It is with great delight we invite you to the 14th Asian-Australasian Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology (AAFITN 2020) from October 5 to 7, 2020. Due to the latest developments of the pandemic with increasing travel restrictions and uncertainty of worldwide participation, the Organizing Committee has decided to convert the AAFITN 2020 into a Virtual Congress for the planned period from October 5 to 7, 2020 (3 days), in consideration of our participants’ safety as well as their intellectual aspirations.
Under the theme of “See the New Horizon of Neurointervention,” we welcome all our global members to participate in the Virtual Congress. It promises to be a virtual adventure you will not want to miss! Please follow our updates about further developments regarding the program and special online events.
We are sure that AAFITN 2020 will be a rewarding and unforgettable experience for all our participants attending from around the world and we will do our best to produce an invaluable and successful Virtual Congress.
We thank you for your kind understanding and look forward to welcoming you online.
On behalf of the members of the organizing committee for the society of the Asian-Australasian Federation of Interventional Neuroradiology, it is great honor and privilege to give this presidential address for the 2020 14th Congress in Seoul.
As you know too well, the COVID pandemic has changed the way we interact throughout the world. We have had to close all direct in-person communication with traffic bans between nations, and the traditional style of our international congress is currently impossible. Who could have anticipated such a prolonged and restricted condition? In almost every country recommendation include wearing a mask, meticulous hand washing, strict social distancing, staying home, and enduring the constant fear of random asymptomatically transmitted infection. Some of you are also facing the collapse of medical systems due to in-hospital clustering, excessive COVID patient admissions, and inevitable limitations on usual clinical work. Of course, the call and applause to medial staff from our citizens is surely encouraging, but we are still wondering how long this dark and seemingly endless tunnel will go on.
Thankfully, despite persistent delays, I am happy to announce that the AAFITN 2020 is now finally open after successfully overcoming two extension periods.
As all of you can imagine, the diligent organizing committee has been planning various exciting events and entertainment over the past 2 years. In addition to stimulating and provoking academic presentations and discussion sessions, we also usually look forward to spending pleasant relaxing times chatting and dining with our friends as well as participating in scheduled exciting outings in exotic locations. Such opportunities for international exchange and communication are one of our great pleasures, and these informal gatherings serve important roles to create lasting friendships. Unfortunately, this time we cannot shake hands, cannot hug and cannot talk face-to-face in person at this on-line meeting. The possibility for unexpected encounters or actual post-congress tours is diminished. I express my sympathy for all who feel the frustration of this inevitable situation.
However, despite this ongoing dilemma, we must be thankful for the successful enactment of this congress. On the positive side, I would like to acknowledge the robust ingenuity and great efforts of the Korean staff members who have given us the opportunity to talk and discuss on-line and have been responsible for reviving and saving this almost cancelled congress. I deeply respect President Byng Moon Kim who has been overcoming many difficulties, and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all the Korean staff members.
Perhaps all of you are well aware that the various differences and gaps between our borders and countries stem from multiple rational, geopolitical, economic, religious and ethical standpoints. These problems may include some matters which cannot be immediately resolved or are beyond legal or moral control. However, at least in this meeting, please put those other such issues aside, and let’s enjoy our purely academic discussions and do our best to achieve mutual benefit for all participants and their respective nations. It is the process of meeting together from many far places that brings about a sense of goodwill, peace and friendship. We must not forget that despite many obstacles our ultimate goal is the pursuit of true knowledge and education, and by doing this we can challenge to go beyond our borders and bringing us together as one to achieve a better, healthier and more peaceful world; Let’s all go together on this universal road to the summit and beyond!
Our field is ever growing and continually filled with stimulating academic challenges and new technological advancements. Likewise, this congress will be the touchstone and beginning of a new way of interacting in the post-COVID era. Associated with this memorial meeting, we have prepared a new society flag. I am very happy to take this flag and confer it to the congress president, even though I cannot hand it to him directly. The background of the flag is a deep blue which symbolizes the pacific and Indian oceans surrounding our countries. The sea level is usually equal in all places, and the water that separates us, also flows and connects us too. By seeing this flag and remembering and understanding its meaning, I hope that throughout this meeting and all future meetings we can abide by our principles to keep the faith in fair and open discussion. We hope that this flag flies forever and that it serves as an anchor for promoting good health and happiness for current society members and those to come.
Finally, I wish to express my whole-hearted appreciation for the generous cooperation and sincere contributions from all members of the AAFITN. Once again, I would like to offer my deepest thanks to Byng Moon and the entire Korean staff.
Thank you very much,