This is my first end of year message as President of the International Union of Psychological Science.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the leadership of our previous President – Saths Cooper – whose significant contribution has ensured that the Union is truly representative as the global voice of psychology serving humanity. As Past President Saths will continue to play an important leadership role on the Executive, particularly in respect of our capacity building activities.
I would also like to thank Secretary-General Ann Watts who has led the effective operational running of the Union, Goh Chee Leong our Treasurer and our Administrative Coordinator Karl Swain, who quietly works behind the scenes to support us, whilst at the same time completing his doctorate – well done Dr Karl!…
The Union is led by an Executive Committee of talented psychologists from across the globe. In July Ricardo Gorayeb from Brazil, Brigitte Khoury from Lebanon and Prakash Padakannaya from India were elected to the Executive Committee.
The International Journal of Psychology (IJP) continues to flourish under the Editorship of Professor Abigail Gewirtz. The IJP is the only international journal that publishes from all disciplines in psychology. Professor Gewirtz was appointed to the role in 2017 taking over from Professor Rainer K. Silbereisen. Professor Silbereisen was President of the Union from 2008 -2012 and completed his term as Past President this year; his contribution to the Union has been significant. As well as taking on the Editorship of IJP, Rainer’s contributions have included leading a project on ‘Psychological Education around the World’ and capacity building events on ‘Psychology Interventions After Disasters’. Professor Silbereisen was also the liaison for the successful International Congress of Psychology in Yokohama in 2016.
Our external consultants have completed data gathering for the strategic review of the Union. I will lead the development of the Strategic Plan.
Our National Members are a truly global body, representing around 2 million psychologists. National Members are key to our strategy which will focus on the development of the Union as the global representative body for psychology – responsive to the agendas of our country members and regions. We are committed to the founding principles of the Union:
• maintaining a scientific focus
• the promotion of international psychology for the public good
The Union continues to lead the way in leveraging the value of psychological science for enriching human life. To move forward we need to work with others – psychology offers a human perspective to transdisciplinary science.
The Union is an active member of world bodies – especially the newly inaugurated International Science Council, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations; psychology is central to many of the UN Global Challenges. We have been in the leadership of the WHO’s ICD revision and mhGaP; mental health is a strategic WHO priority. The Union is also active in CODATA, the scientific committee on the International Science Council and will continue to support our colleagues in the sharing and communication of science, including in areas of interdisciplinary relevance, in an ethical manner.
Capacity building will continue to be a core activity for the Union – it is in our Statutes – and underpins our ethos. Our capacity building in the past few years has focused on the development of regional psychology groupings – evidence for the effectiveness of this can be seen in the success of the Caribbean Alliance of National Psychology Associations and the Pan African Psychology Union, and more recently the Arab Union of Psychological Science and the Asia-Pacific Psychology Alliance – which will have its inauguration in Penang in August 2019. We will off course also continue to work closely with and support our established regional Affiliates such as EFPA. Our focus will be on partnerships and increasing the global footprint of the Union. We are well placed to do this and will review our organisational arrangements so that we are equipped to meet the challenge of an ambitious plan. We will report on the plan in the next year. We will launch the plan in 2020 at the flagship International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2020) in the beautiful city of Prague. ICP2020 is an opportunity for you to contribute to our global initiatives – I look forward to meeting many of you there.
Finally, on behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish you and your families and friends a happy, healthy and a peaceful 2019.
*The year-end video message may be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS_98yoq7GU&index=2&t=163s&list=PLE3Kq0ws8SD32zzzqIgCzGnpDXd8WlRZw