The 2nd Mediterranean Task Force for Cancer Control (MTCC) Meeting Istanbul, Turkey January 28-29, 2006 MINUTES 1. Attendees: Albania (T. Shehu), Croatia (M. Katicic), Italy (M. Crespi, S. Iacobelli, A. Montori), Jordan (S. Khatib, S. Khleif, Z. Sharaiha), Lebanon (N.S. El Saghir), Macedonia (V. Dimov), Palestine (F.S. Sabatin), Portugal (L. Costa), Spain (J.M. Borras), Syria (M. Bachour), Tunisia (H. Boussen), Turkey (F. Besisik, N. Tozun, M. Tuncer), UICC Switzerland (M.S. de Sabata), USA (J. Harford). 2. Unable to attend but expressed support to the initiative: Algeria (K. Bouzid), Egypt (A.S. Ibrahim), Libya (M. El Mistiri), Morocco (B.K. El Gueddari) Greece (S. Ladas) 3. Welcoming remarks: Prof. N. Tozun, Head of GI Dept. - Marmara University School of Medicine - Istanbul Prof. M. Tuncer, Head Cancer Dept., Turkish Ministry of Health, reported also on Turkish National Cancer Program Prof. R. Akdag, Ministry of Health 4. Approval of the minutes of the 1st MTCC meeting: The minutes were approved 5. Overview of the aims of MTCC: S. Khleif (Jordan): The main aims of the MTCC were presented. Namely: Promoting the collection and use of information to increase professional and public understanding and education about cancer and its impact on Mediterranean citizens. Promoting healthy behaviours of Mediterranean citizens in order to prevent cancer. Increasing the proportion of Mediterranean citizens who have access to state-of-the-art cancer diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, rehabilitation, and palliative care services. Influencing policies which enable cancer prevention, early detection and state of the art treatments in the Mediterranean area. The inclusion of selected institutions of the participating countries in clinical trials of tertiary prevention is also envisaged. Promoting programs and activities to eliminate disparities in cancer incidence and mortality in relation to gender, race, ethnicity, insurance status, socioeconomic status, age and place of residence. Organizing periodic meetings and other promotional initiatives of the Task Force at international level and in participating countries. Organizing common research projects when multinational cooperation is advisable 6. Summarized report on the data collected by the questionnaire on the situation in the various countries: M. Crespi (Italy): Answers were received from Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey The situation described by the questionnaire indicates that in several countries the actions proposed by the MTCC are crucial for the implementation of the aims of the MTCC. 7. Lecture : NCI (USA) global perspectives and activities, J. Harford: Among the many possible objectives of MTCC Dr. Hardford highlighted and confirmed: More cancer research and cancer control activities in each member country; Increased focus on activities aimed at prevention and down-staging of tumors, Ratification and implementation of FCTC (tobacco control) by each member country; Improved palliative care including increased opiod availability; Enhanced access to cancer care aimed at reducing disparities; Increased collaboration on specific projects between and among members; More assistance to countries of limited resources by the more affluent members. 8. M.S. de Sabata, International Union Against Cancer (UICC): the ongoing actions were highlighted and the support and interest to MTCC activities is granted by UICC. Handbooks, educational material, etc are available. Access their website for full information (www.uicc.org). The UICC Newsletter may be sent to MTCC members (requests to be addressed to Dr. de Sabata). UICC is also managing an interesting Fellowships program, is actively involved in the FCTC (tobacco control), is organizing Patient Forums, etc. 9. Reports by Delegates on the situation and possible actions at their national level: Reported were delivered for: Albania (T. Shehu), Croatia (M. Katicic), Italy (M. Crespi, S. Iacobelli), Jordan (S. Khatib), Lebanon (N.S. El Saghir), Macedonia (V. Dimov), Palestine (F.S. Sabatin), Portugal (L. Costa), Spain ( J.M. Borras), Syria (M. Bachour), Turkey (N. Tozun, M. Tuncer). 10. Discussion on the draft of the MTCC Statutes: A lengthy and passionate discussion dealt with the Aims, Mission and Objectives (see point 5) and focused mostly on the membership, etc. At the end the following principles were agreed: 10.1 Membership Founding Members – Members who participated or were invited to the first founding meeting in Taormina, October 2005. – Form the “Membership and Bylaws Committee”. – Serve as Advisory Board for the Executive Committee. Active Members – Designated by his/her individual qualifications. Members should be nominated by an active member, endorsed by the Nominating Committee and invited by the Executive Committee. – The term for membership is 3 years, renewable. – Each country should not be represented with more than 5 Members. Each country may establish a local chapter of the MTCC which will be the active body responsible for the implementation of actions at the national level and will have the privilege of designating the representative of the country in the MTCC Assembly. Founding Members of the Association are permanent Members of the Assembly, unless they withdraw. Associate Members – Representatives of supporting bodies as an institution, governmental entity, or scientific society. – Without voting power. Honorary Members - Relevant personalities who may enhance and support the visibility and impact of MTCC 10.2 General Assembly The General Assembly is composed by: Founding Members Active Members Associate Members Honorary Members A General Assembly must be called at least once a year. The Assembly: - elects the Executive Committee and the Task Force President - approves by-laws and by-laws amendments - approves the yearly budget presented by the Executive Committee - approves the decisions of the Executive Committee on Projects to be included in the Task Force Activities and the application for funding to Bodies providing grants in this field, as detailed in Article 4. A quorum of the General Assembly exists if fifty percent (50%) of the Members are present. Each country is entitled to 1 vote. The vote will be considered as an abstention if Members of a country could not agree on a vote. Voting by proxy registered in writing or by mail is permitted Decisions to alter the Statutes will require a two-thirds majority of those voting in person or voting by proxy, on said motion. The decision on the dissolution of the Task Force will require a two-thirds majority of all Members. 10.3 Executive Committee - Eligibility: any Active or Founding Member that is nominated by the Nominating Committee - Executive Committee is elected by a direct vote of the General Assembly - Composed by: President Past President President Elect 3 Vice Presidents Treasurer - Term: Officers will serve 3 years - Responsibility: o Proposes bylaws amendments o Develops and prepares yearly budget to be presented to the General Assembly o Develops plans and projects o Nominates and forms the ad hoc specialized and project Committees - Decisions are made by simple majority vote. President’s vote prevails in case of ties. A Secretariat Office will support the actions of the Executive Committee. 10.3.1 Task Force President Represents the Association for all the administrative actions. Is acting in consultation and with the approval of the Executive Committee and is the principal executive officer of the MTCC. Shall preside at all the meetings of the MTCC, represent the MTCC at official functions, initiate contact with other organizations and professional groups as appropriate, coordinate and delegate responsibility for MTCC actions, and ensure such actions are completed in a timely manner with the support of the Secretariat Office. 10.3.2 Secretariat Office Operated by the Secretary General Secretary General is elected by General Assembly for a 2 year term, renewable once Attends the Executive Committee meetings Runs the day to day business of MTCC acting as Technical Secretariat 10.3.3 Bylaws and Nominating Committee Standing Committee that is composed of all Founding Members for the first three years. The General Assembly will elect subsequently 6 Founding or Active Members for a term of 3 years Responsibility: - Nominates candidates for the Executive Committee - Proposes amendments of the bylaws A final draft, after revision for legal appropriateness, will be circulated in the near future. ° ° ° ° ° Detailed presentations in electronic format by N. Tozun, M. Tuncer, N. El Saghir and S. Khatib on the cancer situation in their respective countries and with suggestions for MTCC actions are available on request (email@example.com). ° ° ° ° ° The success of the meeting was also ensured by the lavish hospitality provided by Professor Nurdan Tozun and by the perfect organization of the meeting venue, the secretariat and the heavy snowfall which gave us an unconventional picture of Istanbul.
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