The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists

39th Annual International Meeting


August 26 - 30, 2001
Prague, Czech Republic


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S. Svacina | M. Balikova | R. Wennig | H. Stead

Welcome address by Maria Balikova,
Chairperson of the 39th TIAFT Meeting

Dear president of TIAFT, dear profesor Wennig, dear TIAFT members, ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the organizing committee, allow me to welcome you to the 39th TIAFT Meeting in Prague. We feel deeply honoured to be hosting you here and to be organizing this annual scientific TIAFT Meeting for you. It is the first time that such a significant conference on forensic toxicology and related areas is to be held in our country and we very much appreciate this priviledge which has been given to us.

Allow me to welcome now representatives of authorities under whose auspices this TIAFT Meeting is held. I would like to introduce to you and welcome:
  1. Professor Eva Kvasnicková, the vice rector of the Charles University
  2. Ass. Professor Stepán Svacina, the dean of the 1st Medical Faculty
  3. Professor Václav Janousek, the repressentative of the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyne (CMA JEP)
  4. Ass. Professor Premysl Klír, the chairman of the Czech Association of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Toxicology (CMA JEP)
I would also like to welcome all our honourable guests, and among them explicitly:
  1. Dr. Howard Stead, Chief of the Scientific Section of UNDCP from Vienna
  2. Dr. Pavel Sámal, the official representative of Ministry of Justice and The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic
  3. Dr. Lumír Crha, the deputy of The Supreme Public Prosecution of the Czech Republic
  4. Dr. Alena Steflová, the official representative of Ministry of Health
Ladies and gentlemen,

I should like to take this opportunity to share with you a few personal thoughts. Before 1989 some of us here today were not able attend these valuable TIAFT Meetings nor to apply for TIAFT membership due to political obstacles which devided us. When attending a TIAFT Meeting for the first time in Leipzig in 1993, I and others were enourmously impressed by the democratic and friendly working atmosphere of TIAFT. We were also impressed by and grateful for a forum, within which everybody has the chance to disscuss professional problems. I am sure that I am not alone in having found colleagues and friends in TIAFT, who are willing to share their knowledge and to, give advice and help.

Our professional toxicological field is a very narrow discipline and international scientific communication is of extraordinary importance. TIAFT Meetings are unique opportunities to bring toxicologists together to learn from each other, in spite of the fact that the stream of information may sometimes be one directional. Sometimes the recipients of information do not have the benefit of well equipped laboratories, access to computers, access to scientific literature and can not travel easily to scientific events.

The promotion of cooperation and, coordination of efforts among members and the promotion of education into toxicology are the main aims of TIAFT. These are aims which the organizing committee is happy to support by preparing Prague´s Meeting for you. If this Meeting meets your scientific and cultural expectations, if it is held in the traditional friendly TIAFT atmosphere, the organizing committee has not been working in vain.

Maria Balikova
Chairperson of the 39th TIAFT Meeting

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