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70th CISM General Assembly & Congress in Kuwait City (Kuwait) - 2015



The threat that hangs over the region and the late cancellation of the AG had no effect on the General Secretariat which had done everything in its power to ensure that this annual meeting was able to take place - a major challenge indeed! After all the work put in by Colonel Mamby Koita and his staff with the Kuwaiti authorities, the CISM was finally able to take up its pilgrim’s staff and join the capital of the State of the Kuwait. 


Despite these vicissitudes, 81 delegations have made the trip. The General Assembly Meeting is an important institutional moment in the life of the organization not only in view of the many decisions made but also it is also when the various summaries of the previous year’s activities are presented. One of the highlights of the arrival of the delegations, that of Iraq that was greeted with warmth and dignity by the local delegation. It was a session of the Steering Committee, that opened the proceedings with discussions covering the CISM’s future projects and the ability to achieve the objectives previously decided. Then followed the meeting of the sports committees which not only discussed their current and upcoming projects but also, through the intervention by Colonel Jorge Ribeiro, highlighted the success of the 1st, open swimming and para-swimming competitions held in Fontainebleau.


For the first time these had brought together the able-bodied and disabled in a competition under the aegis of CISM. Excellent news was given during the sports committees’ session, that the city of Sochi (RUS), candidate for the Organization of the winter games, had confirmed the dates of 22 to 28 February 2017 for this major winter event! A presentation was made available to the sports committees highlighting the significant experience of Sochi in organising such an event following the Olympic Games held in the same city and its up-to-date facilities. 18 May was certainly one of the busiest days. The opening ceremony of the 70th Annual General Asembly was suitably solemn and took place under the patronage of Lieutenant-General Mohammad Al Khedlher, Chief of Staff of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces and Major-General Al Anwar Mazidi, Chief of Staff for the Education and Training of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces.


They repeated their commitment to the CISM and were delighted to welcome the 81 nations. Then the President of CISM took the floor to once again thank the Kuwaiti delegation without whom this Annual General Meeting would have been very difficult to organize. A press conference was held before the opening ceremony and the Secretary-General explained the history of the CISM to the many journalists, photographers and cameramen who had made the trip.


The various continental meetings also took place in and endless to-an-fro of appointments, a major part of the time being taken up by the appointment of the new representatives to sit on the Steering Committee. During the first day of the congress, the CISM President, Colonel Abdulhakeem Alshino together with the Secretary General, Colonel Mamby Koita presented their report of activities. Then it was the turn of the Korean delegation under the auspices of Mr. Kim Sang-Ki, representing the next summer games and ‘SUMOC Chairman’ to present the progress made in the organisation of this future event.


Finally, to close the day, the draws for the «CISM Football World Cup» were made in the presence of the delegations concerned and under the chairmanship of Mr Olivier Vehelle, Director of the CISM. However, the most intense moment of the day was the welcome by the authorities of the CISM’s Honorary President General Dr. Gianni Gola who has now become our Ambassador. The CISM President gave details of the extent to which the General had been involved in the Organization and this for more than 50 years. Welcome Mr Ambassador.


The next day was punctuated by a visit by the CISM authorities to the high authorities of the State of Kuwait including the President of the National Assembly Mr Marzouq Al Ghanim. Then the Chinese delegation and the Deputy Mayor of the city of Wuhan, Mrs. Liu Yingzhi presented its candidature for the 2019 Summer Games. The high point of the week was, of course, the Annual General Meeting itself! Before this solemn meeting began however, there was a visit to Sheikh Khaled Al Jarrah Al Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.


The delegations were invited to vote for the various items on the agenda such as the approval of the accounts submitted by Colonel Van Velthoven, the Treasurer General of the CISM, but above all for the organisation’s major upcoming events. After the votes, the applications from Russia for the 2017 Winter Games, Indonesia for the 2018 Cadet Games in finally China for the 2019 Summer Games, were officially approved.


At the close of business, the Steering Committee held a final meeting to welcome the newly elected representatives and to draft a final report on this the 70th General Assembly Meeting and Congress of an organization that is constantly expanding as new candidate countries come knocking on the door of the CISM.




Our sincere thanks to Kuwait and it must be said that, in these troubled times, Friendship through Sport resonates louder than ever!


Dominique Einsweiler