Around 450 people from over 150 countries are descending on Athens, Greece, for the sixteenth International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Conference and General Assembly which starts this Friday (22 November) and continues over the weekend at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel.
The General Assembly is the supreme authority of the IPC, the Paralympic Movement's global governing body, and meets every two years. It last met in December 2011 in Beijing, China, and this year will see elections for the IPC Governing Board take place on Sunday.
It is estimated that close to 160 of the IPC's 200 plus members will be in Athens to vote for the positions of IPC President, Vice President and 10 Members at Large. During Friday's conference each Governing Board candidate will present their manifesto to the IPC membership.
On Friday, attendees will also be updated on the progress of the Agitos Foundation, the IPC's development arm which was launched in September 2012 as the well as the Strategic Plans that have been developed for each of the IPC's Paralympic sports.
IPC members will also receive a full review of the London 2012 Paralympic Games from Lord Chris Holmes, LOCOG's Director of Paralympic Integration. Updates will also be given by the organising committees of the next four editions of the Paralympic Games - namely Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Pyeong Chang 2018 and Tokyo 2020.
On Saturday morning, there will be debate and votes taken on a number of motions and policies put forward by IPC members, whilst on Saturday night the 2013 Paralympic Awards will take place. The awards which are proudly partnered by Allianz, will recognise the achievements of athletes, teams, officials and the media at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Four people - Bob Balk, Michael Barredo, Duncan Campbell and Jonquil Solt - will also be presented with the Paralympic Order at the awards by IPC President Sir Philip Craven. The Order is the highest accolade anyone can achieve within the Paralympic Movement.
Ahead of the IPC General Assembly and Conference, the IPC has been working closely with Athens International Airport to ensure a smooth arrival and departure for all attendees.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC supervises the organisation of the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to develop sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.\
Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit organisation formed and run by 174 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from five regions and four disability specific international sports federations (IOSDs). The IPC Headquarters and its management team are located in Bonn, Germany.