I am delighted to report the participation of The Transplantation Society to successfully integrate the crime of organ trafficking into the agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. I represented TTS at an “Ethics in Action” conference at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences along with representatives from the WHO (Nunez), Pontifical Academy (Delmonico), and experts in the areas of human trafficking, child labor, slavery and prostitution. The meeting led by senior UN advisor Jeff Sachs (University Professor and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia) and Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo (Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Science) brought together a global group to ultimately inform the United Nations General Assembly. The “Ethics in Action” final statement included organ trafficking as a dimension of human slavery equally important to the United Nations as forced labor and prostitution.
I also have the honor of representing The Transplantation Society to meetings planned with the governments and Ministries of Health in Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Philippines because these are locations of a current concern for organ trafficking, expressed by our professional colleagues in these countries. Along with colleagues from the PAS and the national transplant community, we have been invited by local colleagues to meet with respective health authorities to articulate issues of national self-sufficiency with reference to WHO Guiding Principles and the Declaration of Istanbul.
I am nearing the closure of my term as TTS President. Although I am sorry to see my term end, I am confident in the future of TTS. Our organization has vibrant participation from members around the globe. Your incoming President, Prof. Mehmet Haberal has been a long-term TTS member, a strong leader, and a transplant pioneer in Turkey and the Middle East. He has been central to the organization of transplant efforts in the Turkic countries as well. Prof. Haberal will assume his duties as President at our business meeting in Madrid.
Our elections are completed and I am delighted to announce that you have selected Marcelo Cantarovich for President-Elect for the term 2018-2020 (becoming President for 2020-2022). Marcelo has ably led our TTS Education Committee for the last 5 years. While hailing from Montreal, he has strong ties to our Latin American colleagues.
The Transplantation Society is happy to announce the selection of Buenos Aires as the site for the 2022 TTS Congress. The recommendation from the Selection Committee and the decision by Council was based on several factors including the results of the membership poll. In the end, it was a difficult decision as all three sites – Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Montreal – advanced wonderful proposals. The 2022 meeting in Buenos Aires represents an important milestone as the first TTS meeting to be held in Latin America.
Finally, my heartfelt thanks to Officers, Councilors and staff of TTS for all the support you have given me for the past two years as President. But I would also like to thank all members who have given so freely of their time to further the mission of our Society, and the care for our patients.