Mission statement and History of IFOS

Mission statement

To identify critical global ORL care needs and communication disorders, to propose ways to prevent and treat individuals with them and to set priorities among these needs according to their impact on society

History of IFOS

The International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (IFOS) is the global organization which represents organized Otolaryngology. It was founded in 1965 during the Tokyo World Congress of Otolaryngology to provide continuity between World Congresses. It grew in response to the need for a single body to collate information about national ORL societies.

From the start the membership of IFOS was open to any national ORL society. This remains the case today as long as the country is recognized by the United Nations. Nations with more than 1 national society may have more than 1 member although each country has only 1 vote at the General Assembly. Membership is also open to international societies in otolaryngology and related fields.

IFOS is governed by a General Assembly which meets once every 4 years, during the world congress at which time it selects the site for the next meeting and elects an Executive Committee which deals with the business of IFOS between world congresses.
The Executive Committee currently is composed of 18 members who are elected for a 4 year term, renewable once only, and of whom at least two must be from each of the following continents or regions: Africa and the Middle East, Central and South America, East Asia, North America, and South and West Asia, at least four from Europe and at least one from Oceania.

Six Regional Secretaries will be elected by the Executive Committee and shall assist the General Secretary, to whom they are responsible, and work in cooperation with the Members of the Executive Committee from their Region.

Functions of IFOS:

  • Responsible for the World Congress every four years
  • To provide an overview of otolaryngological services and needs on a global basis. These vary from country to country and region to region.
  • Lobby with international agencies both on behalf of those who require treatment of ORL disease and are providing services to these people.
  • Help in developing national and international plans and awareness for the prevention of hearing loss and hearing impairment.
  • Continuing medical education
  • Greater central resources

History of IFOS World Congresses

World Congress Year Country and PlacePresidentGeneral Secretary
I1928Denmark, Copenhagen
II 1932 Spain, Madrid
III 1936 Germany, Berlin
IV 1949 England, London
V 1953 Holland, Amsterdam
VI 1957 U.S.A., Washinton DC
VII 1961 France, Paris
VIII 1965 Japan, TokyoS.Sato
IX 1969 Mexico, Mexico CityA. Bustamenti Gurria
X 1973 Italy, VeniceE.Arslan
XI 1977 Argentina, Buenos AiresJ.M.Tato
XII 1981 Hungary, BudapestL.SurianF.Orozco
XIII 1985 U.S.A., Miami, FLJ.Ran ChandlerJean Marquet
XIV 1989 Spain, MadridT.SacristanJean Marquet
XV 1993 Turkey, IstanbulO.SunarPeter Alberti
XVI 1997 Australia, SydneyG.McCaffertyPeter Alberti
XVII 2002 Egypt, CairoN.KotbyJan Grote
XVIII 2005 Italy, RomeD.PassaliJan Grote
XIX 2009 Brazil, Sao PauloP.PontesJan Grote
XX 2013 South Korea, SeoulC.S. KimMilan Profant