Lyon: The UN World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) officially celebrated welcoming Saudi Arabia as a new member during the 66th session of the agency’s Governing Council, held in Lyon, France.

Saudi Health Council Secretary General Dr. Nahar Al-Azemi said Saudi Arabia’s joining of the IARC reflects the nation’s leading role in the field of disease prevention and control.

The move also emphasizes the Kingdom’s pioneering efforts in containing the spread of cancer and its complications through a rigorous scientific approach, Al-Azemi added.

He highlighted the Saudi government’s great emphasis on dealing with cancer, addressing various preventive, therapeutic, and social aspects of the disease.

Fahad Al-Ruwaily, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to France and designated permanent representative of the Kingdom to UNESCO, and the participating Saudi delegation led by Al-Azemi attended the celebration.

Also attending were Mushabbab Ali Al-Asiri, General Director of the National Cancer Center; Ali Al-Zahrani, deputy director at the research center of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center; and Samar Al-Homoud, consultant colorectal surgeon at the hospital and chair of the IARC Ethics Committee.