Adapting to the reality of a global pandemic, UICC held for the first time its General Assembly in a virtual format. The outgoing President, HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, chaired the event, which included presentations by Dr Cary Adams, CEO of UICC and Professor Anil D’Cruz, the incoming President of UICC for the period 2020-2022.
Full members began casting their votes for President-elect and new Board Members via a dedicated link as early as midnight Geneva time on 6th October (2am GMT). The General Assembly started at 2pm (12pm GMT).
Professor D’Cruz reflected on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on cancer organisations around the world and how this emphasises the need to engage with governments to ensure that cancer care remains a top priority. He also confirmed that, in consequence of the pandemic, the 2022 World Cancer Congress would take place in Geneva where UICC is headquartered, in a format combining on-site and virtual events, rather than in Berlin where it was originally due to take place.
In his vision for the next two years, Professor Anil D’Cruz said: “UICC will continue to strengthen its support for member organisations as they adapt to a changing health landscape, drive innovation to advance cancer control in a way that makes it more equitable, pursue its core advocacy priorities, and reinforce community spirit and collaboration.”
Dr Cary Adams provided a performance overview of UICC’s activities in the past two years, highlighting the 2018 and 2019 annual reports, the excellent results of the membership survey and how the organisation had adapted to the outbreak of COVID-19. He noted that 2020 has been a challenge and that 2021 promised to present further disruptions. He confirmed, however, that UICC remained on sound financial footing and had transitioned smoothly and effectively to a virtual model, adapting its activities and services. He looked forward to working with the new President, President-elect and Board of Directors, emphasing that UICC would continue to strengthen the cancer community and save lives from preventable cancer.
The new President-elect, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, a behavioural scientist and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, will assume the presidency of UICC in October 2022 at the next General Assembly. Professor Dunn has worked closely with UICC for 30 years, served on the Board for the past six years and as Treasurer for the past four. He is particularly committed to harnessing the collective capacity of UICC and the cancer community to inspire action towards achieving the goal of a 25% reduction in premature mortality worldwide by 2025.
“Being called to contribute my time and expertise is a great honour and a wonderful opportunity to fortify our global work at the local level to save lives. As President-elect, I will continue to devote my time to addressing the health and wellbeing of the community, to prevent cancer when we can and to support those diagnosed when it strikes.”
- Professor Jeff Dunn AO, President-elect of UICC 2020-2022
UICC’s new Board of Directors for 2020-2022 was also elected during the online voting process that opened at midnight (2am GMT). Elected Board Members hail from UICC member organisations representing Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Sweden, UK, USA.
During the General Assembly, members received updates and were provided with input on UICC’s work. They overwhelmingly approved the 2018 General Assembly minutes and the accounts for 2018-2019, and discharged the CEO and current Board of their responsibilities.
Princess Dina also presented the Arabic translation of the 3rd edition of the Cancer Atlas. Produced by UICC in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the Cancer Atlas is a vital compendium of facts, figures and information about cancer for policymakers, advocates and the general public. The Arabic translation was made by Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) in the UAE.
FInally, as outgoing President, Princess Dina emphasised the achievements made by UICC and its members during her tenure and thanked the Board of Directors and the CEO for their unwavering support and valuable input. The Board of UICC and Professor Anil D’Cruz thanked Princess Dina Mired for her energy and commitment as President of UICC. She was a vocal advocate for better cancer control and was keenly appreciated for her leadership, her enthusiasm and her heartfelt engagement in so many activities organised by UICC and the cancer community.