An international conference that was expected to host accountants and lawyers in Cape Town has been canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
INSOL International, a worldwide federation of national associations of professionals, was to have had its conference from March 17 to 19 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The board of Insol (The International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals) made the decision on Friday.
“As you can imagine, much deliberation has gone into making this difficult decision. However, the health and safety of our delegates around the world and staff is our top priority,” said Insol International CEO Jason Baxter and President Julie Hertzberg in a statement.
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“As more information has become available in the last 48 hours regarding the spread of the virus and the further restrictions on travel and quarantine protocols in certain countries, we recognize the potential negative impact this can have on all of you.”
Delegates had the option of having their registration fees refunded or transferring them to apply to the 2021 congress in San Diego.
However, the federation said it would be grateful if delegates considered donating their registration fees so it could continue with critical projects that were already planned for the rest of the year.
Baxter and Hertzberg said the cancellation was unprecedented.
Returning the registration fees “represented a significant hardship to the organization due to the non-reimbursable costs”.
“As you may recognize, a significant amount of our revenue each year comes from the income at the annual conference,” they said.
“The income provides for our ability to participate in global education and training initiatives which facilitate cooperation amongst jurisdictions and assisting with the development of new insolvency and restructuring laws.”
The move comes as numerous organizations across the world cancel or postpone their conferences, congresses and sports events.