World Cancer Leaders' Summit


What it is

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit is a major annual high-level policy meeting dedicated exclusively to furthering global cancer control. The event brings together key decision-makers from around the world and encourages timely debate on emerging issues related to cancer. It provides an important forum to secure a coordinated, multileveled global response to address the spiraling cancer epidemic.

The WCLS is traditionally held in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and is hosted by a UICC member from the region.

The event is by invitation only, and its attendance is mainly open to UICC Members and partners among the global health and cancer leadership community.

Why the World Cancer Leaders' Summit is important

The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit brings together global decision-makers who can shape the way our generation addresses the task of eliminating cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations. It allows for timely debate on emerging issues related to cancer and provides a forum to spotlight a major health issue, which demands a coordinated, multileveled global response.

The Summit complements other signature events organised by UICC, which include World Cancer Day and the World Cancer Congress. The Summit plays a pivotal role in this portfolio of global events by ensuring that the 2020 targets detailed in the World Cancer Declaration are appropriately recognised and addressed at the highest political levels.


Key objectives of the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit include:

  • Raising awareness among leading decision-makers to ensure cancer is a global health priority.

  • Providing a forum to exchange information and innovative ideas on how to reverse the cancer epidemic and ensure a sustainable response. 

  • Defining compelling messages to support the global call to action against cancer.

  • Creating a force which galvanises politicians and policymakers and increases cancer’s visibility on the international public health agenda.

2020 World Cancer Leaders' Summit has been cancelled

The next Summit was due to take place in conjunction with the 2020 World Cancer Congress in Muscat, Oman. However, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 World Cancer Congress has been delayed to March 2021 and the 2020 World Cancer Leaders' Summit has been cancelled – the next Summit will be taking place in Boston in October 2021.

For more information:

Please read the letter from UICC President, HRH Princess Dina Mired and UICC CEO, Dr Cary Adams here

The last World Cancer Leaders’ Summit  - Cancer and Universal Health Coverage took place from 15-17 October 2019 in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan. 

Last update: 
Monday 4 January 2021
Latest World Cancer Leaders' Summit news
Boston, World Cancer Leaders' Summit, Cancer
21 February 2020
Alvaro Vázquez, son of H.E. Dr Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay receives the 'Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Control Award' on behalf of his father
16 October 2019

President of Uruguay recognised with global award for his work on tobacco cessation

On 15 October 2019, UICC conferred its inaugural 'Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Control' award to H.E. Dr Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay, during a gala ceremony opening the 2019 World Cancer Leaders' Summit in Nur-sultan, Kazakhstan.

A bustling street of New York with joggers everywhere
30 September 2019

UICC welcomes political declaration on Universal Health Coverage

The first United Nations (UN) High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in New York ended with the adoption of a political declaration that represents a significant milestone for global health.