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Founded in London in 1937 the International Cremation Federation is an international non-profit organisation devoted to promoting the practice of cremation to the highest standard.

United Nations

In 1996 the International Cremation Federation was granted Consultative Status (Roster) with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The Federation has the ability to contribute to the international cremation movement and work of the United Nations at the highest level.

The Federation has accredited representatives at the United Nations headquarters in New York and United Nations offices in both Vienna and Geneva for meetings of ECOSOC. In addition it has appointed representatives to four regional economic commissions for Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific.

Aims & Objectives

The aims of the Federation defined in its Statutes are:

  • to provide information concerning cremation - the merits, viewed, inter alia, from an hygienic, ethical, economic and aesthetic standpoint;
  • to simplify the process of cremation and to secure a general recognition of this rite; 
  • to free cremation from legal restrictions in countries where they still exist; 
  • to raise cremation to the same level as interment, including in ecclesiastical circles; 
  • to eliminate problems encountered in transporting the ashes of a deceased person from one country to another.

It works towards these objectives by:

  • providing appropriate explanations to members and also by providing explanations to the public and all kinds of organisation concerning the technical procedures and practical experience relating to cremation;
  •  implementing agreements between organisations concerning the cremation of deceased members of organisations abroad;
  • promoting cremation with the aid of all available means;
  • holding international cremation congresses and publishing official reports of the transactions of these congresses;
  • negotiating with ecclesiastical and government authorities with the aim of making cremation possible or simplifying it;
  • co-operating with organisations closely associated with cremation.

General Council

The General Council is the main policy making organ of the Federation. It meets at least every two years or more often as determined by the Executive Committee. It determines the principal aspects of the Federation's work and is the forum in which voting takes place.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee conducts the affairs of the Federation in accordance with the directions of the General Council. Members of the Executive Committee serve for a term of three years before being eligible for re-election.

The Committee is appointed by the General Council and consists of the following:

Mr Gerald Sullivan (United States)

Secretary General
Mr Henry J. Keizer (The Netherlands)

Vice-President Treasurer
Dr. Rolf Lichtner (Germany)

Mr Rick Powel (Great Brittain)

Mr Darryl Thomas (Australia)

Mr Gabriele Righi (Italy)

Regional structure

During the General Council Meeting 2003 in Barcelona, mr. Henry J. Keizer - Secretary General of the ICF - presented a report concerning the possible new structure of the ICF. This report was adopted unanimously during the General Council Meeting in 2005.

The new regional structure was proposed on the following basic principles:

  • Membership of the ICF must have added value to the members;
  • A new structure should improve communication and the exchange of information between members;
  • ICF should grow to a worldwide acknowledged center of information regarding cremation; 
  • The new situation should never jeopardize the NGO/UN status;
  • The new structure should be clear and transparent.

The structure entails the forming of three regions. At the same time Regional Committees would come into existence. The chairmen of the Regional Committees become a member of the Executive Committee.


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