Dear Friends, Colleagues and Members of SCIJ,
Last week, the International Committee met with SCIJ Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Tourism National Company representatives to announce that we had reluctantly decided not to hold the 68th Winter Meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan from December 4 – 11, 2021 as planned.
Although the IC is highly supportive of a meeting in Kazakhstan, we have a duty to care for all our members. Your safety and wellbeing are paramount whenever and wherever we meet. Last June, we introduced a six-tiered, decision-making framework whereby each step had to be ‘green-lighted for us to proceed further. Today, Kazakhstan is still on the “red – do not travel” lists of both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and on the “yellow – essential travel only” lists of several countries.
We purposely delayed making this announcement so the leading partners could discuss the situation within the various different levels of their organization. The good news is that Kazakhstan wants to host SCIJ in 2022. We learned this past week to expect more details in December once all of the necessary internal approvals are in place. T
he IC will continue working with all parties involved to schedule a new meeting date sometime in 2022. We recognize their hard work and dedication, and we are thankful for their tireless efforts and perseverance. We offer Andrey, Irina, Anastasiya, SCIJ Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Tourism National Company our deepest gratitude for their courage, resilience, and teamwork in preparing this meeting during these challenging times.
The IC unanimously supports all the stakeholders for their work in staging this meeting, and we are grateful for their continued support. As we communicated in the past, we will remain focused on ensuring a successful 68th Winter Meeting before we start working on the 69th Winter Meeting.
I want to thank my IC colleagues who spent countless hours in recent weeks and months assimilating and assessing the information as it became available. We look forward to seeing and skiing with you in Kazakhstan when the conditions are more favourable and conducive to a safe, meaningful and memorable SCIJ Winter Meeting.