WFH 2016 Annual Meeting of the General Assembly

The 2016 Annual Meeting of the WFH General Assembly was held on July 29, right after the completion of the WFH 2016 World Congress and the meeting covered many topics of interest to WFH members and stakeholders.

The frequency of WFH General Assembly meetings was changed from one every two years to once a year in order to conform to the new Canadian Not-for-Profit Corporation Act. In order to make the process as efficient as possible to everyone involved, the WFH will adopt an innovative virtual WFH Annual meeting in non-Congress years. In-person meetings will continue to be held in Congress years.

Eight new member organizations were welcomed to the WFH, bringing the total to 134. Japan and Suriname became full WFH national member organizations (NMOs). Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar and Namibia were added as associate WFH NMOs.

Alain Weill was re-elected as WFH President and several other candidates were voted to the WFH Board of Directors. Read more about the new additions to the board team in the “WFH Board of Directors: Welcoming new and thanking outgoing members” article in this issue of Hemophilia World.

WFH President, Alain Weill; WFH Vice President, Finance, Eric Stolte; WFH Vice President, Medical, Marijke van den Berg, MD; and WFH CEO, Alain Baumann, all delivered highlights from their respective 2016 Annual Meeting reports. The presentations shared a common overall theme: the WFH is making significant progress both in terms of delivering aid to developing countries and expanding its training and support worldwide.

The afternoon session of the 2016 Annual Meeting of the General Assembly saw the announcement of the location for the WFH 2022 World Congress. Jens Bungardt, WFH Congress and Meetings Director, and Alain Weill explained the challenges the WFH faces in the near future. Two major issues were discussed. The first was the fact that the ISTH is moving to an annual meeting in 2020, which means that every second year there would be two major meetings covering inherited bleeding disorders. Weill addressed this challenge and said that the WFH must develop a strategic plan to steer the organization through the changing environment.

The second issue was that none of the potential Congress finalist destinations were able to offer proposals that would ensure the continuation and future development of the WFH. Bungardt compared the projected costs of the proposals received to previous Congresses—including the WFH 2014 World Congress in Melbourne and the WFH 2016 World Congress in Orlando—and clearly showed that the costs of the bidding cities were very high compared to any recent locations used by the WFH in the last decade.

Consequently and in accordance with Article 23.1, “World and Regional Congresses” of the WFH Constitution and By-laws, the WFH Board exercised its right to select the destination that would best serve the needs and objectives of all WFH stakeholders and the WFH community, while giving the WFH the resources necessary to fulfill its mission.

The Board announced that after careful deliberation and analysis, the selected destination for the WFH 2022 World Congress would be Montreal, Canada. Many NMOs made helpful comments both for and against the choice, and in the spirit of Treatment for All, a motion was made to ascertain the support for the Board’s choice of the 2022 Congress venue. The vote ruled in favour of the decision to hold the Congress in Montreal. The Board would like to thank the NMOs—and all those in attendance at the General Assembly—for their feedback, engagement and passion for the mission of the WFH.