|About UIAA||Members||Standards||Olympic Movement||Sponsors & Partners|
UIAA General Assembly successfully concluded in Porto, Portugal
14 Oct 2009
The UIAA General Assembly on Saturday approved a code to serve as a beacon of mountaineering values, spelling out ethics of sportsmanship, respect for cultures and care for the environment.
Doug Scott, the famed British mountaineer who achieved the seven summits, worked diligently on the document. He hopes it will guide alpinists well.
“The Mountain Ethics Declaration, the updated statement on best practices in mountaineering, is very timely,” Scott said, “especially to help those climbers in areas where there is no strong consensus of opinion as to the best way forward.”
The declaration addresses mountaineering issues such as the responsibility to assist others in need, the factual reporting of ascents and the use of supplementary oxygen in high altitude climbs.
It also has a rich history.
The document builds upon work of American climbers and the UIAA Mountaineering Commission, called the Mountain Code. That code was updated and approved at an international meeting of leading climbers in Innsbruck, Austria in 2002. The resulting document from that gathering was called the Tyrol Declaration.
The UIAA Mountain Ethics Declaration, mountaineers at the General Assembly meeting said, is intended as a living document. The organisation expects to make continuous improvements.
In addition to Scott, accomplished mountaineer John Nankervis of the New Zealand Alpine Club has been a key player in working on the declaration. He shall continue involvement with the polishing of the document.
The Mountain Ethics Declaration will now go back for editing and inclusion of amendments agreed upon by the General Assembly. The final version will be released and published on the United Nations’ International Mountain Day, on December 11, 2009.
The General Assembly at its meeting Saturday also approved the UIAA’s 2010 budget. This coming year’s budget is designed to finance a revenue-generating strategy for the organisation. This strategy, in turn, is expected to allow the UIAA to expand its services to member federations and the mountaineering community.
The court is a new body intended to settle internal conflicts within the UIAA. Moreover, the court’s establishment is part of the professionalisation of the organisation.
The General Assembly elected Bettina Geisseler of Switzerland SAC to be president of the new court, as well as two other court members, Robbert Leopold, of the Netherlands’ NKBV, and Jordi Pons Sanjines, of Spain’s FEDME.
The General Assembly also agreed to welcome two new alpine associations to the UIAA. The Dominican Republic (Asociación Dominicana de Escalada y Montañismo) and the Mongolian Mountaineering and Climbing Federation are the new members.
David Jones was elected as the new representative from Africa to the UIAA Management Committee. He belongs to the Mountain Club of South Africa.
This year’s annual UIAA General Assembly meeting was hosted by the Portuguese Alpine Club.