The recent Conference of the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies was a truly global affair, with representatives from throughout eastern and western countries. Acupuncture NZ was represented by Paddy McBride (Vice President WFAS) and Sue Zhihong Su (Executive Committee Member WFAS). The sharing of knowledge and information between representatives from the different countries is every bit as important as the actual clinical lectures and workshops.
WFAS has 178 member societies in 53 different countries. WFAS works closely with the State Administration of TCM in China as well as with the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. The organisation has an official relationship with the World Health Organisation and in the last year sent representatives to the 68th World Health Assembly, the 65th WHO Regional Committee of European Lithuania and the 66th Regional Committee of the Western Pacific in Guam.
The day before the conference began, the 3rd meeting of the WFAS 8th Executive Committee discussed developments and plans for the profession as well as recounted achievements already made. Along with the annual reports, items for discussion included the on-going celebration of Acupuncture Awareness Week. Whilst New Zealand was the first country to take this up in 2014, already other countries are planning events for 2015 and beyond.
WFAS continues to work with the International Standards Organisation (ISO) toward the development of international standards for acupuncture. Currently New Zealand has observer status at the meetings of ISO/TC249 - the technical committee which has been working on the development of these standards.
Development of academic programmes is high on the list of priorities for WFAS in the coming years as is the development of an international Acupuncture and Moxibustion Clinical Trail Registry.
The WFAS Executive meeting and conference will be held in Tsukoba in Japan in 2016.