CANCELLATION OF THE CONGRESS: Message to the participants of the XXth WAER Congress to be held in Bu
Dear colleagues and future participants of the Buenos Aires Congress,
As you all know, the world today is facing an epidemic that has now passed the pandemic threshold, according to recent WHO statemen
ts. This event is shaking up a large part of the planet today and especially, as far as we are concerned, all the scientific events organized in many countries.
This pandemic certainly does not reach all countries to the same degree: if some seem to date more affected than others, everything suggests that it is the whole planet that will, sooner or later, be hit by the coronavirus COVID-19. In this context, and after discussion with the organizing committee of the Buenos Aires Congress, the decision was made by the WAER board of directors to postpone its XXth congress. Any other decision would be subject to contingencies that are impossible to manage within the framework of a congress: the authorities of the various countries can at any time prohibit or suspend for an indefinite period the movement of travellers and participants to international events; furthermore Argentina should enter, in June 2020, the most favorable period for the expansion of this type of virus ; hence, the Argentine authorities could impose the quarantine of travellers and participants arriving on Argentinian soil, etc.
The postponement of the congress is therefore the most acceptable solution, even if it is likely to cause disadvantages, in particular on the financial level. Insofar as certain participants have already committed funds, in particular for travel expenses, it is to be hoped that the question of a postponement, and not of a cancellation, will make it possible to better negotiate with the airlines the principle of a refund or credit for 2021.
The WAER board of directors has considered various postponement scenarios, in particular, a postponement to November 2020 or to June 2021. In fact, WAER Congresses are normally held in June, because the examination different constraints on the academic agendas of different countries has long defined this period as the most favorable for ensuring the availability of researchers. The latter option: June 2021, was therefore chosen.
The memberships already subscribed to the WAER, with the advantages which are linked to them, will remain valid for the congress of 2021 since the membership runs for a period of two years.
To avoid significant bank charges, the registration fees already paid will be kept for the organization of the 2021 Congress, unless this poses special problems for some participants in which case they must notify the Organizing Committee so that the registration amounts are reimbursed. Papers already accepted will remain so for the 2021 congress.
Please be aware that the President of WAER, its Board of Directors, the President of the Buenos Aires Congress and the Organizing Committee are very sorry to make these difficult but inevitable decisions in the current context.
Hoping to return to a normal situation in the coming months and with thoughts for you and your loved ones, we look forward to seeing you next year.
Gilles Baillat, President of the WAER
Ana Pereyra, honorary president of the XX Congress