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Secretary General's Report

Natalio Fejerman

 

I have been working in coordination with Peter Berry, the Administrative Director, and his office to prepare a new edition of the Annual Report with changes in design
and colours to coincide with the new ILAE logo. Besides its new look, this Annual Report includes also two feature articles written by the Chairs of the Commissions of Neurosurgery and Therapeutic Strategies respectively and the text of the most recent Constitution & Bylaws. We thought that we were going to have it ready by the beginning of 2005, but it took more time than anticipated and with the next International Epilepsy Congress so close, the Executive Committee decided to present it in Paris. In fact, we thought that it would be good to have a report on the website every year and a printed version every other year to coincide with ILAE´s International Congresses. Since very important news could not be ignored, we asked the President, Treasurer, Global Campaign Chair and International Director of Meetings to update their reports to May 2005. So, you will see reports of the Commissions and Task Forces pertaining to 2004 and reports of the mentioned officers more updated. I thought that since the distribution of this report is going to take place at the end of August 2005 in Paris, we needed to inform about the process and the results of the recent elections of Officers of the Executive Committee. Let me then join Dr. Avanzini in his congratulations to the next President of ILAE, Dr. Peter Wolf and send also my best whishes to Drs. Frederick Andermann, Martin Brodie, Solomon Moshe and Emilio Perucca as the newly-elected officers.

With the change in delivery date, I had a problem to solve: what do we call this Annual Report? 2004 or 2005? I think it is better to entitle it 2004 because the real report of 2005 activities should have updated information provided by each Chair of Commissions and Task Forces at the end of their terms regarding their projects, activities and achievements. This task will rest on the new Executive Committee and Dr. Moshe, who will take over as Secretary-General, knows well that he can count on me for full cooperation.

Since our initial Chapter convention in Madrid in 2002, we have had very fruitful meetings with a majority of chapters at the International Epilepsy Congress in Lisbon and at the Regional Congress which took place in Austria, Mexico and Thailand. All the delegates of the chapters participating were again very active and I am glad to say that the ideas brought there are clearly improving the relations between the chapters and the Executive Committee.

Regarding new chapters, the General Assembly approved in Lisbon the incorporation of Costa Rica, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa allowing ILAE to reach the number of 92 chapters. Since then, the Executive Committee has already approved provisionally the inclusion of United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh as new chapters. We have also received requests of application kits from: Libya, Uganda, Sudan, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Ethiopia, Bahrain and Gibraltar. After the regional meeting in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia were also going to apply, and in Marrakesh an application kit was given to a person representing Palestine. Headquarters has also already received the application of PR China. At that time the Secretary-Generals of IBE & ILAE wrote to the China Association Against Epilepsy a letter welcoming their application. As you can understand, the eventual incorporation of PR China as a Chapter of ILAE would allow us to include the representation of the largest population of patients with epilepsy in the world.

As Chair of the Task Force on Constitution & Bylaws, I have been quite busy and we intend to finish our job before the International Epilepsy Congress in Paris. I cannot give any more details because we still are going to have an important meeting of the Task Force a few days after I am sending this report. We hope that the new amendments that are coming out will be useful for ILAE.

I had ups and downs in the preparation of the Epilepsia Digest in Spanish and the Executive Committee asked me to contact new publishers and try to get sponsors for this project, emphasizing the decision that Epilepsia Digest should be available to chapters in their local language and that Spanish-speaking countries represent a large segment of epileptologists. The Editorial Committee will include representatives of the Spanish Chapter and from different countries in Latin America. My goal is to have Epilepsia en Español published and to have it freely distributed to all the members of the Chapters in Spain and Latin America.

In summary, ILAE is growing, is achieving its objectives, and I hope we’ll keep doing it.

Dr. Natalio Fejerman
Secretary-General

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