Honorary member of the WVA - Dr Tjeerd Jorna.

On 14th September 2015, the WVA General Assembly awarded WVA Past President, Dr Tjeerd Jorna as Honorary Member of the WVA.

Dr Jorna has been involved in the World Veterinary Association for almost 25 year now. After being appointed KNMvD Secretary General in 1990 he attended, on behalf of the KNMvD, the 1991 WVA Presidents Assembly (PA) meeting in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

In the following years he participated as national delegate for the Netherlands in the WVA PA meetings in 1995 in Yokohama (Japan), 1999 in Lyon (France), 2002 in Tunis (Tunisia) and 2005 in Minneapolis (USA). Thereafter, after he had become president of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) he represented FVE in the PA meeting of 2008 in Vancouver (Canada) in which meeting he was elected WVA President for the period 2008 – 2011.

His presidency can be characterized as uniting the profession and leading it towards the future. One of his strongest talents is to bring people together, to identify common goals and to reach compromises going towards these goals. Well aware of the importance of a global veterinary voice, that communicates the values and strengths of the profession to other stakeholders and society at large, he has given a lot of emphasis on external communication. He represented the WVA on numerous occasions, varying from local meetings in his home town to very large global events.

His presidency didn’t have an easy start. Already within the first week after he had won the elections the WVA Secretary General had to step back. Regardless this difficulty Dr Jorna, with his typical optimism and enthusiasm, went ahead with his ambition to further develop the Association as the voice of the global veterinary profession.

Together with EXCOM and Council he prepared the ground for several important developments in WVA. He initiated a revision of WVA’s Constitution and Bye-Laws, aiming to widen the range of veterinary professional organisations that can join the Association, to strengthen the Association’s decision making processes, and to enhance the Association’s internal cohesion. The final proposal was adopted by the Presidents Assembly in 2013 in Prague (Czech Republic). 

In the same line he proposed to amend the rules for attending Council meetings in order to better involve Councillors from developing countries.

Under his presidency the first Global Summit, organised in the framework of the World Veterinary Congress (WVC), organised in good collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), was held. An initiative that has been continued since then; the 3rd edition will take place in September 2015 in Istanbul (Turkey).

Also under his presidency a significant change in the organisation of the World Veterinary Congresses (WVCs) was initiated. Objectives included bringing more continuity in the organisation of WVC, raising the Association’s profile and to have a stronger branding of the event. This initiative has resulted in a complete new approach with a much stronger role for WVA.

Also after his presidency, as Immediate Past President, Dr Jorna remained very active in WVA. On many occasions he represented the WVA and promoted its interests, amongst others in the OIE ad hoc working group on Veterinary Education.