That’s the end. Or the beginning
That’s the end. Or the beginning ...
This Congress has been a great success: 848 participants from 62 different countries! More than 40 hours of work (12 hours every day), with a total of 180 hours of activities, workshops, meetings, debates and a wonderful and unforgettable social programme expressing the local Canarian traditional food culture.
However, around 400 young researchers and practitioners have failed to join us these days in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria due to the lack of support from the public and private sector. I am very sorry for that; why didn’t some food, beverage or health industries support an important Conference such as this? Where are those multi-national firms that take pride in advocating for nutrition internationally? I really thank those that have been supporting this important meeting, which was really complex to organize in times of economic constraints and international uncertainties. The solution for malnutrition calls for a way that we should walk together now; without delays and rhetoric. Without so many unexplainable obstacles. Collaboration between public and private sectors has just begun to grow in the field of community nutrition. Rather than trying to find conflicts of interest with the Private sector, we should try to find solutions of interest.
I am also proud to announce this new integrative and rigorous Organization: The International Association of Community Nutrition (IACON) which will be constructing an international and interdisciplinary framework to help coordinate evidence-based sustainable solutions for the most important nutritional related diseases and conditions worldwide. And also to increase participation of representatives from developing countries into policy development forums like our Congress. You are very welcome to join and help us.
And now the acknowledgments:
First of all: Thanks to all participants for their active participation and valuable contribution. They are the most important part of this Congress. Most delegates paid for travel and registration costs themselves with just some grants and helps from our part.
Thank you to all the speakers. They represent the soul of the Congress and the scientific quality of the sessions was really impressive. Some sessions are part of the Programme without any sponsorship. Other sessions have been set and financed by organizations such as WHO, FAO, WFP, CDC, CIHEAM, or foundations or programmes such as Gain, Micronutrient Initiative, Sight and Life, Nutrition Leadership Programme, International Nut Council, Choices, European Hydration Institute, Yogurt and Nutrition, Cerveza y Salud, FP7 Chances; and some of them (just 8) also by the industry: Nestle, Coca-Cola, DSM, Puleva and Vegenat. Moreover, we also had interesting stands representing some of the industries and foundations and others like Polynat, Canayma Books, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, Spanish Algae Bank, and the municipality of Telde, as well as collaborations from Queso de Flor de Guía, Platanos de Canarias, JSP, Maxorata chesees, Blatt, Café de Agaete and Hospitales de San Roque. I would like to give a special thanks to the City Hall of Las Palmas, el Cabildo de Gran Canaria, and LPA meetings. Thank you all.
I want to thank the organizing committee: Patricia Henríquez, Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, Cristina Ruano, Lourdes Ribas, Joy Ngo, Merce Vidal, Jose Ramon Calvo, Ana Luisa Álvarez, Mariela Nisenshon, Itandehui Castro, Inmaculada Bautista, Jacqueline Álvarez Perez, Elena Díaz, Eva Alvarez, Marichu Fernández, Miguel A Silva and Luis Peña among others. To the SENC Board and particularly to Carmen Pérez Rodrigo. To the International Executive Committee with Andrew Prentice, Noel Solomons, Benjamin Caballero, Javier Aranceta, Angel Gil, Walter Willett, Carlo la Vecchia, Armando Perez Cueto, Sandro Dernini, Laura Fernandez, Elliot Berry, Rekia Belasen, etc,… To the young committee for the sessions of Wednesday; And to the technical secretariat, Airexpres lead by Octavio Quevedo and sons, with its wonderful team of people, technicians, secretaries, hostesses, drivers; the catering from Hotel Santa Catalina with both the lunch boxes and coffee breaks (along with the Platanos de Canarias and JSP yogurts), the musicians and artists involved and the Traditional Social Dinner, organized by Club Your Time and coordinated by Miguel Angel Lopez-Fortuny and José Rojano, Chief of the Santa Catalina Hotel; to the personnel and staff of the Auditorium Alfredo Krauss and to the Press Office Visible Comunicación, led by Valentin Sinovas, and the team of photographs of Jonás Oliva and co-workers. And also thanks to my lovely family for so many stolen moments when working for this Congress during the last three years.
Our congratulations to the winners of the IACON-SENC awards; Andrew Prentice, Carlo Lavecchia and Eva Negri, Isatou Jallow, Javier Aranceta, Sandro Dernini and Roberto Capone and Antonio Martell from Restaurante Casa Martell received the sculpture from the recognized canarian artist Luis Aleman Montull. Other awarded were: Gregorio Varela, Elliot Berry and Luis Peña Quintana. Everything was perfect: unforgettable!.
Next week, the Second International Conference on Nutrition will take place in Rome. The III WCPHN and the IACON support and endorse many of the recommended actions outlined and highlight the need to include the term “Community Nutrition” and “Public Health Nutrition” in many of these recommendations, thus placing more emphasis on sustainability and environmental concerns and community participation….
We wish you all the best! Thank you all for keeping the momentum alive. The spirit of Barcelona 2006 was again in the air and people felt comfortable and in high spirits. In a few days we are going to share all the pictures and videos on our website, facebook, youtube and flickr. And the voyage continues on….
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you,
Lluis Serra-Majem, MD, PhD.