2013 Seoul Congress

It is my great pleasure to inform you that the 20th World Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics has been successfully concluded. The congress was launched with congratulatory messages from the president of the Republic of Korea, the secretary general of the United Nations, the prime minister of Korea, and the director of the World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region.

At this occasion, I would like to salute all delegates and participants who have attended the 20th World Congress of the IAGG in Seoul. From the 86 countries in the 5 IAGG regions of the world, 4,289 participants came and presented 3,445 papers and 1,679 posters altogether. The findings contained here covered a wide range of scientific topics and practical approaches to issues of aging, as described in this report.

Facing the challenges of global aging and the growing numbers of disadvantaged elderly persons, the overarching theme of the 20th IAGG World Congress was “Digital Ageing: A New Horizon for Health and Active Ageing”. The convention provided a unique opportunity for participants in biology, medicine, as well as the social and behavioral sciences from all over the world to discuss, to study, and to explore the implications and the significance of information technology for the aged along with other important approaches and strategies to solve a wide array of aging-related problems.

As the representative of the IAGG group that has organized and orchestrated this world congress, I would like to express my gratitude for the generous support provided by the government of Korea, Samsung Corporation, Sunkyung Corporation, Seoul Metropolitan Government, MSD, and Pfizer. Their generous financial assistance was instrumental in enabling the congress to successfully carry out its mission.

Collaborative endeavors during this international event attest to the fact that the character of this convention has been truly multidisciplinary and global. As we now enter the new four-year-period cycle of IAGG activities, universal aging phenomena are, coincidentally, becoming an even more critical issue for all regions and nations around the globe, which will call for more collaborative efforts now and the near future.

The 20th World Congress has undoubtedly contributed significantly to sharing science, education, and the practice of aspects of gerontology and geriatric medicine among all the participants. Building on the accomplishments of the convention, I firmly promise to commit myself to further advancement of the IAGG’s ideals in cooperation with the members of all regional committees.

It has been my wish and, at this juncture, I trust that the positive experience and the significant outcomes of this world congress will be a solid foundation for the next 2017 World Congress in San Francisco, U.S.A. I also hope sincerely that all overseas participants have left Korea with rich information about the most recent scientific findings to further support innovation, initiatives and actions to benefit the older population.

That stated, I am now looking forward to meeting you again at international events associated with the IAGG that will be held during the coming years in various parts of the world.

Heung Bong Cha, Ph.D.
President and Chairperson
The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics