FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) is the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming, recognized by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competition in the five aquatic sports.
Every four years, the FINA Congress meets to discuss and decide upon legislation, rules, regulations and the operations of the five sports. Many rules are procedural, but some can literally change the dynamics and business of the sport. For example, while the hottest issue in swimming is technical swimsuits, there are important issues in open water such as the minimum temperature to be able to hold a FINA event, the use of wetsuits, use of timing systems and uniform methods of referring during races.
These meetings were held in Rome prior to this year's world championships (see photo above) where the delegates from over 200 countries sat and voted on a variety of measures.