World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Cape Town

Zoleka-speaks-at-WCLS-media-briefing-20131025-350x207The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS), an important annual high-level policy meeting dedicated exclusively to furthering global cancer control, will for the first time take place in Africa on 18-19 November 2013. Organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and hosted by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the event will bring together key decision makers from around the world to encourage timely debate on emerging issues related to cancer. The two-day event, taking place at the Mount Nelson Hotel and the Cape Town City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa, will provide an important forum to secure a coordinated, multileveled global response to address the spiralling cancer epidemic.

The Summit will coincide with the release of the latest statistical data around incidence, mortality and prevalence for cancers worldwide. This information is crucial to deriving key insights on the global cancer burden, and is expected to highlight the urgent need for concerted action around many important issues, such as the growing cancer crisis in the developing world.

Closing the cancer divide

“We want to raise awareness among leading decision-makers to ensure cancer is a global health priority by providing a forum to exchange information and innovative ideas on how to reverse the cancer epidemic, ensuring a sustainable response,” says Mr Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, UICC.

The theme of this year’s Summit is ‘Closing the Cancer Divide by 2025’ which highlights the critical need to address the glaring disparities in cancer control within and across national, regional, and international boundaries.

Closing the cancer divide is crucial to achieving the global goal of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025, which was adopted by UN Member States at the World Health Assembly in May 2012.


Three WCLS workshops will be held on Monday 18th November (Pre-Summit Day) to engage delegates in the wider Summit discussions to be held on the Tuesday.

“We will place particular emphasis on women’s cancers, cancer treatment and improved cancer registry information in low- and middle-income countries to help achieve this goal,” Adams continues. “Participants are asked to come prepared with bold ideas on how we can close the global cancer divide by 2025 within the framework of the key themes that are on the agenda.”

As with previous years, eminent speakers and panellists for the Summit are drawn from all aspects of the international cancer community and include health and government leaders, and cancer control experts from around the world. Prominent attendees expected to play an active role at this year’s Summit will include Her Excellency Madame Tobeka Madiba Zuma, Her Excellency Dr Christine Kaseba Sata, First Lady of Zambia and the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, Ms Zoleka Mandela – an avid cancer prevention advocate and survivor.

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