I extend warm greetings to everyone. I hope that you have celebrated the start of 2016 in good spirits with friends and family.
It is a great honour to be allowed to serve the APA as President for the next three years. Now that we are a few days into the new year, it is good to look ahead and think about what we will strive to achieve over the next three years. But first, a quick look back.
We have made very good progress and the APA has been through many developments during the third Council term. In terms of the number of participants and quality of the papers presented, the third APA Conference held in Kuala Lumpur last year surpassed our expectations and marked a significant event in the history of our association. The seminars on fertility ideals and intentions as well as sexual and reproductive health organized by scientific groups established and supported by the Association were also very successful.
I would like to thank you all for your significant support and participation during the past years. Let me take this opportunity and thank, in particular, Terry Hull, the third APA President, and members of the third Council for their leadership and dedication to the Association. My sincere appreciation goes to Sureeporn Punpuing and the secretariat staff for their time and all their efforts to ensure the sustainability of the association. I would also like to welcome the new council members who will be working hard with me to accomplish our goals over the next three years.
Of course, there are still many tasks and challenges ahead of us. Though the size of our membership has increased a great deal during the past few years, the proportion of paying members remains very low. The total amount of membership fee paid in 2015 was less than USD7,000. It will be the top priority of our agenda at the first meeting of the fourth Council to be held in Bangkok during January 18-19, 2016. We will work hard and keep focused on our priorities to become a stronger and more financially sustainable association. This will only be possible with your continued support and commitment as well as teamwork among the council members.
We will also begin our searching process for hosting the fourth APA Conference to be held in 2018. Other key issues to be discussed at the council meeting later this month include establishment of scientific groups to stimulate professional achievements and solidarity among our members, organizing seminars, and improvement of our website and database. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any suggestion of agenda to be discussed in the council meeting. We will put the membership at the heart of everything we do in the years ahead. Let us, each of us, now embrace our common purpose and common efforts with passion, commitment and dedication.
We will be entering the year of the red fire monkey in about a month. The red fire monkey is resourceful, sociable, persuasive, and cheerful. May all your dreams and work last year turn into achievements in this year of the monkey and I hope that the new year will fill your life with personal happiness as well as the continued growth of our association.
President, Asian Population Association
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APA Secretariat Office
Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, 73170 Thailand