WCLS 2013

‘Closing the Cancer Divide by 2025’

The 2013 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit - 

The 2013 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit was held on 18-19 November 2013 at the Mount Nelson Hotel and the Cape Town City Hall in South Africa, organised by the Union for International Cancer Control and hosted by the Cancer Association of South Africa. Our partners were the Department of Health of South Africa, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We had the honour of being hosted by Her Excellency Madam Tobeka Madiba Zuma.

Approximately 175 high-level participants attended, including Heads of State, Ministers of Health, UN officials, international cancer leaders and private sector partners. The theme of the Summit* was ‘Closing the Cancer Divide by 2025’ highlights the urgent need to address the glaring disparities in cancer control within and across national, international and regional boundaries. Closing the cancer divide is crucial to achieve the global goal of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025, which was recently adopted by UN Member States at the World Health Assembly in May 2013. We place particular emphasis on women’s cancers, cancer treatment and improved cancer registry information in low- and middle-income countries to help achieve this goal.

The Summit Programme began on Monday, 18 November at the Mount Nelson Hotel with set of three Opportunity Workshops facilitated by WHO, IARC and IAEA. UICC, with its partners, hosted a number events on themes related to the Summit. A formal working luncheon was held focusing on cancer and the development agenda. The Welcome Dinner was organised at the Castle of Good Hope, hosted by the Cancer Association of South Africa.

Summit participants then convened the next day, 19 November, at the Cape Town City Hall for morning keynotes and panel discussions followed by an afternoon ‘Big Debate’ session. The programme concluded with several global announcements by key Summit participants and partners. An updated version of the World Cancer Declaration was launched which will be used by cancer organisations around the world to press for the inclusion of cancer in the Post 2015 consultations taking place in the coming two years.

The Provisional-Agenda of the event can be downloaded here.

*The theme of the Summit was inspired by the GTFCCC publication "Closing the Cancer Divide: An Equity Imperative" (2012) published by the Harvard Global Equity Initiative with Harvard University Press.

18th November
UICC Partner Events
19th November
World Cancer Leaders' Summit
Mount Nelson Hotel Cape Town City Hall

Key Partners

Union for International Cancer Control, Cancer Association of South Africa, Department of Health of South Africa, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization


American Cancer Society, IAEA/PACT Programme, Livestrong Foundation, MacMillan UK, MD Anderson and US National Cancer Institute.

Summit Steering Committee

Chair: Cary Adams
Jean-Marie Dangou
Mary Gospodarowicz
Felicia Knaul
Tom Kean
Jessica Mathieu
Ann McMikel
H Fred Mickelson
Ifeoma Okoye
Melissa Rendler-Garcia
Sue Janse von Rensburg
Anne Lise Ryel
Sandhya Singh
Andreas Ullrich
Chris Wild

Summit Host

Her Excellency Madam Tobeka Madiba Zuma, First Lady of the Republic of South Africa

Summit Ambassador

Her Excellency, Dr Christine Kaseba Sata, First Lady of Zambia


If you have any questions on the 2013 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, please contact Ms Melissa Rendler Garcia at rendler@uicc.org

Press and Media accreditation

For any press and media enquiries on the 2013 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, please contact our partner agency Greater Than, based in South Africa:
Nadia Hearn
T: +27 21  812 26 70

Last update: 
Monday 24 November 2014