Monday, June 25, 2013
COEX, Seoul, Korea
Incoming President CHA welcomed the delegates and indicated that the Congress was going well. Since the new officials, Vice President/Secretary General and Treasurer, have already been designated, President Cha introduced the following two persons for council members’ confirmation and they were confirmed to take office.
Secretary General and Vice President - Sung-Jae CHOI
Treasurer - Dong Ho LEE
He mentioned that Sung-Jae CHOI is a Senior Secretary working at the Blue House (Presidential Office) of Korean Government, which is a good indication of the level of support for IAGG by the Government of Korea. He also pointed out in his remarks that the IAGG often did not understand the societies they were working with and that this should be an issue to work on in the future. He then yielded the floor to Outgoing President Vellas.
In his report on the outgoing Board, President Vellas mentioned the size of IAGG, 83 societies and more than 45,000 members and commented that IAGG might soon find itself in need of having a Congress every two years versus every 4 years as it presently does, that IAGG needs something to better education and training, and that while it was well-established in Europe, North and South America, and Australia, further work was needed in Africa and Oceania, with special emphasis on incorporating the Middle East into IAGG. Perhaps more symposiums, better maintenance of the website, and increased cooperation with international organizations/societies, such as students, would help.
Going on, Prof. Benetos noted the income and expenses as shown in the financial report as attached herewith. He expressed a need to increase the IAGG’s income and suggested a budget for the coming year. He noted that they had had some losses due to the exchange rate, but overall the accounts had increased in general during his tenure. The accounts in Switzerland were merged in 2009 and since then the total balance has increased by EUR 33,000.
Prof. Franco pointed out that there would be by-law issues that would need to be voted on as well as votes for those seeking new memberships.
He pointed out that in 2009, the United Nations had allowed the IAGG into the General Assembly and that teams of volunteers in New York, Geneva and Vienna were in place attending meetings whose results can be found on the internet. Others were working with UN regional commissions. Other organizations are organizing scientific events with important meetings in South Africa this past fall, which shifted toward Human Rights for older people. IAGG must be aware of such meetings and know about the outcomes. It should also be lobbying for older people wherever it can and IAGG has helped create such a lobby called Global Alliance for Rights of Older People(GAROP). IAGG must pay attention to small, active groups as well as those like AARP which has 40,000,000 members and noted that the South American region has been active and that Africa and Asia are beginning to be active, while Europe and North America are not so active, with the exception of the AARP. This means that the IAGG will have to work with different opinions. It was also noted that doctors are shifting from medical rights to human rights for older people and IAGG will need do deal with that and determine where we can be effective in the UN, remembering that IAGG represents geriatricians and gerontologists from 67 countries.
In the open discussion session that followed, the question was raised whether it would be possible to pay membership dues in Euros and not in Dollars. The answer was that it was possible. There was confusion from a representative from Malta about that. A German representative requested that the slides of their presentations be added as an addendum to the meeting minutes, which was agreed to. An Irish representative requested that there be a centralized consultation process for documents that go to the U.N. for publishing to make sure that they accurately reflect IAGG’s mandate to ensure the integrity of the documents before they are published. Prof. Franco said the role of IAGG is to lobby to bring the human rights for older people and particularly rights for health to the U.N. agenda. In closing, the report of the out-going vote was approved.
Moving on with the Agenda, Prof. Rowe was unanimously confirmed as the next IAGG President and also the next Congress was confirmed to be held in San Francisco, CA, USA, in 2017 under Prof. John Rowe’s leadership, noting that San Francisco was a city easily accessible from Asia, Europe, and elsewhere. The climate is cool and is a good site. IAGG is looking forward to its meeting there. Prof. Rowe announced the theme of the 2017 conference will be “Global Aging and Health: Bridging Science, Policy and Practice”, and will take place from July 23-27.
This was followed by reports from the Regional Chairs. All regions were positive in their comments and these reports have been posted for a limited time on our website for your perusal.
Tuesday, June 26, 2013
COEX, Seoul, Korea
The Council Meeting was opened by President CHA who welcomed the delegates and subsequently turned the meeting over to Vice President CHOI to report on the 2013 Conference. VP CHOI noted that 3493 abstracts were accepted and presented which reported on research, policy and practices. He gave a presentation on the breakdown of the statistics of the abstract types and origin. He noted that it was an exceedingly large number of papers from 86 different countries. He said that the 144 booths set up at the Conference were occupied by 35 exhibitors.
VP CHOI turned the meeting over to the Treasurer, Dr. Lee, who said that there were 4200 registered/expected for the Conference and that funding support had been received from the Government of Korea, Samsung and SK. He noted that receipts for the Conference totaled US$4.62 million while expenses had totaled US$3.38 million leaving a balance of US$1.2 million. He noted that half the balance would go to IAGG and the other half would go to the 4 Korean societies. He also pointed out that the Government of Korea was concerned and following the activities of the Conference. To emphasize this, it was also noted, again, that VP CHOI who had been the Secretary General of Organizing Committee and was appointed as a Senior Secretary to the President in the Korean Government working in the Blue House (Presidential Office of Korean Government). It was requested that the slides of the two presentations be added to the minutes.
President Cha then presented IAGG’s future plan. He mentioned that the IAGG will focus on global mission, UN activities, research activities, and presence of regional and other important International meetings related to IAGG activities. He also briefly reported the financial plan of IAGG for 4 years: Total revenue would be $1,077,691 and the total expenses would be $840,000 with $237,691 to be carried over to the next administration of IAGG.
In addition, it was noted that together with the United Nations, he wants to establish a standing committee for Human Rights for Older People and sponsor research activities and workshops as well as training and create a network including Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America and Australia as well as others as necessary to organize these activities. He outlined his intention to fully support the activities of the GARN, GSIA and WAA. It is anticipated that tele- and video-conferencing as well as e-voting would be used to facilitate these activities. They will establish financial plans with estimated costs outlining income and expenses.
Thereafter, the Conference turned to voting on bids for the 22nd World Conference in 2021. There were 3: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sydney, Australia; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. After hearing from each bidder and discussions among delegates, it was decided by vote that the 2021 Conference would be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Conference then turned to the question of New Members and the floor was yielded to former VP Franco who explained that the documents by 8 of the 9 applicants were satisfactory, but that one, Kyrgyzstan, had withdrawn its application. Another, an additional group from Turkey, would need to be discussed at length and that there were two additional applications that needed to be discussed: India and Quebec. The Turkish group had applied 4 years earlier, but at the time was largely unknown. Now, there was more information about it and there was no problem with its candidacy. There had also been the question of having more than one representative group from a country, but since the USA and Great Britain already had several, it was felt that this question was largely moot and that in the future the number of societies in a country would not matter as long as their qualifications were satisfactory.
There was then a long discussion as to the validity of the application by India which was late, but in the end the Council agreed to accept it given that it met the qualifications and that India was both a large country and important in world affairs.
The Quebec application was rejected as impossible to approve given that it was a province of Canada and not a State. Moreover, Canada had pointed out that if it were accepted, the IAGG could expect that other Canadian provinces would also submit requests for their provincial societies. One member made the comment that the council executive should have a clearer definition for what is considered “national” because it could be a recurring issue in the future.
In the end, all applicants, except Kyrgyzstan and Quebec for the reasons stated above, were accepted for membership by majority vote: Belarus, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, San Marino, Turkey and India (9).
The Agenda question of accepting the International Societies and Organizations was passed over, but it was noted that such organizations could affiliate and work with the IAGG without actually becoming members.
In the Reports from IAGG Standing Committees, it was explained that INPEA was alive and well, that the ISG was working well and would have a World Congress in 2014 and that AFRAN was also doing well and expanding in Africa. The ICGSO made a special plea for funding assistance for its student representatives to travel to the international meetings and explained that they had completed an action plan which included a name change, a request for representation on IAGG committees and funding in the amount of US$10,000 every 4 years to permit its representatives to attend the congresses. They also wanted to create more student sections in member areas and to establish a definition of “Student”. Furthermore, they wanted to up-date the IAGG website to add a student section, but would leave it to member societies to create student sections. It was noted that, except for the name change which would be taken up in the next World Congress, there was no need to vote on their request, but that a group would be set up to listen to their proposals.
Under the heading of new business, there was a request that the minutes of this Congress be published by the end of the year which the moderator indicated they would try to do and that the financial report would be included. There was also a request that bidding procedures be clarified in regards to the order of territorial rotation so that it is known beforehand which region(s) will have preference, if any.
Heung Bong CHA