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President Welcomes Participants to the 23rd WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Vienna

WPA President's Opening Message


Dear Esteemed Colleagues and Friends,


As I stand before you today, I am deeply honoured to welcome you to the 23rd World Congress in Psychiatry. This event holds a special place in my heart as it marks the end of my final year as President of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA). It has been a privilege to serve in this capacity, and I am grateful for the support and cooperation of each and every one of you throughout my triennium.


This year, our congress finds its home in the enchanting city of Vienna, Austria. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to The Psychiatric Association of Austria (ÖGPP) for their dedication and tireless efforts in making this event possible. Your warm welcome and unwavering support have ensured that this Congress promises to be a memorable and intellectually stimulating experience for all attendees.


In addition, the ÖGPP kindly asked me to join them, the City of Vienna and PSD-Wien on Tuesday at an important memorial event to commemorate the 789 children and adolescents who were killed by the Nazis in the psychiatric hospital of Vienna "Am Spiegelgrund" between 1940-45. It was a beautiful and moving event and I am very grateful to be invited.


As we embark on the next four days of our Congress, we can look forward to:

  • Unprecedented Global Participation: With around 4000 registered participants from 118 countries, this diverse gathering promises rich exchanges of ideas that will drive innovation in psychiatry.

  • Registration breakdown includes Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists students (medical & allied mental health professions) and service users and family carers.

  • Comprehensive Program: The packed and varied programme offers 230 sessions with 350 speakers, spanning 15 different streams, catering to varied interests and expertise.

  • Cutting-Edge Research: With 104 accepted symposia, 79 short oral e-poster sessions, and a wealth of state-of-the-art sessions, you will be updated on all of the latest research and practices within our field.

  • Global Collaboration: 7 inter-organisational sessions will foster collaboration to tackle global mental health challenges.

  • Inspiring Lectures: 4 distinguished lectures and eight plenary sessions will showcase the brightest minds in psychiatry.

  • Local Perspective: 21 German symposia will offer unique regional insights into psychiatric issues.

During the Congress, we will of course be holding our highly anticipated 2023 Elections during the General Assembly on 30th of September 2023. The results from these elections will determine the successors for a number of positions on the WPA Executive Committee (EC) as well as for the 18 Zonal Representatives that will make up the WPA Board for the 2023-2026 triennium. Please make sure to check the agenda for the General Assembly here and you can review the candidates here.

Executive Committee 2020-2023

As we kick off our 23rd Annual Congress, I would like to thank the WPA Executive Committee, Council, Board and all of our members for the continued support and commitment to our work. I am very much looking forward to the next couple of days and am confident that this will be another important and valuable scientific meeting adding a lot to the psychiatric and mental health knowledge.


I wish you all a fruitful and inspiring Congress. Let us seize this opportunity to learn from one another, collaborate, and emerge from this event with renewed enthusiasm to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.


Thank you, and welcome to the 23rd World Congress of Psychiatry.

Prof. Afzal Javed, WPA President


Author: Prof. Afzal Javed, President, WPA

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