WCPT Congress 2021

Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) is a founding member of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT). As part of our WCPT membership we have an official delegation in attendance at WCPT General Meetings, held every four years such as in Geneva this year.

While WCPT Congress is held every two years, we only officially attend those including a General Meeting. This is due to the expense of being at the biennial Congress. In 2017, for example, PNZ supported two Executive members who presented at Congress but neither the PNZ President nor Chief Executive attended.

As many members will know WCPT Congress 2021 is to be held in Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Following WCPT’s announcement of this location, PNZ has received feedback from members including concerns with UAE laws regarding relationships outside heterosexual marriage, gender equality and women’s rights.

PNZ is committed to a global profession that supports fundamental human rights and takes these member concerns seriously. We encourage diversity, equality and inclusion in our own organisation and among members, as reflected in the values of PNZ’s organisational strategy, the way we operate and resources shared with members.

Because 2021 will be a non-General Meeting year there will be no formal PNZ delegation to WCPT Congress in Dubai. Our next formal Congress attendance will be in 2023.

With there being no formal PNZ delegation in Dubai, PNZ members are encouraged to make their own decisions regarding attendance at WCPT Congress 2021. We will provide members with further available information to help make an informed decision about their own attendance, including any announcements from WCPT. For official advice to New Zealanders travelling overseas, including the UAE, please visit safetravel.govt.nz.

For anyone interested, the WCPT website identifies their Congress location criteria. This highlights that Congress is “hosted in different parts of the world to communicate advances in research, education and practice; facilitate greater international professional networking; build relationships with WCPT member organisations; and develop the global physical therapy profession.”

WCPT also identify their rationale for Congress 2021 being hosted in the UAE, in their May 2018 announcement that Congress 2021 is to be held in Dubai.


Page updated September 2019