It is with great pleasure that I share this message with you all as the new elected president of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS).
I am deeply grateful for the trust that the WAS member societies and the new elected Advisory Committee (AC) members have deposited on me. I would also like to congratulate all colleagues who were just elected for the new WAS AC and send a word of recognition to the ones who have just completed their term.
Since my first experience with WAS, back in 1999 at the Hong-Kong Congress, I have been always impressed with the diversity, multicultural and multidisciplinary nature of this global organization.
I see WAS as the world’s major umbrella organization in the field of sexual health /sexual rights, representing more than one hundred member organizations and several other global organizations from the five continents. Moreover, WAS is a truly multidisciplinary organization in line with the original spirit of Iwan Bloch when he first coined the term “Sexualwissenschaft” – the multidisciplinary science of sexuality, more than hundred years ago. This global representation together with the multidisciplinary nature are in my view the major strengths of WAS and constitute its unique distinctive characteristic.
WAS is also the oldest global organization in the field of sexual health, born in 1978 has been mostly concerned with sexual health and rights across the globe since then. Our mission statement summarizes this vision, emphasizing that WAS “promotes sexual health throughout human life spans all over the world by developing, promoting and supporting sexology and sexual rights for all”.
In my view WAS should actively assume its role as a major global organization and bring together all other global and major regional societies in order to develop common strategies to achieve its common mission goals. In particular the strengthening of the strategic partnerships with WHO, PAHO and other UN organizations is crucial in pursuing these goals.
Besides this, WAS should strongly work towards increasing the global representation of organizational and individual members in cooperation with the regional federations, mainly from under-represented regions such as Asia-Oceania, Eastern Europe, Central America and particularly Africa.
WAS should also develop a consistent strategy to increase its global recognition and awareness across the globe. Initiatives such as the World Sexual Health Day and Youth initiatives together with a strong and ambitious media strategy play a central role in disseminating WAS’ mission and goals.
On a more personal note, I see myself as someone who is always open to learn with others, break barriers, and build bridges. I hope these characteristics will be helpful in order to lead such a number of exceptional colleagues and organizations from all around the world, to accomplish WAS goals and mission.
President of the World Association for Sexual Health