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Conference are normally published in bound
volumes and/or CD format available for pur-
chase, and as a special issue of the IIW
journal “Welding in the World”.
Generally, over 40 countries are represent-
ed by about 400 to 600 delegates at Annual
Assemblies together with about 200 and
more accompanying persons. Attendance at
meetings of IIW working units is confined to
those who have been appointed by their na-
tional delegation whereas the International
Conference is open to any person.
Recent public event themes including this
one for 2008 are:
2004 “Technical Trends and Future Pro-
spectives of Welding Technology for
Transpor tation, Land, Sea, Air and
Space”, Osaka/Japan
2005 “Benefits of New Methods and Trends
in Welding to Economy, Productivity
and Quality”. Prague/Czech Republic
2006 “11tth International Symposium on
Tubular Structures”, Quebec/Cana-
da.
2007 “Welding & Materials: Technical,
economic and ecological aspects”,
Dubrovnik/Croatia
2008 “Safety and Reliability of Welded
Components in Energy and Process-
ing Industr y”, Graz/Austria.
Other specialist public events and seminars
are usually held in association with the An-
nual Assembly. The IIW will continue the
programmes of its various working units,
par ticularly on the occasion of for thcoming
Annual Assemblies, which will be held as
follows:
2009 Singapore
2011 Chennai/India
2010 Kiev/Ukraine
2012 USA
2013 Essen/Germany
Regional Activities and
Liaison with Developing Countries
During the 1980s, discussions took place
within IIW on how the benefits of IIW could
be promulgated to countries in the dif fer-
ent regions of the world. It was felt that the
three key areas by which IIW could assist
regions, developing countries and econo-
mies in transition to improve the quality of
life of all people were through implementing:
• Appropriate welding technology
• Education, training, qualification and
cer tification
• Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)
To star t implementing this strategy, it was
agreed to hold Regional (now called Inter-
national) Congresses with the following spe-
cific objectives:
• To expose delegates from industr y in the
host countries in the region, to the work
of IIW
• To identify the needs of the surround-
ing countries in the region and produce
IIW suppor ted programmes to help meet
those needs par ticularly through the ef-
for ts of the host countr y
• To have organisations such as the United
Nations Industrial Development Organiza-
tion (UNIDO), International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) and the European Union
(EU) formally involved in the Congress
and subsequent programmes
• To have authors from the less developed,
surrounding countries presenting papers
• To form regional commissions of the IIW
using representatives of the regional
countries that could then provide input
to the main IIW commissions.
These Congresses have become ver y popu-
lar and successful.
The IIW’s first International Congress was
held in Australia in 1988, followed by Brazil
(1992), New Zealand (1996), South Africa
(1997), Iran (1998), Australia (2000), Sin-
gapore (2002), Iran (2003), Egypt (2004),
India, Israel (2005), South Africa, Romania
and Thailand in 2006, Australia in 2007,
India in Januar y 2008 and Brazil and China
in 2008.
Fur ther International Congresses already
planned include: 2009 Iran and 2010 Is-
rael.
A major success of these Congresses has
been to assist technology development
and dif fusion in regions sometimes far re-
moved from the locations of the majority
of Annual Assemblies and to encourage
IIW membership in developing countries in
these regions. Potential future congresses
include Indonesia, Vietnam, Kuwait, Nigeria,
Mexico, Slovakia and Malaysia.
IIW Strategic Plan
and Business Plan
Objective
The IIW, at its Annual Assembly in Prague
in July 2005, agreed to a new approach on
updating its Strategic Plan and Business
Plan for the next five years.
In today’s world, no countr y or organisa-
tion can remain in isolation with issues now
becoming truly global e.g. the ozone layer
problem, Chernobyl, trade, travel, IT, climate
change, etc.
Most people in the world simply wish for a
decent job and roof over their heads, suf-
ficient food, health and security for their
families and a decent education for their
children, and an environment in which all
forms of life can exist in harmony.
Par t of the vision of IIW is to have an influ-
ence in the promotion of welding technology
in all countries of the world. In par ticular,
IIW wishes to be able to grow to an optimum
size whereby the necessar y identified ser v-
ices can be provided to its members.
There are over 200 countries in the world,
however, and all use welding and joining to
var ying degrees; 53 of these countries are
members of IIW probably representing over
80% of the developed world. To achieve this
par t of its vision, IIW is now at a stage in
its development where it is playing a lead-
ing role as a facilitator, through its member
societies, to meet the needs of many non-
member countries and at the same time
improve its own image and influence on the
global stage.
Now, par ticularly with the shifting of global
industrial and population growth, the IIW
is encouraging these new centres as well
as those of the developing countries, to
become
more involved in IIW.
Improving the Image of Welding
A common complaint amongst IIW member
societies is the poor image of welding, with
the general public, governments and general
industr y, but par ticularly with young people,
leading to their lack of interest in careers in
the welding industr y. Some countries such
as the USA and Germany have initiated na-
tional campaigns and even countries such
as Japan, which has had an excellent record
in welding technology, are also facing prob-
lems in this area.
The IIW is now studying how an international
approach through IIW and its member socie-
ties can be implemented. When one consid-
ers how modern society depends so much
on welding technology, it is quite amazing
that one still has to continually ‘sell’ the
technology. The value of welding and its
contribution to daily life are not appreciated
by many sectors of society.
How could people sur vive without ser vices
such as transpor t and water, products such
as computers, mobile phones, ar tificial
hear ts, bionic ear implants, etc, etc, etc?