Last week, the Selection Committee for World Congress of Families V met in Washington, D.C. and unanimously recommended Amsterdam as the site for the next Congress. Their recommendation was accepted by the WCF Management Committee. The dates of WCF V are August 10-12, 2009, reports World Congress of Families.
Previous Congresses have been held in Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004) and Warsaw (2007).
The 16-member Selection Committee was composed of: Ignacio Arsuaga (HazteOir.org, Spain), Chuck Donovan (Family Research Council), Don Feder (World Congress of Families), Farooq Hassan (Pakistan Family Forum), Jesus Hernandez (The Family Network, Mexico), Marie-Claire Hernandez (Family & Society, Mexico), Randy Hicks (Georgia Family Council), Robert Knight (Culture and Media Institute, Media Research Center), Ewa Kowalewska (Human Life International, Europe), Gwendolyn Landolt (REAL Women of Canada), Yuri Mantilla (Focus on the Family), Dorothy Patterson (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), Austin Ruse (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), Mary Ellen Smoot, Jennifer Swim (GFC Foundation) and Father Jaroslaw Szymczak (Institute of Family Studies, Poland). The meeting was chaired by Gwen Landolt (Real Women of Canada).
Five countries made formal bids to host World Congress of Families V – Nigeria, the Netherlands, Latvia, Bolivia and Russia. All were represented by delegations led by the following: Theresa Okafor (Nigeria, Chief Executive, Life League), Simon Polinder (Holland, Chairman, Local Organizing Committee, Amsterdam), Marika Bertule (Latvia, Founder, Family Association) – Miguel Moreno (Bolivia, Leadership Institute, Trinity Foundation) and Lech Kowalewski, representing Fr. Maxim Obukhov (President, National Russian Pro-Life Movement).
Dr. Allan C. Carlson, WCF International Secretary, who was present at the meeting as a facilitator, commented: “We were gratified by the quality of the proposals and the caliber of the presentations. It wasn’t easy for the Selection Committee to reach a decision. Ultimately, it recommended Amsterdam based on the thoroughness of its proposal, the enthusiasm of the local organizing committee and its supporters, the ability of the Local Organizing Committee to fully fund the Congress, location and venue, and a desire to support the budding Dutch pro-family movement.”
While unanimously proposing Amsterdam as the site of WCF V, the Selection Committee also resolved that a prep-con (preparatory conference) should be held in Nigeria before WCF V and that the Amsterdam Congress include a panel reporting on the Nigeria meeting.
All of the countries which weren’t chosen as the site for WCF V were invited to submit bids for WCF VI, whose location will be determined before the next Congress.
World Congress of Families V will be held at the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, August 10-12, 2009. The theme chosen by the LOC is
“Family: More Than Only the Sum of the Parts.”
The RAI Centre can accommodate as many as 4,000 delegates in one hall, with smaller rooms available for breakout sessions for anywhere from 100 to 700. The Centre is also well equipped for audio-visual, Internet, media and catering. Built in 1893, the newly renovated Centre is the site of over 1,000 national and international conferences and cultural events each year, attracting more than 2 million visitors.
The Management Committee, which has ultimate oversight of the Congress, consists of Carlson, Janice Crouse (Senior Fellow, Beverly LaHaye Institute, Concerned Women for America), Paul Mero (President, Sutherland Institute), William Saunders (Senior Fellow & Human Rights Counsel, Family Research Council) and Christine Vollmer (President, Latin American Alliance for Families).