The 50th ICSD Congress took place during the Winter Deaflympics in Turkey
Mon 8 Apr The Belgian delegation was represented by BDC president Jan Van den Braembussche in Erzurum on 9-10 March 2024
This ICSD Congress took place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March 2024 in Erzurum, Turkey. It consists of 2 parts: a workshop and seminar on Saturday followed by the actual congress itself on Sunday. 

Workshop on Saturday morning

This workshop began with a reading of ICSD's amended constitution that needs to be amended according to IOC to further qualify for recognition and financial support. IOC will now - after several years' hiatus ! - make a limited contribution to ICSD, this if everything is in order with the statutes. Thus, ICSD can again look forward to better functioning supported with effective staff. 
In recent years, ICSD thus lost about USD 150,000 from the IOC ! 

So what is all being changed in these statutes? We try to briefly summarise this for you:
1) Federations in "good standing": all debts must be settled to the ICSD. 
If these conditions are not met, no participation in both the congress and the competitions is possible! 
In case of a 2nd reminder within 2 years, you run the risk of being suspended as a federation.

2) Membership ICSD: the 4 regional federations (such as EDSO, etc) also have to pay their membership fee, just like the other International Deaf Sports Organisations (such as DIFA, DIBF, etc...), this way they also get a full voice at the congress. 

3) Board ICSD: the board will be limited to 6 people (President, Vice-President + 4 ordinary directors) supplemented by 1 person from the Athletes' Commission (see below, with voting rights) and the 4 presidents of the regional federations (without voting rights).

4) Gender Balance: as with the IOC itself, at least 30% of the other sex must be on the board. This is also extended to the delegations present per country, so at least 1 woman & 1 man per delegation (2 persons). 

5) Composition of ICSD Committees :
  • Athletes' Committee: 5 persons, of which 1 person from the ICSD main board
  • Finance Committee: 3 persons through open vacancies. The auditor of the ICSD is separate from this committee, it is appointed through a candidate at the Congress. The auditor's reports are listed in full on the ICSD website.
  • Tribunal Committee: composed of 3 persons: 1 person from ICSD main board, 1 person from Ethics committee and 1 open vacancy (neutral person).
  • ICSD staff is appointed by the ICSD board, provisionally with 1-year contract and after evaluation possible extension.
  • Ethics Committee : again, all NDSF should follow this.

Seminar on Saturday afternoon

The main focus here was on the future of deaf sport, including within certain countries. 

1) Unsupported (small) countries: there are huge differences between different countries in terms of recognition & support! 
The ICSD and IOC should expertly inform all members so that uniform support can be provided. 

2) Functioning ICSD:
  • IOC support : ICSD hopes to have back normal relations with IOC, in terms of financial support;
  • Gender Balance: procedure to arrive at this 30% with each member;
  • Online Management System (OMS) : this is where best access is given to regional federations on better alignment of the calendar.

3) Good standing federations:
Some national federations have good standing and financial support in their countries or through their Paralympic committees, this was explained using 2 examples (= Poland and Italy). ICSD should pay more attention to countries with little or no support.
- POLAND: fully independent since 2010 with DLC (Deaflympics Committee) alongside NOC (National Olympic Committee) and PC (Paralympic Committee) approved by the Polish Parliament with 360 out of 490 votes. Poland works with 5 different budgets: 1. Top Sport DL, 2. Top Sport Not DL, 3. Clubs, 4. Sports camps, 5. Premiums for European Championships, World Championships, DL (1st-8th place)!
- ITALY: Since 2005, it has operated with its own cell (FSSI) and autonomous operation alongside the Paralympic Movement. 
Order of grant: NOC ITA to PARA ITA then FSSI (e.g. for 2024, €1m was subsidised!!!!). In 2026 comes the opening of a completely new sports complex with accommodation facilities, this just for FSSI in Bologna! Staff will, however, continue to operate in the NOC - PARA ITA building in Rome. 

4) ICSD calendar (explained by new sports director Jurgen Endress - GER)
Big changes on the horizon, a 4-year cycle should be focused on as follows:
- 1 year regional championships
- 1 year world championships
- 1 year for qualifying matches for Deaflympics
- 1 year for Deaflympics
This will be started in 2026 after the Tokyo Deaflympics (2025).

5) Organisation DL - WC 
A roadmap was also discussed around scheduling the World Championships & Deaflympics on the international sports calendar.

ICSD Congress on Sunday

A total of 42 voting countries were present. 
Mainly, some articles in the statutes were amended and approved to be amended. We like to give attention to these by-law amendments:
- Candidates for the athlete committee will be re-voted every 4 years after each Deaflympics (only athletes who have participated in the last 3 Deaflympics may apply);
- a director can stand for re-election a maximum of twice (this means a maximum term of 12 years of service);
- Staff within ICSD are always accepted with a starting period of 1 year, after which a review/evaluation follows.

Additional information from ICSD

- MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) were signed with the DIBF (Deaf International Basketball Federation), ICCD (Chess) and WDGF (World Deaf Golf Federation). Earlier, an MoU was signed with DIFA (Deaf International Football Association);
- World Deaf Youth Games in 2027: Taiwan is next candidate to want to host it;
- Celebration 100 years ICSD in 2024 & next Congress : little news was reported on this. At the express request of the Belgian delegation, the chairman said that the ICSD could not make any official announcements at this stage. However, it is expected that this will all take place in Paris in September 2024. 

We will keep you informed!
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