This year saw a highly successful World Congress on Gerontology and Geriatrics taking place in Seoul, South Korea. I was delighted to be able to go to my fourth World Congress and to represent the BSG.
As President of BSG I am a Council member of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) and hence was required to attend the two council meetings that took place during the World Congress. A strong feature of both meetings was the need to support the emergence of gerontology in developing nations. Council amended its bye- laws so that national associations with relatively small memberships can formally join IAGG and be represented at Council, which enabled Kenya to be voted in as a national member.
The other main business involved the voting in of Buenos Aries as the host of the 22nd World Congress in preference to Sydney and Amsterdam. A World Congress is the point when leadership of Council switches countries with the host country taking over all the officer roles for the next four years. More specifically, the French team of President, Secretary and Treasurer stood down at the meeting to be replaced by a new team from South Korea.
The finances of IAGG are in good order with the sizeable profit from Paris in 2009 on the way to being at least matched by Seoul. This is enabling IAGG to expand into a much wider set of activities than has previously been the case. These include the Global Social Initiative on Ageing Network (this links individual social gerontologists), the Global Ageing Network (this links research centres), increased lobbying of the UN, more master classes and intensive courses as well as an expanded system of student grants to support attendance at international events. There has also been increased financial support for the African Research on Ageing Network (AFRAN). The first African Regional Congress was convened by the IAGG Africa Region and took place in October 2012 in Cape Town.
For more information on the IAGG and the latest news about their activities, go to http://www.iagg.info/