(ATR) The recent Virtual General Assembly of the International World Games Association was able to protect the confidentiality of the votes of its members when adopting relevant decisions.
Already in this eventful and unforgettable season of the coronavirus pandemic, important forums such as that of the IOC Session in July, and that of World Sailing more recently, have required "remote" votes and, as far as is known, the processes have had a happy ending.
It is logical, after all, that doubts arose around these new electronic voting procedures when nobody imagined - and nobody had contemplated in their statutes - to communicate through video platforms for relevant events of the IOC and international Federations due to Covid-19.
After all, despite the tragedy of the pandemic, videoconferencing led to globalizing debates and knowledge at an unthinkable level but…. to vote in secret?
The president of the IWGA, José Perurena of Spain, assures that it took "very detailed" work to produce the virtual Annual General Assembly last weekend, where a new future strategy for the World Games was approved "with overwhelming support."
"The assembly was very dynamic and very fluid to be virtual," says Perurena to Around the Rings.
"There have been debates on some points, not on others, it has been very good, that's why I say I'm very happy."
To guarantee the development of the online meeting where about 90 representatives of the 37 international federations that are members of the IWGA and other authorities of the organizing committees of the 2022 and 2025 World Games would participate, mandatory online trials were carried out for the IFs on October 30. and November 4
The sessions included a mini-webinar chaired by CEO Joachim Gossow, and the use of the Zoom meeting platform, and training to vote through a specific platform.
To guarantee this vote, trust was placed in an expert scrutineer, the Swiss lawyer Jean-Pierre Morand, who from his office received the vote of a member of each IF through a special tool. The scrutineer sees that a person has voted but not how they have voted through software that ultimately tabulates the Yes, the No, and the Abstentions.
"The system only gives access to one person per federation, who has to identify himself but you never know what he votes," says Perurena.
It was decided that only International Federations that are members of ARISF can from now on become new full members of the IWGA, but current members of ASOIF and AIMS of the IWGA will retain their full membership.
ARISF is the Association of International Sports Federations Recognized by the IOC that currently do not compete in the Summer or Winter Olympic Games. It was formed in 1983.
AIMS is the Alliance of Independent Members of Sport, founded in 2009, not recognized by the IOC, but included within GAISF.
Federations that are not members of the IWGA can still have their events selected by the Annual General Assembly to appear on the program of an edition of The World Games, or other events organized by the IWGA. These Federations are granted the status of Affiliates on a temporary basis.
In addition to membership-related issues, the strategy document included concrete plans for the World Games program. For example, the main and sustainable principle of the World Games remains that the host cities are not obliged to build new facilities.
The maximum number of athletes will be increased from 4,200 to 5,000, and the invitational sports program will be replaced by a more flexible exhibition program. Additionally, the IWGA will move towards financial support of International Federations participating in the World Games.
Following the adoption of the new strategy, the necessary changes to the IWGA Constitution were also approved, including the creation of Affiliate status. The Constitution was also amended to allow for remote online meetings in the future, if circumstances require.
The Annual Meeting also approved the new Code of Ethics and the new Anti-Doping Rules for the 2022 World Games.
This year's virtual annual general meeting was held under a special waiver granted by the Swiss government for 2020 only.
The Assembly decided to convey an appreciation to the Birmingham, Alabama organizers for their efforts in moving the Games from 2021 to 2022 following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to the summer of next year.
The new mayor of Chengdu (China), host of the 2025 World Games, followed the development of the online meeting and promised to be in Birmingham and collect the flag of the Games at the closing ceremony.
Written by Miguel Hernandez
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