A sustained 24-month communication
Before I began my mandate in 2015, I reflected on the best way to keep members up-to-date with FDI work, and what their President was doing to consolidate FDI-NDA relations and advance our goals worldwide. The result of my deliberations was my personal letter to members, delivered into their email inbox every month.
I hope my letter has been interesting, informative and, on occasion, inspirational, for our member NDAs, FDI partners and other parties. Certainly, it has been a pleasure to keep the communication flowing during the past 24 months.
A turning point
Crucially, my official representations on behalf of FDI continued right up to the last minute, when I had the privilege, earlier this month, to be guest of honour and deliver the keynote address at the Inaugural Road and Belt Oral Health Summit in Hong Kong.
The Summit was jointly organized by the Hong Kong Dental Associations (HKDA) and the China Stomatological Association (CSA) and took place within the context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BRI is a development strategy focusing on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People's Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the oceangoing Maritime Silk Road (MSR).
The aim of the Summit was to serve as a starting point of complementary partnership through which the strengths and needs of respective participating Belt and Road countries in the context of the dental sector can be identified through proactive exchange of information – and help identify key areas of cooperation for future sustainable collaboration.
Given the context of the Summit and its theme – New Horizon’s in dentistry – I focused my remarks on the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the role of oral health in ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, to paraphrase the title of SDG 3.
I also noted FDI’s stride forward in establishing a definition for oral health and the likely repercussions on how dentistry is managed and, to a certain extent, financed, for example, within a context of Universal Health Coverage.
Growth and reputation
The fact that I addressed such an event on behalf of FDI illustrates how far we have come in terms of growth in international stature and reputation. I would like to thank you all for your strong support for FDI and for your spokesperson and President during this long adventure, which has seen us develop and enact a solid strategy based on the three pillars of leadership, membership, and advocacy and communications.
It is a strategy that has secured the respect of our members, our global public-sector partners such as the World Health Organization and other agencies of the United Nations and our private-sector industry partners.
As the meetings of the World Dental Parliament are now imminent, I would like also to remind you to prepare yourselves for all your meetings by closely reading all the documentation sent to you by head office to ensure the effectiveness and relevance of our discussions.