
Tatiana Kalenderoglu – Vice President
Owe Fredholm – Member
Dusan Vystavel – Member
Niklaus Suter – Member
Hannu Kottonen – Member
Dominic Yue – Member
Laszlo Zentai – Member
Vincent Frey – Member