Nurses’ contributions and sacrifice honoured at Opening Ceremony of ICN Congress in Montreal

1 July 2023
ICN Congress 2023

More than 6,000 nurses are meeting in Montreal, Canada, for the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress 2023, which is being hosted by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) in the city’s Palais des Congres.

Nurses from 126 countries, who were welcomed to the five-day event by ICN’s President Dr Pamela Cipriano, will be attending plenary sessions from prominent global figures and an extensive four-day scientific programme that will enable them to network, share their experiences and further develop their practice for the benefit of patients.

ICN Board

In her opening address Dr Cipriano spoke about the theme of the Congress, which is Nurses Together: A Force for Global Health, and thanked nurses for their dedication, skill and compassion during the pandemic and in the face of other disasters, often at personal risk. Dr Cipriano said: “Always on the frontlines of response, nurses have demonstrated incredible strength and resilience not only in the pandemic, but also in natural disasters, conflict zones, and in impoverished communities, as well as those suffering the effects of climate change.” She spoke about ICN’s cooperation with the World Health Organization and other leading global organisations, such as the World Bank, agencies of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and many others. “Working in partnership and collaboration with these key global players is essential for us to continue to safeguard the health and wellbeing of nurses and advance the profession through investment in education, leadership and jobs, and ensuring respect for nurses’ rights.”

Her Royal Highness Princess Muna, a long-time supporter of ICN and nursing attended the opening ceremony with her daughter Princess Aisha bint Hussein. Her Royal Highness’s message to Congress read:

“Nurses together are a force for global health. You are our present and our future. Nurses together are a force for global good, addressing all our health needs and ensuring that health is a right for all which must not be withheld, but respected and made a reality. Your work is also the foundation for peace, security and economic sustainability...The world simply cannot afford not to invest in you.” CNA President Sylvain Brousseau welcomed delegates to Montreal on Canada Day. Mr Brousseau said: “I’d like to thank you for your contributions to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are at the pinnacle of many challenges in our profession, but we have never been stronger.”

The Opening Ceremony also included music and dance from indigenous performers, musicians from the Montreal Jazz Festival, the traditional Parade of National Nursing Associations, and the presentation of four awards.

Opening ceremony

The Kim Mo-Im award, which is granted every two years to a nurse who has demonstrated policy innovation and impact, was given to Dr Leah Primitiva Paquiz from the Philippines Nursing Association for her work as a legislator creating laws to help the people of The Philippines stop smoking.

The 2023 Partners in Development Award, which recognises foundations, corporations, non-governmental organisations or other groups that have demonstrated outstanding leadership and investment in nursing and health care capacity building, was presented to BBC’s StoryWorks Commercial Productions for its Caring with Courage series of online films and articles.

The ICN/FNIF International Achievement Award is presented biennially to a practising nurse who has achieved a significant international impact on the nursing profession in either direct care, nurse education, nursing management or research. This year, it was given to Jinyuan Zhang for her work in establishing the "four-in-one” model of care, which provides a home-based model of care for older people based on a system that includes the community, the hospital, family members and volunteers, which has been extended from China to other countries, including the United States, Germany and Japan.

ICN presented a special award to Dr Franklin Shaffer, former president of CGFNS International, in recognition of his incredible services to the nursing profession over many decades.

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Nurses’ contributions and sacrifice honoured at Opening Ceremony of ICN Congress in Montreal

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