The First International Convention for Patients with Silk Road Disease (Behçet's Disease) was held at Shonan Village Center, Japan, from May 19 - 22, 2000. Professor Ohno, Yokohama City University, was the President and Dr Nishida the Secretary General. In total, 314 physicians and patients gathered from 18 different countries. 43 participants were from foreign countries. A "Declaration of Yokohama 2000" was released to commemorate the First Convention. In particular, May 20 was decide to be the "International Behçet's Disease Day". We are very much grateful to all participants, volunteers and companies who have generously supported the First Convention. We sincerely hope that this support will be further continued for the future success of the convention for the patients suffering from this difficult disease.
The Second Convention for the Patients with Behçet's Disease will be held on June 27-29, 2002, together with the 10th International Conference on Behçet's Disease in Berlin, Germany, Professor Zouboluis will be the president of this conference.
The 9th International Conference on Behçet's Disease (ICBD) was held for three days from May 27 to 29, 2000, in Seoul, Korea. The first ICBD to open in the Far East Asian region was the Tokyo conference in 1981. The Seoul conference was the second ICBD to be held in this region. It has been 19 years since the Tokyo conference.
Although Korea, the host country, is geographically located at a far distance from Europe, America, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean region, more than 250 participants from 23 countries were in attendance. A total of 175 (100 poster presentations, 72 oral presentations, 3 plenary lectures) papers were presented along with active discussions.
On May 27, the opening day of the conference, Professor Sungnack Lee, the president of the 9th ICBD, Dr. Je G. Chi, the president of the Korean Medical Association, and Mr. Halil Dag, the Turkish ambassador in Korea, gave their congratulatory addresses. The 9th ICBD was organized by Professor Sungnack Lee as the President of the Organizing Committee and Professor Dongsik Bang as the Secretariat General, with the assistance of the Department of Dermatology of Yonsei University, Yonsei University Behçet's Disease Specialty Clinic, and Ajou University Behçet's Disease Specialty Clinic Teams.
The congress was supported and sponsored by the Korean Dermatological Association, the Korean Rheumatism Association, the Korean Ophthalmologic Society, the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences, the Korean Medical Association, and the Korean Study Group for Behçet's Disease.
As the first day plenary lecturer, Dr. T. Lehner gave his lecture entitled, "Immunopathogenesis of Behçet's Disease". On the second day, Dr. S. Ohno gave his plenary lecture entitled, "Molecular Genetics of Behçet's Disease", and Dr. J.W. Yoon's "Molecular Pathogenic Mechanisms of A Cell-Specific Autoimmune Disease (Type 1 Diabetes)" was presented on the last day of the conference.
The oral presentations were divided into twelve sessions, which included Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Assessment of Disease Activity, Immunology, Genetics, Endothelium, Mucocutaneous manifestations, Neurologic and Vascular manifestations, Gastrointestinal manifestations, Ocular manifestations, Rheumatologic manifestations, and Management.
There were visible advancements in the fields of Immunology and Molecular Genetics. Also, future possibilities of gene therapy in Behçet's disease were shown.
The most meaningful event to occur during the conference was the official foundation of the International Society for Behçet's Disease, after having held conferences without a formal society since 1964. During the congress, all representatives of the former International Study Group on Behçet's Disease held an election to choose the president, vice president, honorary president, and council members of the newly formed society. Dr. C. Barnes was elected as President, Dr. S. Lee as Vice-President, Dr. H. Yazici as President-Elect/Secretary, and Dr. D. Haskard as Treasurer. Professor Dilsen, Ehrlich, Lehner, and Dr. O'Duffy were nominated as Lifetime Honorary Presidents of ISBD. The 2-year membership fee of the new society is US$100. I believe and hope that the new ISBD will contribute much to the future academic advancement of Behçet's disease and in the promotion of mutual friendship between its members.
On the last day of the 9th ICBD, Dr. T. Nishida from Japan and his father, Mr. N. Nishida, gave their presentation entitled, "The first international convention for patients with Silk Road Disease (Behçet's Disease)," as the representative of all Behçet's disease patients. The presentation showed the results of the International Convention for Patients with Behçet's Disease, which was held on May 19-22, 2000, in Japan. The convention was hosted by Dr. S. Ohno, and it was a meaningful time to realize that doctors and patients should work hard together to win over the disease.
The welcome and farewell parties provided the participants with opportunities to have greater understanding and appreciation of the tradition and the culture of Korea. The 9th ICBD was officially closed with the promise to meet at the 10th ICBD in Berlin in 2002.
9th ICBD Secretary General