The International Life Saving Federation is recognised by the International Military Sports Council (CISM) and lifesaving sport is part of the programme of Military World Championships. Lifesaving sport is also included in the Military World Games.
The International Military Sports Council (CISM) was originally the "Allied Forces Sports Council". It was founded in 1945 in Frankfurt - Germany by the representatives of the Allied Nations Forces. It took its actual name in 1948 in Cannes - France.
It is an international organisation open to the armed forces of all countries. Its membership currently stands at 120 armed forces of member countries and its headquarter is situated in Brussels. CISM is a mixed governmental/non-governmental organisation. In its statutes CISM is an International (non-governmental) Association, and in reality only official recognised Armed Forces of countries can be members. Their programmes emanates of the Ministry of Defence of the member countries who recognises CISM as the only official world body for military sport. In this way, CISM is a mixed International Governmental and Non-Governmental Association.
For the last twenty years CISM has been expanding on a regular basis. Every year, CISM organises around twenty world championships and 80 regional championships, which are organised by member countries in rotation in accordance with a procedure of preliminary options.
Under the impulse of the armies of the Soviet Union, a Socialist Allied Armies Sports Committee was created in 1952 (SKDA). It included the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Vietnam, Cuba, Ethiopia, North Korea, South Yemen and Syria. Contacts initiated by CISM with SKDA in the sixties and seventies, aimed at establishing co-operation between the two organisations, have been fruitful when the iron curtain fell down in Europe. The SKDA officially merged with CISM in 1991.
Thanks to the support of partner firms, CISM develops an extensive programme of sports technical assistance for the benefit of the less-privileged countries.
Over and above furthering sports competitions, CISM's objectives are based on the reciprocal knowledge between peoples and on the understanding of cultures in order to foster "Friendship through Sport".