The Incredible Impacts Programme, a joint initiative by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and BestCities Global Alliance, an international network of convention destinations, has honoured three associations who have left lasting legacies of social change. They are:
- The European AIDS Clinical Society, a non-profit which promotes excellence in standards of care, research and education in HIV infection and related co-infections. The 18th European AIDS Conference, which will be held in London, UK in October 2021, aims to improve quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS. Impact legacies include a new London EACS Respect Committee, which asks conference attendees, politicians, celebrities and the public to sign a pledge to end stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and provide equitable access to medical treatment and services.
- The Garden of Hope Foundation, a non-profit organisation helping disadvantaged girls and women, founded the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (ANWS). The organisation organised the Fourth World Conference of Women’s Shelters (4WCWS), held in Kaohsiung City in November 2019. This was the first time the conference has been held in an Asian city.
- Women Deliver, a global advocate for gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women, held its largest conference ever in Vancouver, Canada in June 2019. The event was attended by 8,000 people from 169 countries, as well as 200,000 participants online and through satellite events. During the conference, Prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau made a 10-year, CA$1.4bn (US$1.1bn) annual commitment to gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. For the first time, NGOs, grassroots advocates and survivor-led organisations united to develop a plan to end female genital mutilation/cutting by 2030.
These three associations will each receive a grant of US$7,500 to be used for future projects. Lesley Williams, managing director of the BestCities Global Alliance, said: “Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Incredible Impacts Programme. They are an inspiration for the entire meetings industry for their passion, fortitude and commitment to ending human rights violations and ensuring every member of our global population is treated equally and fairly.”