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General Assembly Finishes With Seoul Declaration
Seoul, Korea - The 2007 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) General Assembly (GA) was held from 24 and 25 November 2007, in Seoul, Korea. Around 250 delegates from National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), disability specific sport federations (IOSDs), regions and sports attended the event.
Hosted by the NPC of Korea, the motto of the Assembly was "Passion for the Paralympic Movement: Striving Towards Global Development".
During two days of meetings, which clearly showed increased sense of unity and understanding between IPC and its members, the GA was presented with an overview of IPC activities of the last two years as well as approved the Financial Budget for 2008 and the framework for 2009.
Three National Paralympic Committees (Liberia, Panama, the Netherlands) were ratified as members of the IPC, as well as the Asian Paralympic Committee. Furthermore, four International Sports Federations, including the International Cycling Union (UCI), the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the International Rowing Federation (FISA) joined the IPC as a member.
After the IPC Classification Code has been approved by the General Assembly, the members will now be invited to sign for acceptance before the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. The new Code will set the norm for the further development of classification in the Paralympic Movement.
Three Organizing Committees, Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 reported on the status of their preparations for future Paralympic Games and distributed information to the delegates.
Said Sir Philip Craven, IPC President: "This year's IPC General Assembly has been a landmark event for us. A number of stimulating discussions arose during the meetings, giving me increased confidence that we are in an excellent position to face up to future challenges. I am sure that our organizational achievements and successes will allow us to stage the best ever Paralympic Games to date in Beijing."
During a Gala Dinner on 24 November, the IPC Membership also honoured the winners of the Paralympic Awards 2007.
The Paralympic Sport Awards 2007 were awarded in five categories, based on performance at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games:
Best Male Athlete: Brian McKeever (CAN, Cross Country Skiing)
Best Female Athlete: Lauren Woolstencroft (CAN, Alpine Skiing)
Best Team Performance: Canadian Ice Sledge Hockey Team
Best Games Debut: Thomas Pfyl (SUI, Alpine Skiing)
Exemplary Games Official: Dr. Karl Quade (GER)
The Paralympic Media Awards 2007 honour members of the media who presented the highest quality and most dynamic coverage of the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, in three categories:
Broadcast: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (AUS)
Written (Online): BBC Sport Website (GBR)
Photo: Mikael Helsing (ESP)
The Paralympic Scientific Award 2007 recognized one outstanding contributor (academic or scientific) for research in the field of sport for persons with a disability.
Paralympic Scientific Award 2007: Garry Wheeler (CAN)
Furthermore, the Paralympic Order, the highest recognition presented by the IPC, was awarded to two persons, who have made an outstanding or long-lasting contribution to the Paralympic Movement and/or to the overall success of the Paralympic Games. The recipients were Mr. Silas Chang (Hong Kong) and Mr. Stavros Stavrianopoulos (Greece).
In the Seoul Declaration, signed by the IPC and Korean Paralympic Committee President on 25 November, the IPC and all its members committed to advance the rights of Paralympic athletes, achieve sporting excellence, promote values and empower youth.
For more information, especially about the Paralympic Awards and the award winners, please visit the IPC website at www.paralympic.org.