Dear friends and colleagues,
The WPA is currently the largest medical organization in the world, with more than 200,000 psychiatrists, 134 member societies and more than 100 countries represented.
This is my first welcome message since my election during the General Assembly in Prague as Secretary for Scientific Meetings; I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for kind support and encouragement.
I am taking over my new position from the newly elected WPA President-Elect Prof. Pedro Ruiz who over the past six years as secretary for scientific meetings has worked very hard to increase the visibility of the WPA worldwide.
During the next triennium (2008-2011) the WPA has already committed itself to sponsor 7 regional meetings, 2 thematic conferences, 1 international congress and the 15th World congress of Psychiatry in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2011. The WPA will also be co-sponsoring 9 WPA scientific sections meetings, 12 WPA member societies meeting, 2 affiliated societies meetings and 9 other organization meetings. During the past triennium an estimated 89,500 mental health professionals were served via WPA scientific meetings. I hope to increase this number during the next triennium.
I hope that through working with all of you we can increase the number of meetings involving the WPA to help disseminate WPA objectives, ethics and educational materials worldwide. We also have to make sure that all meetings carrying the WPA logo are within the objectives of the WPA and that the scientific content is up to the standard expected form the WPA.
We also have to work together to engage all the continents, all WPA regions and all WPA zones in order to really be accepted as a world organization and a partner in mental health care. We need to work with the different countries in the world whether high, medium, and middle or low income countries and remember that psychiatric disorders affect everyone and the need for mental health services is a world wide priority. The WPA is determined to fulfill the triennial plan announced by the WPA President Prof. Mario Maj to the General Assembly in Prague.
Let us all work together for a better quality of life for our patients.
Prof. Tarek A. Okasha
WPA Secretary for Meetings