Growth, Recognition, Service

The Euro-Mediterranean Council for Burns and Fire Disasters (MBC), whose Annals you have in hand, was started in 1983 by a group of concerned surgeons and burn specialists on the premise that, despite their differences and divergences, people and countries around the Mediterranean basin share a historical and cultural commonality, and that common health problems could be better addressed by a regional approach. Established as an international professional Club, the rapid scientific and social achievements of the MBC proved such that the Italian Regional Parliament in 1987 accorded it legal recognition, granting a substantial annual sum from the country's Science and Development Budget. The farsighted view of aiding scientific progress and at the same time showing international solidarity, has been much appreciated.

The World Health Organization has designated the MBC as scientific "WHO Collaborating Centre", recognizing the valuable contributions of the Council to the management of burns as a clinical, health problem, and of fire disasters as a societal, emergency management problem, the only Centre in the world so designated in this apecialized field.

Growth has come almost naturally to this group, because of its dedication to the complex health issues it addresses, and to its conviction that human suffering and dignity must be recognized at all costs at the individual level, and measured collectively through the assembly of people, the United Nations.

Recognition, therefore, has come almost equally naturally, the Euro-Mediterranean Council for Burns and Fire Disasters having this year been granted Special Consultative Status as Non-Governmental Organization within the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

This mission, this growth and this recognition strengthen the MBC's receive for greater service, and it has been equally natural that we should be major initiators of the International Association for Humanitarian Medicine Brock Chisholm. We hope the pages you are reading will attest to the MBC's medical, social and humanitarian endeavours.

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