A year on... the achievements

Dear Members of UICC,

It has been 12 months since many of us met in Montreal to enjoy the World Cancer Congress, the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, and the UICC General Assembly where we elected the new Board of Directors to take UICC forward in the next two years.

We want to use this one year mark to provide a short summary of what kept the Board and the UICC Geneva Team busy. It has been a productive year and we are indebted to many members for their support. Your time, commitment and voluntary funds have been very helpful. With the new Board, we have new leadership. Tezer Kutluk is our President-Elect, Greg Bontrager is our Treasurer, Ben Anderson has established great momentum as Chair of the Membership Committee. Heather Bryant is leading our UICC policy review and Co-chairs the Programme Committee for the World Cancer Congress 2014 with Sanchia Aranda. Felicia Knaul has taken responsibility for UICC position statements, and Eduardo Cazap will lead our next Board nomination process. Gilbert Lenoir is working with his French colleagues already thinking of the 2016 WCC in Paris, and the other Board members are fully engaged in Board Committees. We established a new Board Governance Committee which will assume the overall responsibility for the organisation.

Please review our 2012 Annual Report and share it with your organisation, your partners and friends.

In February this year, the Board and senior UICC staff held a Board Retreat in Toronto to discuss the optimal ways of working together and to agree on a purpose statement for UICC. We want to share with you the purpose of the UICC which has been approved by the Board to state:

“We unite the cancer community to reduce the global burden of cancer, to promote greater equity, and to integrate cancer control in the global health and development agenda”

We trust that you can identify with this purpose and we look forward to working together with you to make progress in these areas.

We are proud of our efforts to unite the cancer community through the World Cancer Day and the UICC World Cancer Congress. These events promote cancer control and focus on the equity issues in global cancer. We continue to work hard to place cancer on the global health and development agenda – this has certainly reaped rewards for us all in the last 4 years with the UN High Level Meeting on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and we hope to achieve the same impact in the current discussions on the framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.

As you know, in the past few years the UICC played a key role in the NCD Alliance (NCDA), which has continued to have a great impact at a global health level. Since last year, Cary Adams, has chaired the Steering Committee of NCDA. To make sure the NCDA remains a united body supported by the Boards of the founding Federations, UICC has convened a face to face meeting of the Presidents of the founding Federations including the World Heart Federation, International Diabetes Federation, Union for Lung Disease and TB. The Presidents and CEOs of the founding four federations continue to meet regularly via conference calls and have approved a detailed business plan for 2014 - 2015 which will ensure that the NCDA continues to have a global impact.

In addition to the above activities, the UICC Team has initiated small meetings, so called Global Roundtable Series (GRS), on topics of interest to our members and partners. Most have been held in Geneva supporting our advocacy messages, but others have taken place in member locations. The topics have covered the current issues of personalised cancer medicine, prostate cancer, cancer registries, and cancer in the NCD global health debate. Each Roundtable has been attended by 30 to 50 people and included UICC Leadership and Board members and helped showcase our work to a broader audience. We plan to have more GRS meetings in 2014 on topics of interest to our members.

Our programmes focus on childhood cancer, cervical cancer, cancer registries, and pain relief programmes, but we have added new programmatic activities to impact cancer control globally. 

  • The McCabe Law Centre for Cancer, which we operate with our partner Cancer Council Victoria, is growing in reputation and reach.
  • Under a new category of the President’s Portfolio, we have launched a Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC) to consider the current gap in access to radiotherapy in the world. The GTFRCC is modelled after and working together with the Global Task Force on Cancer Care and Control. The Task Force will have the first meeting this fall at the ECCO Congress in Amsterdam and will report at the World Cancer Congress in Melbourne in December 2014.  
  • With our partners the ASCO and the NCI Centre for Global Health we aim to create an inventory of international collaborations in cancer. The preliminary pilot survey was conducted this summer and we will take it further later this year.
  • We have accelerated our work with a number of partners on raising the profile of national cancer control planning in all countries, following the release of the UICC NCCP Toolkit in August 2012.

At the moment, much of our focus is on the fall Board meeting and the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit which will take place in Cape Town in November. We expect the leading global players from UN agencies, country leaders, health ministers, First Ladies, cancer organisation CEOs, academia and the private sector to attend the Summit and consider further discussions on cancer in the global health and development agenda. The title of the Summit is “Closing the Cancer Divide by 2025”, deliberately chosen to complement our purpose and our aim to build on the NCD global goal to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by 25% by 2025.

We are in the process of reviewing the World Cancer Declaration which will be re-launched at the Summit in November. It is currently subject to an e-consultation with many members commenting on how it should be re-phrased in the light of new global NCD agenda set by the United Nations and the World Health Assembly. We would encourage you all to participate in this e-consultation and to take ownership of the refreshed World Cancer Declaration in 2014, as it will be a core advocacy document for us in the next few years.

The past year has been busy and also a very productive and exciting time. The Geneva Team continues to attract new talent and we are delighted to welcome Mina Djordjic and Marion Gilodi to the Business Development team, Yani Amar to the Congress team and Sonali Johnson to work on childhood cancer advocacy.

Critical to our long term ambitions is the involvement of a vibrant and engaged membership base. Ben Anderson and the Geneva Team have put in place a number of new initiatives to engage you as members in the work we do. You will soon receive a request to complete a survey to collect your views and perspectives.

Thank you for your continued support.


Mary and Cary

Professor Mary Gospodarowicz

Mr Cary Adams

President, UICC

Full biography

Chief Executive Officer, UICC

Chair, NCD Alliance

Full biography