• Volume 61(4 Suppl 1) , Number 4
  • Page: 684–7

Pre-Congress ILA Council Meeting Minutes

The meeting was held on Saturday, 28 August 1993, at 6 p.m. at the Buena Vista Hotel, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. Dr. W. M. Meyers, President of ILA, was in the Chair.

The following members of the Council were present: Officers: President, Dr. Meyers; Vice-Presidents: Dr. Nkinda (Africa), Dr. Opromolla (Americas), Dr. Terencio de las Aguas (Europe), (the Asian post is vacant because of the death of Dr. Thangaraj); Secretary, Dr. Yuasa; Treasurer, Dr. Ross; Editor of the JOURNAL, Dr. Hastings; Past President, Prof. Lechat; Councillors: Africa, Dr. Chitimba; Americas, Dr. Rea; Asia, Drs. Desikan, Noordeen, Ye; Europe, Drs. Feenstra, Sansarricq, Waters; Others: Honorary Vice-President, Dr. Job.

The following Councillors were absent: Africa, Drs. Adeleye and N'deli; Americas, Drs. Talhari, Trautman and Zuniga; Asia, Drs. Lim and Ramasoota.

1. The agenda for the meeting was approved.

2. Apologies for absence were received from Drs. Lim, Trautman and Rees.

4. The President made a short welcome speech.

3. The minutes of the previous meeting, the Post-Congress Council Meeting of 17 September 1988 at The Hague, were approved.

5. Secretary's Report

A list of deaths among the ILA members since the last Council meeting on 17 September 1988 were read.

a) The main activities of the Association so far are: publication of quarterly scientific journal, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEPROSY AND OTHER MYCOBACTERIAL DISEASES, and organization of the International Leprosy Congress once in 5 years.

Having no funds of its own, other activities of the Association have been necessarily low key and rather infrequent. The main ones were attendance by one of the Officers or Members of ILA at leprosy-related meetings organized by the World Heath Organization (WHO) or ILEP.

WHO: World Health Assembly (Geneva 1991) when "Elimination" resolution was adopted. Regional Committees: AMRO (Washington D.C. 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992); SEARO (Kathmandu 1992); WPRO (Manila 1989, Tokyo 1991); Leprosy Working Group (Geneva 1991, 1992, 1993); Interregional MDT Meeting (Brazzaville 1990); Regional MDT Meeting (Mexico City 1991). ILA, being a nongovernmental organization in an official relationship to WHO ever since the latter's foundation, had an official bilateral meeting in 1991 which takes place once in a 3-4-year period.

ILEP: In preparation for the Congress, a number of sessions were held during six monthly regular ILEP meetings, the more important ones being in Bern (June 1991) and Copenhagen (June 1993).

CIOMS (Council of the International Organization of Medical Sciences): No ILA representative attended CIOMS's annual meeting in Geneva during the past 5 years. The previous two Secretaries, Drs. Browne and Thangaraj, attended regularly. A question was raised on the usefulness of keeping our membership by paying an annual fee. After a short discussion, the Council agreed to keep our membership in CIOMS, noting a possible benefit of retaining our right to attend their meeting when and if interesting to us, the usefulness of getting their annual report which is likely to be of interest to some of us, and the modest amount of the annual membership fee. The Treasurer will pay the annual fee when it is due, and there will be no other action required.

b) A number of informal meetings of the members of the Council were held, utilizing occasions when a few of them were attending meetings sponsored either by WHO or ILEP, such as those in Brazzaville (1990) and Orlando (1988).

Because of a small number of participants and its ad hoc nature, there was no agenda and no minutes were taken. The topics were about ILA itself, its membership, membership fee, its publication, etc., based on the idea of a possible benefit of an increased membership by encouraging more leprosy workers from leprosy-endemic countries to join.

c) Site visit to Beijing International Convention Centre. In response to an official invitation from the Ministry of Public Health of the People's Republic of China, the President and the Secretary made a visit to Beijing to discuss the venue of the 15th Congress in 1998, and were shown both the People's Great Hall at Tiananmen Square and the Beijing International Convention Centre by the host, together with one hotel complex as a possible alternative. The last was not acceptable due to limited meeting facilities, but the Convention Centre seemed to meet all our requirements, both for meetings and accommodations. The People's Great Hall is too vast in terms of our Congress's needs, but if the occasion was used to announce the successful completion of the "Basic Eradication of Leprosy in China" by the government, perhaps the choice of this hall is appropriate. In any case, the venue for the Opening Ceremony should be left to the host, although the choice of the rest is the responsibility of ILA. There were some useful discussions with the Minister of Public Health, Prof. Chen; Director of Endemic Diseases, Dr. Dai; and other relevant officials, both in the Ministry and the China Leprosy Association which may act as an official host for the Congress.

The President thanked the Secretary, and the report was accepted.

6. Editor's Report

Timing of the publication: There has been some delay mainly due to a shifting of the location of the editorial office. However, it is catching up now, and the December issue of this year should be back on time.

Material for publication: Submission of original articles as well as news items have been fairly constant over the last 5 years and, indeed, over 10 years or more. By far the largest source of material for publication has been India, comprising approximately 33% of the total, followed by the U.S.A. (16%) and the U.K. (7%).

Acceptance rates of this material were again fairly constant over the years, regardless of the source in terms of countries, running at about 60%. However, the fact that the JOURNAL publishes a fairly constant number of articles each year could mean that the acceptance rate could go up somewhat when the submissions were less and vice versa.

The Editor expressed his gratitude to the panel of reviewers for their unfailing cooperation and to the Board of Directors for their support and counsel.

The President expressed appreciation for the excellent work of the Editor and his staff, and the report was accepted.

7. Treasurer's Report

Dr. Ross first expressed his tribute to the Editor of IJL for its quality, reflected by the constant circulation number of the JOURNAL, at around 1350-1400. He then reported that "Income and Expenditures" are still in satisfactory balance. At the end of this year cash reserves are likely to be US$23, 618. This is enough to finance a single issue of the JOURNAL.

As to the source of income, various grants mostly from certain ILEP members comprise by far the largest portion at 56%, while the membership fee and institutional subscription fee comprise 17% and 24%, respectively.

Two thirds of the expenses are for actual production and mailing of the JOURNAL, the latter being increased substantially in 1989 due to the use of bulk air shipping for speedier delivery to oversea readers. An assessment of the benefit of quicker delivery has not been made yet. The actual cost of running the Business Office is much higher than shown as the expenditure on the statement since this office is directly supported by ALMI.

There was a brief discussion on the "page charges" billed to the authors of accepted papers as a possible way to increase income to the JOURNAL. One member thought it was impossible for authors in leprosy-endemic countries. The Editor of the JOURNAL said that it was practiced occasionally by authors in the U.S.A. and rarely in the U.K. These charges are handled entirely by the Business Office and ability to pay in no way influences acceptance or rejection of any paper.

The Treasurer then proposed a new line item to be introduced as "IJL management fee" of US$10,000 into the 1994 budget. This is meant to cover the unavoidable expenses of ILA officers for their duty functions in case they cannot find any other source of funds. This idea is not new, because from time to time a certain amount was provided to previous Secretaries. It is now proposed to put this item regularly in the budget but hold it as a reserve. The availability of this fund has a great significance for the selection of future ILA officers, whose activities up to now have been largely supported by their employers and not by ILA. This practice restricted the choices of the candidates to those who have their own financial resources, which usually meant those from industrialized countries. After some discussion, this proposal was put as a motion and the Council unanimously approved it.

The Treasurer proposed, partly to cover the above-mentioned new item, an increase of US$ 15,000 for the 1994 budget, and this was approved unanimously. He then proposed, in order to finance the 1994 budget, an increase of the membership fee by US$10 to US$80 and of the institutional subscription fee by US$20 to US$120. A US$10 increase of the membership fee was unanimously approved. As to the $20 increase of institutional subscription fee, several members thought US$120 is still too low compared to some other similar journals, and the Council approved, again unanimously, the increase of at least US$20, but the actual amount to be settled later by the Treasurer, pending the outcome of inquiries.

The President thanked the Treasurer for his astute stewardship and the report was accepted.

8. Venue of the 15th International Leprosy Congress

The Secretary, using the brochure provided, explained the proposed venue, Beijing International Convention Centre, which apparently meets the requirements of location, accessibility, facilities in terms of the number and size of rooms for various events, and audio-visual, simultaneous translation and secretarial equipment. The proposed accommodation is in the adjacent building of a three-star quality hotel with an adequate number of guest rooms (1200) for double occupancy with a reasonable current price of US$70 per room.

The possibility of using the vast People's Great Hall at Tiananmen Square for the Opening Ceremony was mentioned. This idea apparently stems from the host's desire to coincide with the opening of the Congress the declaration of the successful completion of the "Basic Eradication of Leprosy" program in China. The President added brief comments showing a few slides of the venues, endorsing the Secretary's recommendation.

There were some brief exchanges between the Past President and the Secretary on the former's concern for the absence of a more precise financial agreement. The Secretary promised to follow up on the matter once the Council approved Beijing as the next venue.

The motion to accept Beijing as the venue for the 15th Congress in 1998 was carried unanimously.

9. Nomination for Officers and Councillors (1993-1998)

The President presented the list of proposed Officers and, in the absence of the nominees for President and Secretary, the Council agreed that those proposed names be presented to the General Meeting of the Members at the end of this Congress for its approval.

The President then presented the list of the Councillors, and it was again agreed upon as the Council's recommendation for the General Meeting of the Members.

The President further proposed to make Prof. M. Lechat, the last President, President Emeritus; Drs. Nkinda, Sansarricq, Terencio de las Aguas and Trautman Honorary Vice-Presidents; and Dr. Leiker an Honorary Member. These proposals were unanimously agreed upon by the Council for presentation to the Members' General Meeting.

The President also proposed nomination of five people for the Board of Directors of the IJL. The nominations were accepted by the Council.

Nominations for ILA Officers and Councillors, 1993-1998




Vice Presidents




Past President

Presidents Emeritus

Honorary Vice-Presidents



Honorary Member

Nominations for IJL Board of Directors, 1993-1998



10. After short closing remarks, including thanks to the Officers and Councillors, the President closed the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Y. Yuasa
Dr. Yo Yuasa

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