• Volume 61(4 Suppl 1) , Number 4
  • Page: 697–700
PLENARY SESSION

General meeting of ILA members minutes






The meeting was held on Saturday, 4 September 1993, at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

Dr. W. M. Meyers, President of I LA, was in chair.

1. The President opened the meeting, giving a short welcoming speech.

2. A list of 30 names of ILA members who had passed away during the 5 years since the last Congress was read out by the Secretary, followed by a brief period of silence by the participants as a tribute to these people.

Mme. M. T. Acciappati
Mr. R. K. Ackley
Dr. C. H. Binford
Dr. K. O. Courtney
Dr. J. Correa de Carva Souza
Dr. Zerihun Desta
Dr. Dharmendra
Mr. W. Edgar
Dr. H. Elste
Dr. C. Gatteff
*Dr. J. C. Gatti
*Dr. P. Giraudeau
Dr. J. H. Hanks
Mr. T. N. Jagadisan
Dr. K. Kitamura
Dr. F. Latapi
Dr. Y. Le Corroller
Dr. Ma Haide
Dr. C. M. E. Matthews
Dr. V. Møller-Christensen
Dr. E. B. Naug
Dr. P. N. Neelan
Dr. F. M. Noussitou
Dr. F. E. Rabello
Dr. R. Rollier
Dr. G. Tarabini-Castellani
Dr. R. H. Thangaraj
Dr. A. G. Weddell
Dr. M. Ziedses des Plantes

3. Approval of the minutes of the General Meeting of Members at the 13th Congress, at The Hague in September 1988, was unanimously given.

4. Reports

4.1 Secretary's Report. The Secretary gave a brief report as follows.

a) Membership (as of midAugust 1993): Total number = 523 of which 294 (56%) were in leprosy-endemic countries. According to nationality: U.S.A. 87 (16.6%); India 60 (11.5%); Japan 47 (9.0%); U.K. 25 (4.8%); 323 (62%) were self-paying members; 200 (38%) were supported by ILEP members.

b) Activities: Apart from the publication of a scientific journal INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEPROSY AND OTHER MYCOBACTERIAL DISEASES, and organization of the 14th International Leprosy Congress, which has just completed its scientific and training program, the main activities of the Association consisted of attendance, by one or more of its officers, or occasionally of its members, at the meetings organized by WHO, such as the 1991 World Health Assembly in which the resolution for the "Elimination of Leprosy, as a public health problem, by the Year 2000" was adopted, annual regional committee meetings of American, Southeast Asian, and Western Pacific regions when leprosy was on the official agenda, Interregional Meeting on Leprosy Control in Africa, Regional MDT meeting of Americas and annual Leprosy Working Group Meetings. As a nongovernmental organization in official relation with WHO, there was an official ILA-WHO bilateral meeting in 1991.

ILEP (International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations) has become an official co-sponsor, together with WHO, of the ILA Congress, since the last one in The Hague in 1988, and there were a number of ILA-ILEP meetings for the preparation of the present Congress. These meetings were made easier because the President, Secretary and Treasurer were already involved in ILEP activities in their other capacities.

Unlike two previous ones, the current Secretary did not attend the annual meeting of CIOMS (Council of the International Organization of Medical Sciences), of which ILA was the founding member. However the Council meeting held immediately before the Congress decided to keep our membership in CIOMS, recognizing some benefit in doing so.

4.2 Editor's Report. Using slides, the Editor made the following brief report on the publication of the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEPROSY AND OTHER MYCOBACTERIAL DISEASES.

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. (16%) and U.K. (7%).

Acceptance rates of these articles are 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 submission were less and vice versa.

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

The President expressed thanks for the excellent work carried out by the Editor, and the report was accepted.

4.3 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. "Income and Expenditures" are still in satisfactory balance. At the end of this year cash reserves are likely to be US$23,618, 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 for oversea readers. An assessment of the benefit of quicker delivery has not been made as yet. The actual cost of running the Business Office is much higher than shown as the expenditure on the statement, as this office is directly supported by ALMI.

There was a brief discussion on the "page charges" billed to the authors of accepted paper, as an effort 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. and rarely in the U.K. These charges are handled entirely by the Business Office and ability to pay has no influence on the 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 I LA 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 in reserve. The availability of this fund has great significance for selection of future ILA officers whose activities up to now have been largely supported by their employers and not by ILA, thus restricting 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 members 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 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 membership fee was unanimously approved. As to the $20 increase of institutional subscription fee, several people thought US$120 is still too low compared to some other similar journals, and the members approved, again unanimously, the increase of at least US$20 the actual amount to be settled later, pending on the outcome of enquiries to be made by the Treasurer.

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

5. Venue of 15th International Leprosy Congress. The President made a short introductory remark, supplemented by showing of several slides he had taken during his "site visits" last October. Then he asked the Secretary to make further explanation, which is summarized as follows:

"Unlike previous occasions, there was only one candidate host for the next Congress, the People's Republic of China, which had expressed its willingness to invite the 15th Congress at the opening ceremony of the 13th Congress in The Hague in 1988, in a form of a letter from the late Dr. Ma Haidc, the then senior advisor to the Ministry of Public Health, PRC, and dc facto director of the national leprosy control program. The letter was read by Dr. Thangaraj, the then Secretary of ILA.

This move, in fact, seemed to have precluded the forthcoming of alternative hosts for the venue of the 15th Congress, and in spite of some effort there was no other invitation. Late October 1992, in response to an official invitation from the Ministry of Public Health, People's Republic of China, the President and the Secretary of ILA made a short visit to Beijing for a site visit to a proposed venue, the Beijing International Convention Centre and adjoining Continental Grand Hotel. The facilities available are qu ite adequate for our needs and the current price US$70 for a room with twin beds is reasonable. Having all the facilities under two adjoining buildings is quite an advantage as shown here in Orlando, and in that sense the venue is better than those in The Hague, New Delhi, or Mexico City. The whole complex is within the city of Beijing, 9 km north of Tiananmen Square, and yet only 20 km from the international airport connected by the newly built super highway.

The host side suggested a possible use of the People's Great Hall at the Tiananmen Square for the Opening Ceremony. With the capacity of 10,000, it is much too large for our purposes, but if the host decides to use the occasion of the opening of the Congress to coincide with the celebration for the completion of their "Basic Eradication of Leprosy in China," then the choice of that great hall seems appropriate.

There are many details to be cleared or negotiated, including who is going to be the host, Ministry of Public Health or China Leprosy Association, but these matters are expected to be resolved satisfactorily in time.

The President then asked the meeting to approve of the Council's proposal to accept Beijing as the venue for the 15th Congress in 1998, and after two brief presentations from the floor the meeting gave its approval.

6. Nomination and Election of Officers and Councillors of ILA (1993-1998). The President read out the list of the names of the Officers and Councillors, as recommended by the Council Meeting of 28 August 1993, immediately before the opening of the Congress.

Nominations for ILA Officers and Councillors, 1993-1998

OFFICERS

 

 

Vice Presidents

 

 

Councillors

 

 

Past President
Meyers

Presidents Emeritus
Convit
Lechat

Honorary Vice- Presidents

 

 

Honorary Member
Leiker

Nominations for IJL Board of Directors, 1993-1998

 

 

The meeting approved the list as a whole, without any dissenting voice from the floor.

The President then informed the meeting of the Council's decision to confer Honoary Membership to Dr. D. Leiker as recognition of his invaluable service to leprosy, and the announcement was greeted by great applause.

Having no other business, the President closed the meeting with short remarks, thanking the members' attendance at this meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Y. Yuasa
Dr. Yo Yuasa
Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* These two names were added to the original list on information from the floor.

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